Company Name: Amal Oils LLC – www.amaloils.com
Mission: Sharing natural beauty customs, secrets and products of Morocco while giving Amal (Arabic word for “hope”) to the women who make these products available.
Started: January 2010
Where: Miami Beach, FL
Contact Info: Jalila Bouchareb – Owner, email@example.com, 305-741-AMAL (2625)
Founder’s Past: Jalila Bouchareb graduated from Babson College in 2008. After graduating she was the manager at CatererStore.com, a manufacturer and distributor of mini-dishes for catering. During her time there she did everything from website design and client acquisition to fulfilling and shipping orders. After leaving CatererStore.com, Jalila was determined to start her first entrepreneurial venture and was on the search for business opportunities.
How The Idea Began: Jalila’s father was born and raised in Morocco and she travels there frequently, so much of her culture and upbringing was influenced by Moroccan traditions. She realized that every time she goes to Morocco she comes back with a suitcase of Moroccan goods that either can’t be found in the U.S. or are outrageously expensive. She took a trip in December 2009 to Morocco, determined to find a business that would first and foremost give back to the women of Morocco, who have recently started to become more and more empowered, but would also provide a sought after good/service to the U.S. She travelled to parts of Morocco where she had never been and learned about the origins of many products that she had used her whole life. She grew particularly interested in the rapidly growing export market for natural beauty and cosmetic products that are exclusive to Morocco.
Amal Oil’s first product of the line is 100% Organic Argan Oil. This oil has been all the rage in Europe and the U.S. recently because of its high vitamin E, amino acids and essential fatty acid content, but that is just the tip of the iceberg for Amal Oils. There are so many more products whose natural properties are just being discovered from Morocco that have been used in beauty rituals that she plans to introduce to the U.S. market. Throughout the growth of the company Jalila hopes to employ, empower and give hope to more and more Moroccan women.
Favorite Thing about the Business: There are a quite few amazing parts about this business …
1. My work gives Amal to the poor women in Morocco through education, healthcare and income
2. Since we are just starting I have the freedom to shape the company – from the smallest details to the big strategy
3. I get to travel to Morocco and dive deep into the beauty rituals of women to discover the beauty secrets.
Worst Thing About The Business: The worst thing about this business is that consumers are more concerned with packaging than ingredients and the cosmetic is notoriously well-known for not being well regulated. My recommendation is to stay away from ingredients that sound like they are made in a laboratory and definitely do your research on a product before you decide to put it on your skin, hair, or nails.
Lesson Learned: Never let yourself believe that importing is going to be an easy or predictable process.