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Supply Chain Transparency - with Nadia Hussain - Hair Loving
Episode 1181st July 2022 • Bring Your Product Idea to Life • Vicki Weinberg
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Nadia Hussain is the founder of Hair Loving who create hair products for all stages of life.  Hair Loving specialise in promoting hair growth and health from childhood to postpartum and menopause.

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Today on the podcast I am talking to Nadia Hussain from Hair Loving. Hair Loving produced hair product for, all stages of life, and specialize in promoting hair growth and health and childhood to postpartum and menopause.

This is the second hair care company I’ve had on the podcast recently, a few weeks ago my guest was Laurence Quinnell of Leonora Haircare. Nadia and Laurence may be selling similar products, but their stories and business set up are completely different.

Nadia’s background is that she is a highly successful hair and make up artist, who also runs a hair & make up training academy. Nadia developed her products after years of speaking to her customers about their hair care woes.

I found it fascinating learning about the differences and similarities between their businesses, as it illustrates perfectly that there is no one ‘correct way of doing things.

It has to be what works for you. 

Listen in to hear Nadia share:

  • An introduction to herself and her business (01:32)
  • What inspired her to create her products (02:11)
  • How she started the process of producing her products (03:33)
  • Research and learning how to properly formulate products (05:00)
  • Transitioning from developing the products herself to outsourcing production (06:14)
  • Why she decided to outsource product production (08:20)
  • Supply chain transparency, what it is and why it is important (11:09)
  • When she realised that her self formulated products could become a business (15:39)
  • How Lockdown helped boost the launch of her business and website (17:19)
  • How she started wholesaling (21:24)
  • Attending trade and customer exhibitions (23:15)
  • Getting stocked in John Lewis & Fenwicks ((23:46)
  • Expanding her range with gift boxes (26:35)
  • Selling on Amazon (27:59)
  • The importance of getting the fundamentals right on Amazon (32:52)
  • Her number one piece of advice for other product creators (35:03)

USEFUL RESOURCES:

Hair Loving Website

Hair Loving Instagram

Hair Loving Facebook

Hair Loving Linked In

Hair Loving Twitter

Hair Loving Youtube

Podcast Episode 114 How to formulate a haircare range (and do it sustainably) with Laurence Quinnell, Leonora Haircare

LET’S CONNECT

Join my free Facebook group for product makers and creators

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Mentioned in this episode:

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Transcripts

Vicki Weinberg:

Welcome to The Bring Your Product Ideas To Life podcast, practical

Vicki Weinberg:

advice, and inspiration to help you create and sell your own physical products.

Vicki Weinberg:

Here's your host Vicki Weinberg.

Vicki Weinberg:

Hi today I am talking to Nadia Hussain from a Hair Loving.

Vicki Weinberg:

Hair Loving produces hair product for, all stages of life.

Vicki Weinberg:

They specialize in promoting hair growth and health and childhood

Vicki Weinberg:

to postpartum and menopause.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so I've been working with Nadia for a while now as you'll

Vicki Weinberg:

hear in this podcast episode.

Vicki Weinberg:

She is the second haircare company I've had on the podcast recently.

Vicki Weinberg:

And as I said, then I was really keen to share both episodes.

Vicki Weinberg:

If you haven't already go back and listen to the episode with Laurie

Vicki Weinberg:

Quinnell from Leonora Haircare.

Vicki Weinberg:

I was really keen to talk to two ladies running businesses, selling similar

Vicki Weinberg:

products, but we've come as you'd expect some completely different businesses and,

Vicki Weinberg:

um, yeah, completely different stories.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I just think that was a great way to illustrate that while

Vicki Weinberg:

of course there were similarities.

Vicki Weinberg:

There's also so many differences as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

And um, and that's a good thing because not everything

Vicki Weinberg:

as we know works for everyone.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I am really excited to introduce you all to Nadia.

Vicki Weinberg:

So hi Nadia.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for being here to talk to me today.

Nadia Hussain:

Thank you for having me.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, you're welcome.

Vicki Weinberg:

So can we start with you, please give an introduction to yourself,

Vicki Weinberg:

your business and your products.

Nadia Hussain:

Yep.

Nadia Hussain:

So I'm Nadia and I have been a hair and makeup artist for

Nadia Hussain:

the last 12, 13 years now.

Nadia Hussain:

I've also got a hair and makeup training academy where students

Nadia Hussain:

come and join and learn how to do hair and makeup on others and have a

Nadia Hussain:

career in hair and makeup artistry.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, in as much as that I've been to clients and over the decade or so that

Nadia Hussain:

I've been working with clients and students I've had the same age, old

Nadia Hussain:

question about people's hair woes.

Nadia Hussain:

And that's where my journey of my business started.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, which is, hair growth products.

Vicki Weinberg:

Amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, can you talk to us a little bit about your products and what

Vicki Weinberg:

inspired you to create them please?

Nadia Hussain:

Yes.

Nadia Hussain:

So my products um, are hair oils predominantly they've started.

Nadia Hussain:

I started off with the best seller, which was the hair hydration and

Nadia Hussain:

growth oil, which promotes hair growth.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, later I launched the product for postpartum hair loss for new mums

Nadia Hussain:

post-pregnancy and the third one was the hair oil to promote growth and reduce

Nadia Hussain:

brittleness and thin ends on, um, uh, menopausal and perimenopausal women.

