Helping cancer and kidney disease patients find natural products that wouldn’t interact with their treatment inspired Nervana Elkabany to launch her own business.
On moving from Egypt to Hawick in February, the 34-year-old began searching the globe for natural skin care products that would be suitable for even the most sensitive of skin.
After testing numerous brands, Nervana, who has a wealth of qualifications in Pharmacy, teamed up with a small producer in Greece who now makes a range of 100% natural, cold process extra virgin olive oil based soaps exclusively for her brand.
Having identified a further producer of soaps and body butters in England to stock, she officially launched Natural 2 Go in May and turned to Business Gateway Scottish Borders for advice in November to help her establish the brand.
She said: “I went to Business Gateway to find out what support was available to me, and my adviser really made a big difference. Once I’d put her advice regarding packaging into action sales started to pick up. Speaking to her on a 1:1 basis made me more confident in the decisions I was making which also helped me improve my social media presence.
“What I am trying to do with my business is educate people about the benefits of natural products. For my postgraduate degree, I investigated how drug interaction affected people with severe disease, such as those undergoing chemotherapy and dialysis. One thing that quickly became apparent was the important role natural products could play, particularly for people whose treatment made their skin extremely sensitive.
“That knowledge coupled with my family’s background in entrepreneurship back in Egypt made me want to start a business of my own. My aim is to use my experience to sell the best, natural products I can find and help educate people about skin care. The next step is to grow Natural 2 Go so that I can achieve my ultimate goal of making it a household name.”
Lyn Galloway, Business Gateway, said: “Nervana has a wealth of experience and has personally tried hundreds of soaps and products to ensure that the ones she sells are the ones she feels will bring most benefit. Moving to another country can be daunting, especially if you want to set up a business, and that is why she turned to us for advice. We armed her with the knowledge she needed to set up in Scotland and she is now confidently trading throughout the region.”
With six scents in her Greek soap range including Lavender & Nettle Powder, which is a natural antibiotic, and Yogurt, Honey & Beeswax, perfect for the most sensitive dry skins, Nervana has already received some fantastic customer feedback.
She said: “Customers appreciate being able to speak to me and tap into my knowledge before buying. They also love my daily tips on how to use natural products, easily found in the home, to create their own masks and products - that is a unique selling point. My advice comes from years of study and an in-depth understanding of the way ingredients can interact, not only with each other but with our skin. It’s a joy to be able to help people find products they are happy to use on the biggest organ of their body – their skin.”
Find out how Business Gateway Scottish Borders can help your business by visiting their local pages or call 01835 818315.
Outwith the area? Find your local Business Gateway office or call 0300 013 4753.
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