A Return To Roots: Black Flamingo Magnificence Co-Founders Mona Gulaid And Mariam Abdillahi Have Created A UAE-Based mostly Pure Skincare Model That Pays Homage To Their Native Somaliland | Entrepreneur

A Return To Roots: Black Flamingo Magnificence Co-Founders Mona Gulaid And Mariam Abdillahi Have Created A UAE-Based mostly Pure Skincare Model That Pays Homage To Their Native Somaliland | Entrepreneur

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There’s one thing about imbibing magnificence and skincare regimes which have been handed down by way of generations earlier than us that helps many amongst us keep linked to the traditions of our homelands. For sisters Mona Gulaid and Mariam Abdillahi, natives of Somaliland, indigenous magnificence secrets and techniques have helped create a visceral bond with the nation they did not get to develop up in. Certainly, it was a connection so deep that it will definitely led to their joint entrepreneurial enterprise: Black Flamingo Magnificence, a UAE-based pure skincare model.

“As Somali girls, entrepreneurship is embedded in our DNA, and we have been surrounded by sturdy girls in our household, like our mom, who had just a few of her personal companies,” the sisters say. “However the concept of particularly establishing Black Flamingo Magnificence got here from Mariam’s personal expertise, when a nasty response to a medicine triggered extreme hyperpigmentation on her face. She was looking for a pure resolution, which drove her again to our Somali roots, and tried-and-tested pure skincare components. We noticed a rising demand and a niche available in the market for extremely efficient, clear pure merchandise, so we determined to take a leap and launched in Dubai, our second house.”

Conventional Somaliland magnificence regimes, nevertheless, can’t be mentioned with out first introducing qasil- a pure substance that has supplied medicinal and dermatological advantages for a whole bunch of years. “Qasil is the powder produced from crushing the leaves of the gob tree, which famously grows within the Horn of Africa,” Gulaid explains. “The title ‘qasil’ was derived from the Arabic phrase غسيل (ghasil), which suggests to clean or clear. The Gob tree -native to the southern Himalayas- migrated to the fertile lands of East Africa 2000 years in the past. For hundreds of years, qasil has been a staple magnificence and hygiene ingredient for Somali nomadic girls, because of its antibacterial properties and vitamins. At Black Flamingo, we’re bringing you a skincare vary primarily based on a centuries-old secret of East African magnificence. The leaves are sundried on the land, after which crushed right into a superb powder by the native girls of the city. This pure, clear genuine course of has been handed down from era to era.”

Claiming to be the primary up to date qasil-based skincare vary within the MENA area, Black Flamingo Magnificence launched its debut assortment in 2021. At the moment, it presents three merchandise: a pure qasil face masks, a qasil and turmeric face masks, and a qasil and pink clay face masks. “The gathering is 100% pure, natural, cruelty-free, and paraben-free,” Gulaid says. “All of it’s ethically sourced. Most significantly, the merchandise are extremely efficient in fixing a variety of skincare points, they usually work on all pores and skin sorts and colours for women and men. Given its antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties, girls historically used qasil to even deal with issues like psoriasis and eczema. Aesthetically, it’s used to depart the pores and skin gentle, easy and glowing. Briefly, it really works. It has labored for hundreds of years!”

Black Flamingo Magnificence’s Pure Qasil Face Masks. Picture courtesy Black Flamingo Magnificence.

Now, it’s maybe simple to understand that an historical tree’s leaves type the primary ingredient of a skincare routine- it’s an incidence not unusual to many different cultures world wide. However the significance of qasil in Somaliland runs deeper than simply magnificence functions. “Culturally, Somali girls additionally come collectively to cook dinner, clear, and socialize with qasil of their hair and on their face, usually mixing it with different pure components equivalent to turmeric,” Gulaid explains. “One of many issues we take pleasure in is the odor of earthy inexperienced qasil paste which reminds us of nature, our grandmothers, and our aunties. There’s a sure feeling of ‘house,’ and that is this sense of connectedness whereas nurturing your pores and skin that we’re sharing.”

Rising up, Gulaid and Abdillahi have been capable of create such a bond with their mom owing to a weekly self-care day they shared each Friday- a follow that they now hope to inculcate within the lives of Black Flamingo Magnificence’s customers too. “The Friday ritual my mom taught us is one thing her mom and grandmother did too,” Gulaid remembers. “It was handed down from era to era, and it was not distinctive to our family. A weekend self-care day, the place relations and buddies come collectively and use qasil face masks collectively, is an excellent alternative to decelerate, and bond with household and buddies. It is one thing that is all the time been valued in Somali tradition, and that is one thing we’d like to see unfold to different cultures. Already, lots of our prospects are actually sharing this ritual with their households, daughters with their moms, wives with their husbands, and even amongst buddies, who’re beginning a self-care day with their family members.”