Nadia Hussain:

So the inspiration behind this was, my clients from my hair and makeup, my

Nadia Hussain:

students, and obviously my friends and family and, and, and the school mums

Nadia Hussain:

that I used to speak to about hair loss.

Nadia Hussain:

Having done sort of 10 years or so of hair and makeup and hair styling,

Nadia Hussain:

face-to-face speaking to customers and clients, um, about their hair woes.

Nadia Hussain:

That really inspired me to try and help them in um producing and developing a

Nadia Hussain:

product that would promote hair growth and help them feel good about themselves.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's amazing and such a big undertaking as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I imagine that formulating products is not simple.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so we talk a little bit about that Nadia.

Vicki Weinberg:

So you, you decided that there was a need and you wanted to

Vicki Weinberg:

create something to address that.

Vicki Weinberg:

So where did you go from there?

Nadia Hussain:

So from there, I formulated a product without knowing

Nadia Hussain:

where I was heading, where I was going and how to formulate and develop.

Nadia Hussain:

I literally sold a hundred units to just customers, clients, friends,

Nadia Hussain:

and family, literally from the back of my car, when I was on my rounds,

Nadia Hussain:

uh, as a, as a mobile hairstylis.

Nadia Hussain:

Then I thought, well, we're onto something very natural here

Nadia Hussain:

in terms of the ingredients.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, so I sought about to look out, uh, anything that would need to

Nadia Hussain:

be developed sort of legally or any paperwork that needed doing.

Nadia Hussain:

And I went on to do a formulation course in haircare and skincare.

Nadia Hussain:

And from there I realized that a lot of my original formulation

Nadia Hussain:

and the develop, uh, the developed product itself was pretty much okay.

Nadia Hussain:

With a few tweaks here and there with the essential oils.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, I then registered the product and registered the trademark as well.

Nadia Hussain:

And here we are today, with more products.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

First product, did you literally formulate it yourself?

Nadia Hussain:

Yeah, the first one I did that without, without much knowledge.

Nadia Hussain:

And then moving forward, of course I had to have that developed and formulated and

Nadia Hussain:

passed by the by credible authorities.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, And then, then the other two were also developed.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, wow.

Vicki Weinberg:

But I think that's amazing because, I mean, I think you're

Vicki Weinberg:

really underplaying that you just formulated a product yourself.

Vicki Weinberg:

How did you even know where to start and where do you source

Vicki Weinberg:

ingredients and things like that?

Nadia Hussain:

In order to start I did my own research and it took a

Nadia Hussain:

number of months to do the research in itself as with anything that

Nadia Hussain:

you do, which is going to be going out, um, and being used topically.

Nadia Hussain:

Even topically, uh, on, on, on people you have a massive risk and a massive

Nadia Hussain:

undertaking to be answerable to people in case something was to happen.

Nadia Hussain:

If there were any adverse reactions and all of this, I learned through my own

Nadia Hussain:

research and through doing my diplomas.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, so, so as to protect myself and my customers.

Vicki Weinberg:

Wow.

Vicki Weinberg:

I still think that's amazing that you just went ahead and did that

Vicki Weinberg:

because yeah, I do think that is huge.

Vicki Weinberg:

And it's amazing that you went through these diplomas because I guess that's

Vicki Weinberg:

a step you could have avoided, you know, you didn't have to do that, but

Vicki Weinberg:

I think it's great that you've got so much knowledge about your products and

Vicki Weinberg:

what's in them and what the benefits are.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, you're yeah, you're definitely really close to it all, which is great.

Nadia Hussain:

Yeah.

Nadia Hussain:

I mean, moving forward in order to produce and develop more products I have

Nadia Hussain:

the understanding already there, but I also know how to speak to developers

Nadia Hussain:

and organizations that would be able to undertake such a huge task for,

Nadia Hussain:

from now on for, uh, for Hair Loving.

Nadia Hussain:

So I think it's definitely helped a great deal to have gone through you know, the

Nadia Hussain:

hard slog of going through the exams and I'm literally, you know, lab having a

Nadia Hussain:

home lab and understanding and learning different percentages and maths, and

Nadia Hussain:

I'm weighing scales all over the place.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I think that's really good and as you say, when you're

Vicki Weinberg:

developing new products and your you, or your new products, are you getting

Vicki Weinberg:

people to develop those for you now?

Nadia Hussain:

Absolutely.

Nadia Hussain:

A hundred percent.

Nadia Hussain:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so that like you say having that background means

Vicki Weinberg:

that you can have really informed conversations with them, I guess.

Nadia Hussain:

Absolutely.

Nadia Hussain:

Because if you go, at the beginning I did go to a couple of events.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, and it was actually really funny where I didn't have the knowledge.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, so, you know, you get caught out when you don't understand what's

Nadia Hussain:

going on, but yeah, having done my research, now I know what I'm

Nadia Hussain:

looking for in terms of developing the brand further into new products.

Nadia Hussain:

So fingers crossed watch this space.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's exciting.

Vicki Weinberg:

And did you, um, so the first batch of products you made yourself

Vicki Weinberg:

the first 100, is that right?

Vicki Weinberg:

That's right.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Are you still making them yourself now, yourself now or are they being outsourced?

