Zareefa Arije

Sun Oct 17 2021 04:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

44486Z A

My entire life, I watched my mom with awe. She taught me that my body was a temple and my skin was its protector. On weekends, I would wake up to the smell of freshly ground turmeric, honey, and sandalwood, and to the sound of pestle and mortar grinding down the ingredients. She would apply the homemade paste to her face and save a dollop for me. This became our ritual. From a young age, I shared my mom’s fascination with clean beauty and learned that anything could be cured with the right food and herbs.

In January of 2020, my mom went on vacation to Bangladesh. About 2 weeks after she landed, she suddenly passed away. I began recreating her face mask formulas as a way of grieving her death. I prayed for a sign that she was in heaven, and I began to feel her spirit every time I created a mask. Just like that, Ammu Beauty was born.

We launched Ammu Beauty three months ago, and it’s been a whirlwind. We turned down manufacturers, distribution warehouses, and formulators because we wanted to put out a handcrafted, pure product—the only way Ammu would have done it.

Since we are a direct-to-consumer business, it is difficult to expect customers to trust our product without ever testing it. We thought that spending money on advertising would help us gain customers, but we couldn’t have been more wrong—the majority of our sales are referrals and monthly reorders. We quickly rerouted our marketing methods to benefit returning customers and referrals. You have to listen to your customers and iterate on their feedback. It’s the only way to grow.

Balancing my business with full-time motherhood has been a constant challenge. It has made me a better mom and an even better entrepreneur. For example, stepping away from being a mom to tend to my business gives me the patience and reset to better support my kids. On the other hand, stepping away from Ammu Beauty gives me a chance to ruminate on an idea and come back with a fresh perspective.