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SA’s Kylie Jenner, aged four, ready to cash in with beauty biz

01 October 2018 - 12:00 By Thango Ntwasa
Khumo Mahlangu, Tiny Huggs beauty products.
Khumo Mahlangu, Tiny Huggs beauty products.
Image: Supplied.

Tiny Huggs is a children’s beauty range that offers bath salts, balms and body sprays aimed at toddlers and pre-teens. It has also launched a new range of face creams that combat eczema.

The colourful assortment of scents and flavours includes marshmallow and berry, says the brains behind the operation – four-year-old businesswoman Khumo Mahlangu.

Her playtime is interrupted by my arrival and she makes her schedule clear: three minutes or nothing. Her mother, famed fashion stylist Mome Mahlangu, sits in as we look back at how the business venture came about.  

Khumo was only interested in starting a website but had no idea what she would upload other than her videos for which she was already popular.

“She’s got a business mind,” says Mome. Remembering Khumo’s birth, “on the first day we left the hospital we actually went to work with her dad”, she says.

While Mome’s bailiwick is fashion, her husband, Tall Ass Mo, has made a name for himself in stand-up comedy while their eldest has an interest in rap and soccer. It came as a surprise when they discovered one of Khumo’s many talents was entrepreneurship.

“Kids need to smell good and be fresh,” Khumo says about her business idea. “Do you want all the kids to smell bad? No.”

Tiny Huggs.
Tiny Huggs.

The products are sold at a number of salons and establishments such as AfroKids Salon, Mini You Mini Me and Kiddo Cut.

For Mome, allowing Khumo to pursue her dream was a way of inspiring other little kids to do the same. “It’s a local brand that shows great empowerment. At four years old, I was not my own boss. It’s like me and other people work for her and I think that’s what makes it even more unique. I just want her to be the next Kylie Jenner if possible.”

The most important lesson Mome has taught Khumo is professionalism and owning her brand – something that is evident when Khumo speaks about what other kids can learn from her accomplishments.

“Now I know as a young black woman to respect all my responsibilities. I make everything on khumopanda.com. I’m awesome, I can do whatever I want and be my own boss,” she says.

Tiny Huggs is also planning products for Afro-textured hair. Follow the latest at www.khumopanda.com or her Instagram page @khumopanda.