Nadia Hussain:

It's being outsourced now to labs and, um, formulated

Nadia Hussain:

outside of my kitchen lab.

Nadia Hussain:

So it's, it's exciting, but obviously I miss doing all of that formulating at

Nadia Hussain:

home, which is perfectly legal actually.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, but yeah, I do miss that, but I do visit the lab and I do go

Nadia Hussain:

and check on everybody and have a quick smell of what's going on in

Nadia Hussain:

the formulas as well sometimes.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, it's good you found somewhere where you're able to do that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Where you're able to actually still go and see what's going on.

Nadia Hussain:

Yeah, absolutely.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I can definitely see why you'd miss it, but I guess

Vicki Weinberg:

in terms of your time, um, there's probably, yeah, there probably are

Vicki Weinberg:

better ways you could be spending it than actualy doing the creation yourself.

Nadia Hussain:

Yeah.

Nadia Hussain:

I mean, there's a lot that goes into a business, even if there are

Nadia Hussain:

only four or five products to offer on within that small business.

Nadia Hussain:

There's tons of things, which obviously this is how me and you met in terms of

Nadia Hussain:

the whole Amazon, um, side of things.

Nadia Hussain:

That's a very, very tiny percentage.

Nadia Hussain:

And I think that sometimes we can work so super hard and when people

Nadia Hussain:

can then see that you're on Amazon, or you you're doing certain things on

Nadia Hussain:

Facebook, like ads, et cetera, it's almost like when somebody turns around

Nadia Hussain:

and says, that's amazing, you're an Amazon, or that's amazing that you're

Nadia Hussain:

getting, I don't know, wholesale orders.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, that's when the penny drops and you realize actually your efforts

Nadia Hussain:

daily are being recognized and people are taken aback, and that's

Nadia Hussain:

when you feel the most appreciated.

Nadia Hussain:

And the most lifted of course, as much as you know, making sales is absolutely

Nadia Hussain:

number one, however, the appreciation side is, is absolutely amazing aswell.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And, and you're right as well that you can't do all of those things yourself,

Vicki Weinberg:

but everything that's involved in running a business, I think it's really

Vicki Weinberg:

smart, outsource what you can when you can, you know, assuming that, um, you

Vicki Weinberg:

can afford to outsource certain things and not everyone can right at the

Vicki Weinberg:

beginning, but various stages I think it is good to start looking at, okay,

Vicki Weinberg:

what do I not need to be doing mysel.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because there is so much isn't there and you definitely can't

Vicki Weinberg:

be an expert in everything.

Nadia Hussain:

No, you can't, no way, you know, you've got to have

Nadia Hussain:

a good work-life balance as well.

Nadia Hussain:

You've got to remember, you know, you've got to raise children or whatever

Nadia Hussain:

you, your, your background life is.

Nadia Hussain:

You've got to keep remembering that, you know, we are here for a purpose, which is

Nadia Hussain:

to enjoy, enjoy those quiet times as well.

Nadia Hussain:

Not, you know, when you start a new business in the first couple of

Nadia Hussain:

years, it can become an obsession, an absolute obsession and day

Nadia Hussain:

in, day out, even last night.

Nadia Hussain:

Uh, I was awake from 4:30 in the morning and my mind was

Nadia Hussain:

ticking away with what I can do.

Nadia Hussain:

What's been successful?

Nadia Hussain:

Sometimes it's not healthy.

Nadia Hussain:

However, on the flip side, you've got to recognize if there's an issue and you

Nadia Hussain:

need to have that work life balance, then you know, you, you have to address that.

Nadia Hussain:

And I'm trying to do that right now.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's good.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I'm pleased that you are doing that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Before we move on and talk about a bit more about your business.

Vicki Weinberg:

I know that something that's really important to you is, um,

Vicki Weinberg:

supply, supply chain transparency.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so while we're on the subject of formulating, you know, talking a bit

Vicki Weinberg:

about formulating new products, can we talk a bit about like, what that means

Vicki Weinberg:

to you and why it's important and how you've ensured that it's in place?

Nadia Hussain:

So supply chain transparency is really important

Nadia Hussain:

for me because I have come across through my research.

Nadia Hussain:

Uh, sources where the oils are produced or the seeds for those oils for example

Nadia Hussain:

are produced and they are not actually from where they claim to be for example.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, on the other hand, there's also projects that are in place.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, so my suppliers source from source the oils from where seeds

Nadia Hussain:

are grown or the oil is brought out where farmers are paid a fair wage.

Nadia Hussain:

So they have a fair trade in place where such as in Rwanda, where there's a lot

Nadia Hussain:

of, uh, especially women working in farm land, where they are, we dose, for

Nadia Hussain:

example, and they are given a fair wage.

Nadia Hussain:

And I think that is a great project and a great set of people to be funding

Nadia Hussain:

or to be sourcing products and produce from, in order to help the greater

Nadia Hussain:

world and the greater community.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, they've been struck by war decades and decades of war, um, you know, war

Nadia Hussain:

as well as famine because of drought.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, and it's really important to help those people and even on a political front

Nadia Hussain:

there's, I'm not going to become very political here on this podcast, but there

Nadia Hussain:

are places where the, there are oils.

Nadia Hussain:

For example, the post-pregnancy oil.

