For many entrepreneurs and small businesses, social media can be an absolute game-changer! All it takes is one viral post and a business can suddenly take off.
At Like A Voss Social Media, we’re highlighting local businesses and entrepreneurs who are killing the online game. This week’s spotlight is on the owner of Timi and Mila, Amna Abdelhadi.
Our two daughters Timi (Fatima) & Mila (Jamila) are the inspiration behind our brand. When we became new parents, my husband Omar & I were overjoyed but filled with anxiety and stress! Baby care products are often filled with chemicals or perfumes that are harmful for our little ones. So we created products that were simple & safe. Our daughters enjoy using them, and as parents, we feel safe putting these products on their skin. Now ages 5 and 1, Timi & Mila use these products daily, and their growth and ever-changing needs are what inspire us to create new products and formulas.
You may know us as “Mama’s Touch Organics”, but as you can see, we’ve rebranded! Why? While living in Egypt the branding, language, and aesthetic was geared towards a market where Mama’s (or other women) were the primary caregivers. When we moved to Canada, we were overjoyed that you loved our products, but our branding didn’t reflect the diversity in people who used them. More importantly, it didn’t communicate our family values & desire to create healthy, natural products for you and your family. So we rebranded to Timi & Mila!
Our CEO Mandi interviewed Amna about her secret to success in business and in life. We also got some awesome insights into what they think makes social media such an effective tool in business.
A Little Bit About Being a Female Entrepreneur
1: How long have you been in business?
I started this business “unofficially” in 2015 when my first daughter (Timi) was born.
She had various skin conditions that needed constant care, and I wasn’t comfortable applying steroids or normal commercial brands on my babies skin on a daily basis. So I started making all-natural, homemade remedies for her.
After I saw how “magical” natural ingredients were, I started researching different skin conditions and ingredients. This led me to getting my Diploma in Skin Care Formulation, and I can now safely experiment and develop new formulas for my girls, and for you.
I officially launched my business in 2017 (after my sister’s encouragement!) because there was a real need for natural, chemical-free care products in the Egyptian market. People loved them and our business became a household name!
Fast forward to 2019 when we moved to Canada, we had to reassess our needs (our growing girls and the cold weather was a huge change!) and I developed products to work with Canadian families, and the weather. We rebranded in 2020 and I could not be more proud!
2: You shared your beginnings above. But I wanted to know – did you leap into business ownership with both feet right away? Or did you start as a “side hustle” and grow from there?
When I started this business it was only for the purpose of taking care of my own daughter and to make her products that she needed at the time. I was a full-time Kindergarten teacher and also had a freelance design business on the side. When my close friends and family saw how amazing the results of my products were, they encouraged and supported me to make it a side-hustle 😛
Luckily, as Timi & Mila has grown (both the brand, and my girls!) the business has become my full-time hustle and we are trying to form partnerships with Canadian retailers and small-businesses to carry our products. It was a huge leap of faith to continue this business in Canada but I’m hopeful that everyone will support me, and that we will once again become a household name!
3: What do you love most about being a female entrepreneur?
I love the creativity that comes with it. I really enjoy being able to test different ingredients and learn about new ways to help my girls as their skin-care needs change. I also love being a role model to my girls. The way my older daughter looks at me when I am researching or testing out a new formula, or making the actual products is just really heartwarming. I love knowing that they understand the value of hard work and that women are capable of achieving anything they put their minds to! I want them to know that no dream is too big if they work hard to achieve it, and I hope my hard work is paying off!
4: What is the hardest thing you have had to overcome as a female entrepreneur?
The hardest thing for me is balancing motherhood with work. But I am very lucky to have an amazingly supportive husband and business partner who makes that possible. I truly believe that without that support, I wouldn’t have been able to do both!
5: What is one thing about working in the natural care product industry that people would be surprised to learn?
The thing that always surprises people is that my products ACTUALLY WORK!! A lot of people are skeptical when it comes to all-natural or simple ingredients. They think 1. It must not be 100% natural, or 2. If it isn’t a medical or chemical product then the results won’t be as good.
But throughout history, before medical intervention, “natural remedies” are how people heal themselves and take care of their skin and bodies, so it makes a lot of sense if you think about it!
And Now Onto The Social Media Questions!
6: Do you have a favourite social media platform? Why?
To be very honest I am not a big fan of social media, but I understand its importance in the business-space. If I had to choose one, it would be Instagram because it’s a visual medium (and I love to be creative with my product shoots and photography) and it’s a place where I can also share information. Having a skin-care company is hard because the magic starts when you try it. With an online store, I don’t have that luxury which is why I love meeting people and participating in markets and pop up stores. I really value that human connection and having you try, smell, and feel our products work!
My favourite Instagram accounts are those that offer real and helpful information to mothers, and women or families in general. Especially during this pandemic – it is pretty clear that we need all the support we can get without feeling bad about how we lead our own lives, or feeling bad about not being able to accomplish all the things that “influencers” show on social media. I’m all about an engaging, supportive environment!
7: What made you decide to start using social media as a way to promote your company?
The short answer to this is basically LIFE. We are living in a digital world and if you are not on social media you don’t really exist, especially if you are a new brand starting off. As much as I enjoy posting fun pictures and good-to-know information, the pressure of having to keep it up to be “out there” is not something I really enjoy.
8: How has social media impacted your business? Would you say that it’s an effective marketing tool?
Definitely, yes! It’s the only way we are connecting to people during this Pandemic and I believe that a connection with the customer is key for any business to thrive.
9: What advice would you give to other businesses and entrepreneurs who want to use social media as a way to connect with customers?
Be prepared to do the work; don’t give up too fast; and know that eventually it will all pay off when it’s the right time! Also remember to ask for help – whether it’s a mentor, a consultant, family & friends, there is always help and resources available to you!
A Little More About Amna
I am originally from Egypt. I have a huge sweet tooth. I enjoy Disney movies and a hot chocolate night any day! I love aerial sports and cannot wait to be back at the studio flying on the hoops. I used to sing opera when I was in school and college. I hope someday I can change the world and make it a better place for children everywhere! XO
Know Any Voss Babes?
Do you know a female entrepreneur who loves social media as much as we do? Contact us today – we’d love to tell her story!