Leonara Manyangadze of Tanaka (3 min Read)

Good Business - TANAKA Soaps

What's your life motto?

My life motto, which has definitely become a bit of a mantra in the past year, is “what’s for you won’t pass you by.” I think it helps to make sense of life when so much feels out of our control.

What have you learnt so far?

On a very basic level, I have learn to be patient and kind to myself and others. 


Where is your favourite place?

My favourite place is floating in the sea / a body of water. I recently moved to St Leonards on Sea and have unexpectedly taken up swimming in the sea. I don’t like the cold but it’s so invigorating and I’m definitely addicted to it now!

Name your three favourite words?

Numinous - "arousing spiritual or religious emotion; mysterious or awe-inspiring. Perpetuity - a new one in my vocabulary. I came across it when I was reviewing a contract and just thought it was a great word! Atmosphere - it was the first big word I learnt! 


What do you think makes a good company?

A good company is one that is built on values that have nothing to do with profit, that values people and making the world better and then is able to take those values, stick to them, and still manage to make a viable business in the end. It’s not easy, that’s for sure, but I think it’s becoming a bit more of the norm, which is nice to see, and I think it’s what we need to keep pushing for going forward.

Can you describe your workplace?

Well my workplace is literally just my living room, or my kitchen, depending on the task really. TANAKA is literally just me making soaps, and one freelance social media manager who I’ve never even met in real life because we connected during the pandemic. It’s actually quite funny when people ask about my workplace or the company because I don’t think people know that this is really just me in my living room trying me best! I’m hoping in the next year or so that I can start to scale the back end of things to keep up with the demand I’m seeing. 


What is your favourite food?

Does wine count? Or a good takeaway pizza to be honest.


What can you not live without?

Music, hands down.

What is the last thing you bought?

Some Lucy & Yak trousers.


What advice would you give to the younger generation?

Oh god, well you don’t have nearly as much figured out as you think you do, and you probably never will because none of us ever do, and the faster you accept that you’re going to be figuring things out forever, the fewer headaches you’ll give yourself beating yourself up for not having it all together. Also, life is short and the things you’re worried about almost certainly don’t matter as much as you think they do.


Proudest moment?

Probably when I got my first sale from someone I didn’t know or have any connections to. That was honestly crazy to me.

What’s next?

I don’t really know what’s next exactly. I really want to take TANAKA to the next level, and I’m not entirely sure what that means yet so in part what’s next is figuring out where I’m going from here. But at the same time we’re only just coming to the last legs of the pandemic, I just moved to a new town and I’m transitioning to part-time at my currently full-time job so in a lot of ways I’m just trying to take each day as it comes.
 To live without boundaries and to always be kind.

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