Nadia Hussain:

There is an ingredient within there where they do claim to, um, have taken the oil

Nadia Hussain:

from a particular place, which I don't agree with it being on the map at all.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, and many, many millions of people also don't agree as, as same as me basically.

Nadia Hussain:

So I, I, I changed my, my source and supplier based on my personal views and

Nadia Hussain:

how I feel about how people are treated.

Nadia Hussain:

Uh, And literally taken off those thrown off those farms, their homes are destroyed

Nadia Hussain:

and a different stamp is put on the map.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, and I just don't agree unfortunately, with, with, um, some of those practices.

Nadia Hussain:

So based on those views, I souce very carefully and the supply chain, uh,

Nadia Hussain:

clarity and cleanness is very important to me on the, on all of those sort of fronts.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you for that explanation.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think that's, I think that's amazing and I think it's great that you are again, so

Vicki Weinberg:

across your products and, um, just have so much knowledge about exactly what goes

Vicki Weinberg:

into them, where and where they're from.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, and I think that's really good as well for consumers because it's such,

Vicki Weinberg:

it's, it makes it such an ethical purchase because you've done all of

Vicki Weinberg:

the hard work to make sure that it is.

Nadia Hussain:

Yeah, absolutely.

Nadia Hussain:

I think that's definitely, um, a point which I do underplay and

Nadia Hussain:

which, uh, I mean, it's, it's kind of mentioned on our website.

Nadia Hussain:

However, we probably need to promote that more.

Nadia Hussain:

So people take heed in what other products and suppliers or

Nadia Hussain:

brands that they purchase from.

Nadia Hussain:

I think it's very important for people to understand what they're buying, where

Nadia Hussain:

they're buying from, how ethical it is.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, we consume so much from different countries and different places and the

Nadia Hussain:

more we do to sort of help the wider world, uh, and then the little person out

Nadia Hussain:

there who's, who's, you know, even from whatever you buy from a supermarket to

Nadia Hussain:

eat, um, I think it's very important to know where your suppliers are coming from.

Vicki Weinberg:

Definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

And that's the reason I wanted to ask you about it as it really stood

Vicki Weinberg:

out to me, that as you say on your website, it's quite a small thing.

Vicki Weinberg:

You could definitely be shouting about this more and

Vicki Weinberg:

that's why I wanted to ask you.

Vicki Weinberg:

So, so why don't we go back a little bit, if that's okay.

Vicki Weinberg:

So once you realize that you had a need, you know, you were seeing the

Vicki Weinberg:

need for people who are having these issues with their hair, and you decided

Vicki Weinberg:

to develop the oil and you mentioned that you sold the first 100 bottles.

Vicki Weinberg:

At what point did you realize, actually this is a business, this isn't just

Vicki Weinberg:

something I'm doing on the side while I'm sort of going around doing people's hair.

Vicki Weinberg:

This actually could be a business in its own right.

Vicki Weinberg:

What point did you realize that?

Vicki Weinberg:

And then what came next?

Nadia Hussain:

So I think it was just literally a case of every other

Nadia Hussain:

person that I spoke to about the hair oil, the original hair oil,

Nadia Hussain:

um, which is our bestselle, still, the hair growth and hydration oil.

Nadia Hussain:

If every other person was buying it, that was when the penny literally dropped.

Nadia Hussain:

I just produced this for friends, family, and customers.

Nadia Hussain:

I then went on after selling those units to doing, I think I did a

Nadia Hussain:

very small, um, stall at my son's Christmas, not Christmas, summer fair.

Nadia Hussain:

And even there , there was so many people asking me questions about

Nadia Hussain:

what's in it will it, I, you know, people seem to very desperate.

Nadia Hussain:

Literally.

Nadia Hussain:

It sounds like a very strange word, but women especially seemed very desperate to

Nadia Hussain:

buy the product and to make a change in their hair, um, to promote hair growth.

Nadia Hussain:

Reduce their children's dandruf, for example.

Nadia Hussain:

So they were asking all sorts of questions.

Nadia Hussain:

And this is something that, um, I guess I realize the penny kind of

Nadia Hussain:

dropped when I was talking to people face to face, obviously, because there

Nadia Hussain:

wasn't even a website at that point.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, so yeah, when, when people were asking all sorts of questions

Nadia Hussain:

and then I was questioning myself, in terms of what's in it.

Nadia Hussain:

What does it do even further?

Nadia Hussain:

That's when I thought there's definitely a massive demand in

Nadia Hussain:

the market for this product.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so that was at the point that Hair Loving became a business?

Nadia Hussain:

Absolutely.

Nadia Hussain:

Yes.

Nadia Hussain:

So then, um, I launched the website, uh, with a lot of help.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, and I, there was a further story actually.

Nadia Hussain:

So I, this was literally all ready and set up before the first lock down.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, and I was told not to actually launch the website and promote the product.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, the, I think the Instagram was all up and running almost as well.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, but I did go ahead.

Nadia Hussain:

After having spoken to somebody who had no idea about the product.

Nadia Hussain:

But she said, I'm just literally gonna, we're going into lock down and I'm

Nadia Hussain:

going to focus on myself and I'm going to just look after my skin, look after

Nadia Hussain:

my hair and forget everything else.

Nadia Hussain:

And this is going to be time for me.

Nadia Hussain:

And I just thought, that's it.