However as a lot as Black Flamingo Magnificence is about bringing Somaliland to the world, it has additionally been about giving again to the nation itself. “Our homeland is a large a part of our id, and rising up, we knew we sooner or later wished to do one thing to assist the folks of Somaliland economically,” Abdillahi says. “Sourcing high quality qasil from there’s a technique to do that. It helps to supply jobs for native girls, particularly. However there’s additionally such a wealth of different pure sources in Somaliland, that certainly one of our longer-term targets is to buy our personal farms, arrange factories, create jobs for the native communities and convey these pure East African wonders to the world.” However the siblings’ philanthropic efforts do not finish there. “Final Ramadan, we partnered with the Hargeisa orphanage, one of many largest facilities for orphans in Somaliland that homes over 500 youngsters, to lift consciousness about its work,” Gulaid reveals. “As half of a bigger group enhancement and employment plan (targeted totally on girls), we need to present coaching and employment for younger adults which can be leaving the orphanage as they arrive of age.”

Now, whereas Gulaid and Abdillahi hope to construct up their enterprise’s presence of their homeland, they’ve headquartered Black Flamingo within the UAE- a call that the sisters hope will show to be fruitful for his or her long-term plans. Certainly, Black Flamingo Magnificence’s progress comes at a time when there was a sustained progress within the variety of African-owned companies within the nation. As per a June 2022 report by Dubai Chambers -a non-profit entity that empowers companies in Dubai- a complete of 26,420 African companies have entered the market by registering with the Chambers. However Gulaid and Abdillahi observe that for the UAE and the broader Center East to proceed welcoming African companies, some stereotypes first have to be shattered. “We see nice strides being made within the tech, style, music, and sweetness industries- the UAE is doing effectively in that regard, however there’s nonetheless much more to be achieved, particularly in the remainder of the MENA area,” Abdillahi says. “I feel the best problem is altering the notion of Africa and African folks from these in mainstream media, always exhibiting wars and ravenous youngsters. And fairly, getting folks to appreciate that every African nation has its personal wealthy, distinctive tradition to share. There’s a lot the Center East can study and acquire from respectives African nations.”

Black Flamingo Magnificence co-founders Mariam Abdillahi and Mona Gulaid. Picture courtesy Black Flamingo Magnificence.

As Gulaid and Abdillahi work in the direction of Black Flamingo Magnificence’s enlargement, they continue to be conscious that they too are tasked with the accountability of breaking some preconceived notions. “For us, Black Flamingo Magnificence was about bringing one thing from our start house to our present house,” Abdillahi says. “So, the problem we face lies in the truth that we’re entrepreneurs who’re bringing one thing new and unknown to the area. Everybody is aware of shea butter and argan oil, however qasil will not be recognized on this area; so, educating folks has been our best problem. We wish to make qasil the subsequent shea butter or argan oil, popping out of Africa!”

Bootstrapped as a startup up to now, the co-founders are assured that Black Flamingo magnificence can develop its presence past the MENA area. Specifically, they hope to maneuver into the United Kingdom- a rustic that’s presently house to the most important Somali diaspora in all of Europe. “We’re very happy with our progress,” Abdillahi says. “We have now a strong model id, a high quality product, nice packaging, and massive achievable plans. As we launch into the UK and develop our product vary, we might take a look at a spread of funding choices to assist broaden our progress and scale up. If and after we are on the lookout for funding, we predict traders can be impressed with the model we’re constructing, and the standard and massive potential of each our present and deliberate product ranges. We’re the primary UAE-based firm to introduce qasil skincare to the market, and globally, we’re very a lot forward of the curve with not solely qasil, however different tried-and-tested pure, natural skincare merchandise now we have deliberate, that maintain large attraction for the youthful era.”

Certainly, the co-founding duo have already got extra concepts within the pipeline for the yr forward and past. “We have now so many plans!” Abdillahi exclaims. “After increasing to the UK in the summertime, we’ll be launching Black Flamingo Magnificence in Saudi Arabia and Qatar on the finish of the yr. As soon as we’re up and working in these markets, we’ll be trying on the USA, hopefully early subsequent yr. Late 2024, we’re additionally seeking to launch a brand new product line we’re busy engaged on. Keep tuned!”

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