Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Hello. I’m Sabah from Hasuna+Haseena. We are an ethnic children’s clothing brand. We focus on Indian/Pakistani traditional clothes for boys and girls ranging from 0 to 6 years old. At Hasuna+Haseena, we want to change the way toddlers experience ethnic clothing. Our mission is to empower every parent with a confident choice for traditional clothes that are not meant only for festivals but are modern, playful, and comfortable. H+H came to us in a surprising but very heart-warming way. We were disheartened at not finding any comfortable ethnic clothes for our own children. I couldn’t find anything that I wanted him to wear. Everything that I found was stiff, constricting, itchy, and heavily embroidered. I decided to make an outfit myself which turned out great and friends and family loved.
What are your responsibilities as a business owner?
Right now, my husband and I manage basically everything from sourcing materials to product photography to listings to packaging and shipping. Besides adding team members to streamline the whole process, we are also working with family. My mother-in-law help picks out the fabrics, my mother’s quality checks, and packages, my sister is our photographer and so many more.
What are your best selling products, what type of materials are used in your creations, how do you design your products, what makes your products stand out?
Our main item is our Kurta Pajama which is an ethnic outfit for boys. The set consists of a long shirt with pants. We want our designs to be playful and appealing to children. We start by picking out fun and quirky cotton fabrics so they are breathable and playful. We keep our sizing so that it is easy to play in. Our product is different than others because we are focusing on the child. We want children to love their cultural clothes.
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
The best and worst thing right now is working from home. Working for home gives me the freedom to get everything done on my time so I get to spend time with my kids and take breaks as needed. But at the same time, it is the worst because of all the distractions that come along as well. I set goals for myself and give myself deadlines. Everything has to be on a schedule for it to run smoothly.
Who do you sell to (and how do you get customers)? What marketing tools or strategies you use to boost your sales? Are you satisfied with the results?
We are working on Etsy and Instagram. Right now we are focusing on running ads on both platforms and staying focused on tags and hashtags. Besides that, we also rely on word of mouth to spread our business awareness.
Do you believe there is a winning formula for becoming a successful entrepreneur? What is yours?
Keep trying. Success does not come overnight, it needs continuous hard work and patience. The more you put in the more you will get.
What was the toughest moment you have experienced in your business practice? How did you succeed to get over it and move forward?
The hardest moment right now has to be with Covid19. We had an upcoming holiday and our shipment kept getting delayed. We almost didn’t get our products in time to launch and deliver on time.
What inspires you when you’re creating? How do you get ideas for new products? What are some methods or tools you use to get creative?
First I research the upcoming trends and colors. Then I focus on sourcing fun and cheerful fabrics that speak to me. There are slight design variations that I add to my designs. But other than that I keep it simple and design what I like and what I would want to put on my kids.
Do you ship your product internationally? How do you handle postage pricing? What is the average time it takes from the order to the delivery? Do you use free shipping? If so, why? How do you package your products?
We want our brand to represent itself from start to finish. We want the customer to know they are getting a quality product and that it is worth every penny. We put a lot of thought and care into our packaging as well. We wrap each item in tissue paper then tie it with a ribbon, we use coordinating labels and package it in a sturdy box so it doesn’t get damaged in delivering. We not only want the parents to appreciate it but we want children to be excited when they receive their item. We do offer international shipping, I let Etsy handle that for now since the prices can vary greatly from country to country. For the USA we offer Free shipping.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
Plan plan plan. Plan everything in advance, write everything out, have everything scheduled, and ready to go. Another big element is marketing, with the world at everyone’s fingertips you have to work hard on standing out and being found.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who are starting out?
The key element has to be loving what you do. Start with knowing why you are doing this and what it’s going to bring to you. In the end, it can’t be just about money, you’ll end up burning out much faster and not enjoying what you are doing.
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
To me, it is spreading joy through your products. I put in a lot of hard work into each and every outfit and I want my customers to enjoy and appreciate it. I want them to know that I put a lot of care, effort, and love into each one. Also using my creativity and knowing that there is not another piece like the one that I have thought up and designed.
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
I start my day with my kids, I give them some time and have breakfast with them. Then I get to work, my ‘morning shift’ consists of checking inquiries and emails, and all the other day to day activities that need to be done. Then I spend the rest of the day playing and teaching my kids. After dinner and putting the kids to bed I get to my ‘night shift’. This is the time I package orders and get them ready to ship out the next day. I working on updating listings and tidying up my online shop.
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
Right now we are based on Etsy, in the future, we plan on moving to our own website. We are also a larger variety of items that will range to baby accessories including blankets, toys, shoes, and much more.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
I focused on photography, I feel that is your first impression, and sometimes your last when trying to attract a customer. The image has to speak for itself then comes everything else. At first, I started with a soft launch with limited items and simple pictures, it took me a while to figure out that I’m not going to go anywhere if I can invest in myself.