Nadia Hussain:

I'm going to launch this because this is what people are asking for right now.

Nadia Hussain:

And it could be a make break and literally the, uh, the first lock

Nadia Hussain:

down, uh, was absolutely amazing for via Instagram, for the sales.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, that is amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I was, when you said you got the advice not to launch, I was actually

Vicki Weinberg:

really surprised at that because, I mean, I guess, you know, this is two years

Vicki Weinberg:

later, we've got the benefit of hindsight, but online sales just went up massively

Vicki Weinberg:

across so many different sectors.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, yeah.

Nadia Hussain:

I don't think anybody was prepared because the person that gave me

Nadia Hussain:

that advice was almost a specialist, actually a small business specialist,

Nadia Hussain:

um, and a non official mentor of mine.

Nadia Hussain:

So, um, yeah, I think it took everybody by surprise this whole lockdown.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I guess at that point, I'm thinking two years back, we didn't

Vicki Weinberg:

really know what was going to happen, how long it was going to last.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but yeah, we've definitely seen the online sales to be just massive.

Vicki Weinberg:

And especially, I think in a sector like health and beauty and haircare,

Vicki Weinberg:

because one of the things we could do was take care of ourselves.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's something that.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, the very few things we could do, but I think when people are at

Vicki Weinberg:

home, that's one of the things that perhaps people were focused on.

Nadia Hussain:

Yeah, absolutely.

Nadia Hussain:

You know, nobody was really going to go out.

Nadia Hussain:

Then they were getting ready for, you know, in fact people were doing

Nadia Hussain:

further courses and bettering their, their themselves and increasing their

Nadia Hussain:

chances of when lock down was going to sort of, you know, we were going

Nadia Hussain:

to break free from the lockdown.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, and, and in as much as that not going out, of course they

Nadia Hussain:

would look after themselves.

Nadia Hussain:

Doing treatments where you could leave them into the hair.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, and then wash 12 hours later, like, like my products.

Nadia Hussain:

So yea.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's such a great time for products like that.

Vicki Weinberg:

I, um, because I've actually got, you can see I've naturally curly hair and

Vicki Weinberg:

it was actually during the lockdown, I decided I was going to completely

Vicki Weinberg:

change my haircare routine and not use any products with chemicals, which does

Vicki Weinberg:

mean for the first couple of weeks your hair does look pretty bad if I'm honest,

Vicki Weinberg:

but I was like, well, we're home anyway.

Vicki Weinberg:

So yeah, it was a great time for doing, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

I can imagine that people have hair masks and face masks on because no

Vicki Weinberg:

one could see what you were doing.

Nadia Hussain:

And there was the whole TikTok and Instagram wheels

Nadia Hussain:

trend where people were, were creating their own concoctions.

Nadia Hussain:

So a lot of people were actually feeding back to me that they would mix the oil

Nadia Hussain:

with yoghurt when it was really hot, because I think one of the, in fact, even

Nadia Hussain:

the first lock down, it was super hot.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, so they'd mix the yoghurt with the oil and put it on their hair that would

Nadia Hussain:

reduce or eliminate their sun stroke and headache, um, mashing, all sorts

Nadia Hussain:

of products like bananas from there.

Nadia Hussain:

Uh, and avocados that were going off from their fridge into the hair oil or

Nadia Hussain:

vice versa, the oil into it and using it as masks and doing TikTok videos

Vicki Weinberg:

that's amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

So when lockdown started to lift and we could get out a bit more, did that change

Vicki Weinberg:

where you were selling your products?

Vicki Weinberg:

I mean, I know that you continue to do well on your website and Instagram.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, but at that point, did you start looking into wholesaling?

Nadia Hussain:

Absolutely.

Nadia Hussain:

Absolutely.

Nadia Hussain:

I actually, I actually, um, did a mentoring course, a huge mentoring course.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, and I, and that was literally specifically on retail business.

Nadia Hussain:

So I started off on, um, online wholesale, um, reaching out online

Nadia Hussain:

to wholesalers internationally.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, so sales do come through, um, for interesting sort of boutiques actually

Nadia Hussain:

massage places internationally, as well as salons, internationally.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, gift boutiques as well.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, we've been in Fenwick over Christmas for a week.

Nadia Hussain:

We're going into John Lewis twice from June.

Nadia Hussain:

So John Lewis, uh, Westfield London, White City, and then John

Nadia Hussain:

Lewis, Oxford Circus, Oxford Street in, uh, again in June as well.

Nadia Hussain:

So.

Nadia Hussain:

Yeah, absolutely.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, but I think it's been important for Hair Loving to be able to spread our wings

Nadia Hussain:

or put our fingers in different pies.

Nadia Hussain:

So online as well as offline, as well as wholesale, so exhibitions, which are very,

Nadia Hussain:

very private, small events where you'll have a hundred to 500 people attending,

Nadia Hussain:

which has been amazing because then you can, um, speak face-to-face with people

Nadia Hussain:

and customers and potential customers and understand their hair problems as well as,

Nadia Hussain:

um, wholesaling wholesale and at stores such as Fenwick and department stores.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, and hopefully John Lewis coming up in June.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's all amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

I have a few follow-up questions if that's okay.

Vicki Weinberg:

So the exhibition exhibitions you mentioned, are they for

Vicki Weinberg:

customers or the trade or, or both?

