Our personality of the week, Nasra Al Mamari proves that no matter what the odds are, hard work certainly pays off
Sweet smelling perfumes, smooth and creamy lotions, refreshing shower gels, exfoliating bath scrubs and relaxing salts, all handmade with the utmost care and packaged beautifully with personalized accessories that are perfect for you. Yes, this is what Velvet Touch has to offer you; and behind it all is the incredibly talented Nasra Al Mamari.
The idea was born in 2007, when Nasra lived in Canada along with her husband. They organised a gathering to introduce people to women in her part of the world – how they dress, what they look like and what they do. She was the one to speak about the beauty rituals of Arab women and during the course of her preparation she had her first chance encounter with the world of women’s cosmetics. In 2010, after returning to Oman, she decided to translate her passion for formulating women’s cosmetics into a home-based business. She began with a few handmade lotions and perfumes.
A touch of velvet
The business was named ‘Velvet Touch’, a name she felt was a perfect fit – because all she wanted was for her customers to feel pampered with her products. But it was only in 2012, when at an exhibition, a woman expressed her discomfort with Nasra’s home-made creations, that she started on her way to prove both to the woman and herself that her business could provide her customers with some very high quality products. “In 2012, I thought that it was time my product appealed to all women,” says Nasra. “I started with perfumes and slowly added lotions, shower gels, body scrubs, massage oils and relaxing salts to my line. I also paired them with accessories – like towels which I embroidered to give the product an elegant personalised touch.”
Ever since, she has been making personalised gift packages as bridal gifts, birthday gifts and gifts for special occasions. “When I added the value of wrapping my products into gift packages, I noticed that many wedding gift seekers would place orders with me to do a set of towels, perfumes and scrubs to gift to the bride. I am so proud that through my handmade cosmetics, I get to be an integral part of their celebrations.”
Being a mother of three and juggling a full-time job with a home-based business is certainly a challenge. The only way she makes it all happen is with the emotional support of her understanding family and the professional support of Zubair SEC. In 2014, Nasra registered in Zubair Small Enterprises Centre’s Direct Support Programme and was one of the 10 talented SME owners to win. With Zubair SEC by her side, Nasra admits that she has attained a lot of clarity with regards to business strategy. “From January until now, Zubair SEC has moved my business from ‘lost in the desert’ to ‘I know exactly what step I’m going to take forward’. I was given proper direction on how to formulate a written business plan. And they also helped me with the marketing of my products. I’m really thankful.”
The story appeared in the print edition of The Woman (August). You can read more there.