This interview is part of a series chatting with local business owners, artists, organizers and people in our community who are learning to adapt during COVID-19.
Kaltum and Shamsa Hassan – Afiya Beauty
Describe your business.
At Afiya, we create handcrafted, nutrient-dense skincare for individuals interested in natural and organic beauty products. The concept of our brand is about providing access to non-toxic skincare by empowering our customers to make informed decisions about the products they choose to put on their bodies, as well as the brands and companies they choose to support.
What does working from home/your workplace look like for you right now?
We are fortunate as small business owners that we have always had the flexibility of working from home. However, we deeply miss face-to-face interactions with our customers at artisan markets and pop-up venues where we could showcase, demonstrate and talk about our products.
How have you adapted your operations during the pandemic?
We moved online! It was scary at first, we certainly did not feel ready for online sales. Now I think we are in the groove of things and we are truly loving the transition. In business, a lot of times you have to go before you are ready and figure it out as you go.
How have you been supported by the community?
The Bay of Quinte community is amazing. There are so many resources available to small business owners. Our incredible customer base buys from us regularly and refer their friends and family. This community sees the value of shopping local and supporting small businesses.
What is something good that has come from this difficult situation?
So much good has come from this situation. We were forced to go online, something that we knew would have to happen eventually. We gained new momentum and energy which has allowed us to put it back into our craft. The gift of time has allowed us to revisit our line of products and find new ways to perfect it as well as create new ones to add to our lineup.
What advice do you have for other business owners at this time?
Be adaptable and flexible. Things move so fast in the world of entrepreneurship you really just have to go with it, remember done is better than perfect.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Remember to enjoy the process and have fun. We are entrepreneurs, we get to share our passion and carve out our own path, how cool is that?
Stay tuned as we share more local folks who are Makin’ It Work.