Nadia Hussain:

So they're B to C.

Nadia Hussain:

So they are for customers.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, we are actually going into Salon International in October.

Nadia Hussain:

Hopefully there won't be any issues with this COVID scenario.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, and that's all ready to go.

Nadia Hussain:

As well, so focusing more on wholesale at the end of the year, because there's

Nadia Hussain:

a lot of work to do at the moment.

Vicki Weinberg:

And how did you get the slots in John Lewis?

Vicki Weinberg:

I think that's amazing.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, so again, that was through some contacts that I

Nadia Hussain:

had via my, um, retail coaching, but I've been, uh, I've, I've sought

Nadia Hussain:

and, um, yeah, Fenwick was okay.

Nadia Hussain:

It wasn't great.

Nadia Hussain:

I'm not going to lie.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, but you have to be very specific in what you reach out for.

Nadia Hussain:

You've got to know your target market.

Nadia Hussain:

Will they be shopping in those places?

Nadia Hussain:

Is that the right shelf space?

Nadia Hussain:

Is that the right location for a popup for you or not?

Nadia Hussain:

Because that can be the make or break of you selling literally at any

Nadia Hussain:

event, any exhibition, any outlet.

Nadia Hussain:

That would be my advice and I, and you know, we've all had our fingers burnt.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, but yeah, you've got to eliminate as much damage as can be done moving

Nadia Hussain:

forward from your experiences.

Nadia Hussain:

And hopefully that's where we're at at the moment.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's really interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so when you get a space in Fenwick or John Lewis, how much say,

Vicki Weinberg:

do you get on where you are on the shelf, from what materials, display

Vicki Weinberg:

materials out and that kind of thing.

Vicki Weinberg:

Do you get any input into that?

Nadia Hussain:

Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't.

Nadia Hussain:

Sometimes if you have a popup, you can control what it looks like.

Nadia Hussain:

Whereas with John Lewis, they have their own merchandisers that

Nadia Hussain:

comes to come in and they'll do it without you even being there.

Nadia Hussain:

So when you go in, um, I've been believed, obviously I've not done

Nadia Hussain:

it yet, but I believe when you go in, it's all done for you, but you

Nadia Hussain:

have to have everything checked and passed through their management.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, first but shelf space wise, again, you have to negotiate everything.

Vicki Weinberg:

Oh, that's really interesting.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so that's, so this is a pop-up in John Lewis, so you'll be amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

And actually this episode is going to go out in June and I

Vicki Weinberg:

know we are recording a bit ahead.

Vicki Weinberg:

So by the time this episode goes out, people should be able to go into it.

Vicki Weinberg:

It was John Lewis, Westfield and John Lewis Oxford Circuis.

Nadia Hussain:

That's right.

Nadia Hussain:

So I believe it's the first week of June, um, which is Westfield London, White

Nadia Hussain:

City, and the 23rd, seven days from the 23rd of June in Oxford Street John Lewis.

Nadia Hussain:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

If you're listening in realtime, then

Vicki Weinberg:

definitely go and take a look.

Nadia Hussain:

That'd be amazing.

Nadia Hussain:

I'd love to meet everybody.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, and see if there's anything else that I can help with, if there's any

Nadia Hussain:

other products that they would like to see, um, um, in the Hair Loving line,

Nadia Hussain:

that's something that I'd be really eager to speak to people about face-to-face

Nadia Hussain:

or even, you know, drop me an email.

Vicki Weinberg:

Amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I know that you've launched your, as well as your individual products

Vicki Weinberg:

you have your gift boxes as well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, did they come based on sort of input from feedback from customers?

Nadia Hussain:

Yep.

Nadia Hussain:

So, um, I think the best seller is still literally the individual

Nadia Hussain:

oils and is actually the a hundred bill and the gift sets are really

Nadia Hussain:

nice to have on display at events.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, Mother's day, they, they do really well.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, because there's like at the moment there's microfibre towel

Nadia Hussain:

wrap with the hair oil, which is the large hair oil, the 100 ml.

Nadia Hussain:

And also there are some with, um, some silk scrunches in there as well.

Nadia Hussain:

So they do quite well.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, and they look very, very nice as well displayed and on the website.

Nadia Hussain:

But again, there's more that is coming.

Nadia Hussain:

And again, your feedback would be amazing as to, to know what you would like.

Nadia Hussain:

You'd all like to see in our line.

Vicki Weinberg:

OH, that's amazing.

Vicki Weinberg:

And it's, it's really good that you're able to take on that feedback.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I have to say, I think the gift boxes do look like they'd make a lovely gift.

Nadia Hussain:

Aw, thank you.

Nadia Hussain:

Yeah they, they do make a brilliant gift.

Nadia Hussain:

There's there's always, um, there's always events on.

Nadia Hussain:

There is always, you know, for Christmas, we do really well with those gift boxes.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, they're like combos.

Vicki Weinberg:

And so let's talk to us, but if you don't mind with me

Vicki Weinberg:

talking about where you're selling.

Vicki Weinberg:

So should we talk a little bit about Amazon?

Vicki Weinberg:

Because I know you haven't been on there long because I helped you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, when this episode goes out, you'd been on there a bit longer,

Vicki Weinberg:

but I know in the time of recording, It's probably under a month.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's still very new.

