ABA GYEPI-GARBRAH, FOUNDER ABA LOVE APOTHECARY, 5QS: A Q&A BETWEEN TWO WOMEN WHO'VE STARTED THEIR OWN BUSINESS
Looking back on your first job, what skill did you use that you still use today?
I had my first job at 15 at Limited Too as a Sales Associate putting together cute glittery outfits for anyone that needed my help. I was happy to see them step out of a fitting room beaming when they felt so chic. I would say now I am still in the business of providing service that keeps customers glowing. Quite literally =)
2. Was there a defining moment that made you start your business?
I was creating a lot of blends for friends, family and co-workers to help them de-stress. Sometimes I would just gift them with something that made them feel special. When they would come back to and tell me how they felt cared for and uplifted, I began to think I really had something and it could be my way of being in service to them.
3. What was the first step you took to launch your brand?
The first soft step I took was enrolling in aromatherapy studies in 2015 on nights and weekends while working full-time in fashion. Following completion of my studies I launched Aba Love Apothecary online in the summer of 2016.
4. What is the greatest lesson learned in your first year in business?
The greatest lesson I learned in my first year was seeing how consumers interacted with product. As a creator first, I was essentially doing this on my own desert island. So once people began to experience the product they had questions. However I found simply just meeting them where they were at in their natural beauty journey helped immensely. In other ways, questions could be answered by tweaking our packaging or using fun ways to demo product. The main takeaway was to zero in on their needs first and offer solutions before leading straight product.
5. What is your best piece of advice for your fellow Female Founder?
The best piece of advice I would offer my fellow Female Founders would be this: They lied when they said: “The hardest part is getting started”. The truth is that the hardest part is choosing to continue, every day. It’s easy to proclaim your entrepreneurship when orders are flowing, your day is great, slept 8 hours and you’re coasting. But when you have days that are not so great, kind of blah…and maybe you question your path – but even so you still have to choose your entrepreneurship. It matters that you keep going and acknowledge your growth. Have a few solid supporters that serve as your hype crew, and will give you constructive feedback when you need it. And lastly – prioritize your mental health!