Nadia Hussain:

It's coming up to four weeks this Thursday.

Nadia Hussain:

So in two days, three days.

Vicki Weinberg:

Okay.

Vicki Weinberg:

That wasn't a bad guess.

Vicki Weinberg:

So let's talk a little bit, if you don't mind about your experience at Amazon

Vicki Weinberg:

today, and anything that you've learned that you think would be useful for other

Vicki Weinberg:

listeners who are thinking of giving it a go, because I know it's very new, but

Vicki Weinberg:

that's actually great because you're, you know, you've just been through

Vicki Weinberg:

what is, in my opinion, the hardest bit, which is actually getting going.

Nadia Hussain:

So here's the thing.

Nadia Hussain:

I am ashamed to say that I've the products have been on Amazon uh, for

Nadia Hussain:

awhile, nothing's moved because they not, but they've had to be tweaked,

Nadia Hussain:

which is why I reached out to you, Vicky, to tweak everything and to make

Nadia Hussain:

sure everything's on there properly.

Nadia Hussain:

The wording is amazing now.

Nadia Hussain:

And the feedback I get from the captions and the descriptions that has to be

Nadia Hussain:

spot on for any businesses out there that are looking to be on Amazon.

Nadia Hussain:

Once you're ready with all of that.

Nadia Hussain:

And you are looking at your own descriptions and the captions

Nadia Hussain:

and the descriptions, um, from a customer's perspective and

Nadia Hussain:

have it run past other people.

Nadia Hussain:

Then I would suggest that you move on to, um, getting some help or doing some form

Nadia Hussain:

of ad, uh, ad and running an ad campaign.

Nadia Hussain:

At the moment um, we are heading towards prime, but not there yet.

Nadia Hussain:

And I do feel like we're onto a bit of a winner.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, there's so much though.

Nadia Hussain:

There is so much to learn and once you've understood a lot of it and read

Nadia Hussain:

up a little bit about Amazon, then getting out there and finding the right

Nadia Hussain:

person to help you is definitely key for somebody like me, because I tend to

Nadia Hussain:

have to wear so many hats that again, I can't manage Amazon as well as doing

Nadia Hussain:

the descriptions as well as running ad campaigns, um, and helping the dispatch

Nadia Hussain:

team and informing them what needs to go out because we're not on prime yet.

Nadia Hussain:

So what I would say is advice from me is do all your research and try.

Nadia Hussain:

and get some help in giving you at least advice on where you should go.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, I did leave it quite awhile before I actually ran any ads

Nadia Hussain:

and tweaked, uh, the images, et cetera, on my Amazon, um, listings.

Nadia Hussain:

But now that I'm sort of, you know, things are sort of going.

Nadia Hussain:

We are getting a lot of sales through just on that cusp of making profit right now.

Nadia Hussain:

But again, it's literally been four weeks, but I'm really,

Nadia Hussain:

really excited to be on it.

Nadia Hussain:

And I would definitely recommend it.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think it's a great opportunity and thank

Vicki Weinberg:

you for sharing your insights.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I mean, I totally agree.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I think it's not uncommon for people to get themselves set up

Vicki Weinberg:

on Amazon and then realize at some point along the line, oh actually

Vicki Weinberg:

maybe it needs a bit of tweaking.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

One.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

That is a bit much.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then also that, um, something I talk about quite a lot is that

Vicki Weinberg:

your Amazon product listings really need to be really really good.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I'm not saying for a minute that yours wasn't good, or for anyone

Vicki Weinberg:

listening that your listings aren't good.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's more about, well, it's obviously they need to be really well written,

Vicki Weinberg:

but it's also, as we've discussed a lot about the actual words included

Vicki Weinberg:

what people are actually searching for.

Vicki Weinberg:

And then as you found out as well, and either you do have to do a bit of

Vicki Weinberg:

work to get people to those listings, because unfortunately it's just so

Vicki Weinberg:

hard to get found on Amazon now.

Vicki Weinberg:

And either you need to pay as you're doing, or you need to do something

Vicki Weinberg:

creative whether that's an email list or whatever, but it's really

Vicki Weinberg:

hard to get found organically now.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I do think that's something that not everyone realizes initially, um, because

Vicki Weinberg:

not everyone tells you that, which is why I like to tell people that because yeah.

Nadia Hussain:

Absolutely.

Nadia Hussain:

It's good to be clear.

Nadia Hussain:

Good to know where you've come from.

Nadia Hussain:

Because like I said, Hair Loving was on Amazon for such a long

Nadia Hussain:

time, but just not visible.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, And now that, you know, it's been a couple of weeks since

Nadia Hussain:

everything's up and running.

Nadia Hussain:

I know exactly where we're heading.

Nadia Hussain:

I know exactly what we need to do with her, with the Amazon account, to be able

Nadia Hussain:

to hopefully fingers crossed, increase the sales, but it is one step at a

Nadia Hussain:

time for a small business like mine.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, can't really run before you can walk.

Vicki Weinberg:

No absolutely, you really can't.

Vicki Weinberg:

And, I think the most important thing which you have and which I recommend to

Vicki Weinberg:

anyone listening, who wants to get onto Amazon is get the fundamentals in place.

Vicki Weinberg:

Have a great listing, really good, well researched texts of all the

Vicki Weinberg:

keywords, really good images.

Vicki Weinberg:

And you're a lot of the way that if you've, if you've done that much

Vicki Weinberg:

and it is a bit of work, but I'm here to help if anyone actually

Vicki Weinberg:

requires any help with that.

Vicki Weinberg:

And, um, yeah, you definitely don't need to do it all alone.

Vicki Weinberg:

Because it can be quite daunting.

Nadia Hussain:

Definitely.

Nadia Hussain:

Definitely.

Nadia Hussain:

I think you have that.

Nadia Hussain:

What is that syndrome, you know, when you just doubt yourself, because

Nadia Hussain:

something's not going right for you for example, that was me on Amazon.

Nadia Hussain:

But, um, I would definitely recommend that if you can't do things yourself and

Nadia Hussain:

it does take a long time, I've even got friends that, um, have been on Amazon

Nadia Hussain:

and they literally it's taken them time.

Nadia Hussain:

They've been very down about not making the sales things, have

Nadia Hussain:

fluctuated have been up and down.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, They are now in a really, really good place with the, with their products and

Nadia Hussain:

they've expanded their product lines.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, and they're not necessarily people that produce their own products.

Nadia Hussain:

They're people that that would Reese, uh, I guess, resellers.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, they also do really, really well.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah, I think there were lots of good opportunities, but as you

Vicki Weinberg:

said, it doesn't always happen over night.

Vicki Weinberg:

For some it does.

Vicki Weinberg:

I've definitely seen examples of people have, you know, got off to

Vicki Weinberg:

a start, you know, really great start like from the beginning.

Vicki Weinberg:

But I would say for 90% of sellers, that isn't the case and it takes

Vicki Weinberg:

a little bit of figuring out what's going to work best for you.

Vicki Weinberg:

And it just, yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

And I'm, this isn't meant to be negative.

Vicki Weinberg:

It's just meant to be honest.

Vicki Weinberg:

And it does it isn't easy.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, so I think, yeah, sort of a bit of patience and persistence is definitely

Vicki Weinberg:

required and I do think it pays off and I think you're going to see it pays off.

Vicki Weinberg:

I'm certain by the time this episode actually airs Nadia, you're

Vicki Weinberg:

going to be doing really well.

Nadia Hussain:

Oh, thank you.

Nadia Hussain:

Thank you.

Nadia Hussain:

You know, when you believe in something and you you're persistent

Nadia Hussain:

with it, I think that's when you start seeing the, seeing the fruits.

Vicki Weinberg:

Definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

So I have one final question, if that's okay.

Vicki Weinberg:

And obviously you have shared so much advice and insight with us today,

Vicki Weinberg:

but what was your number one piece of advice be for other product creators?

Vicki Weinberg:

What's one thing you'd like peopl.

Nadia Hussain:

My advice is don't give up.

Nadia Hussain:

Be consistent, just don't give up.

Nadia Hussain:

It's all too easy to give up on your hopes and dreams when it comes to your products.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, if you're formulating themselves, if you are developing anything and if

Nadia Hussain:

you're putting a brand together, whatever it might be, you do have a lot of, uh,

Nadia Hussain:

doubts, a lot of financial issues as well.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, but if you keep going and you keep doing your research, reading up on

Nadia Hussain:

every aspect, um, networking as well.

Nadia Hussain:

Um, you will, you will start to see success.

Nadia Hussain:

You definitely will.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

I think that's great advice and yeah, I think keeping going

Vicki Weinberg:

is actually quite underrated.

Vicki Weinberg:

Just sort of sticking at something and just keep working at it.

Vicki Weinberg:

Um, I think it's all too easy.

Vicki Weinberg:

Isn't it?

Vicki Weinberg:

When we all get disheartened, but I definitely agree.

Vicki Weinberg:

There's so much to be said for just keeping on going and if something doesn't

Vicki Weinberg:

work, then you can stop that or tweak it.

Vicki Weinberg:

Try something else.

Vicki Weinberg:

Yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

That's brilliant.

Nadia Hussain:

It's all a learning game.

Vicki Weinberg:

Definitely.

Vicki Weinberg:

Well, thank you so much.

Vicki Weinberg:

Everything that you've shared today, I will include links to

Vicki Weinberg:

your website and your social media accounts in the show notes.

Vicki Weinberg:

People go and take a look and yeah.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much again.

Nadia Hussain:

Oh, brilliant.

Nadia Hussain:

Thank you for having me.

Nadia Hussain:

It was lovely.

Nadia Hussain:

It's always lovely to talk to you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you.

Vicki Weinberg:

Thank you so much for listening all the way to the end of this.

Vicki Weinberg:

If you've enjoyed it, please do leave me a review.

Vicki Weinberg:

That really helps other people to find this podcast.

Vicki Weinberg:

Make sure you subscribe so you don't miss any future episodes and do tell

Vicki Weinberg:

your friends about it too if you think that they also might enjoy it.

Vicki Weinberg:

You can find me at vickiweinberg.com.

Vicki Weinberg:

There you'll find links to all of my social channels.

Vicki Weinberg:

You'll find lots more information on all of the past podcast, episodes

Vicki Weinberg:

and lots of free resources too.

Vicki Weinberg:

So again, that's vickiweinberg.com.

Vicki Weinberg:

Take care, have a good week and see you next time.