Let's talk inspiration, favorites and the future🔮✨ Celebrate the first of many blog posts with a Q&A by our lovely CEO. Is anybody thirsty for some tea? 👀
How long have you been in business?
I launched Yas Apothecary on July 28, 2020. We've been in business for a little over a year now.
How would you describe Yas AP in a couple of emojis?
How did you get the name Yas Apothecary?
If you've read or watched The Hunger Games, Katniss’ Mom works at the Apothecary, which is a traditional herbal medicine shop. My name is Yasmin, and the brand's mission is to inspire healing through creating time and space to take care of oneself with natural remedies.
Which Yas AP product takes the longest to make?
100% the Turmeric soap, only because they are ordered so frequently and made in small batches. It can easily turn into a day-long process!
How do you decide which aspects of Moroccan culture to include in the brand?
I try to incorporate Morocco in everything while still keeping a contemporary and modern vibe. For example, I incorporated my mom’s Moroccan dresses, rugs, and traditional tea setups in my first shoot. In our most recent shoot, I was inspired by henna designs I used to get in Morocco growing up. When It comes to the product itself, most – if not all – ingredients are inspired by things heavily used in Moroccan culture: rose water, lavender, and argan to name a few. I also try to name my products after my loved ones; Noor (a family friend), Aicha (My cousin and Grandma), and Niara (my niece).
Is there any dye used to make the rich color of the soap?
No! The herbs used go through a process in which the color of the plant is extracted. They are steamed and strained until the essence; its color and oil are drawn out. The essence is then mixed into the soap base, mainly made of olive oil pulp until the desired color is achieved.
Is there gonna be a subscription service for Yas’ AP?
We offer a subscription service for our turmeric soaps, hair oil, and perfume oils. All you have to do is press “Monthly Subscription” at checkout, and your order will automatically be renewed every 30 days. You can cancel this service at any time and save 5% on your order. If there is a different product you want a subscription for, please reply to this blog with any suggestions!
What is your favorite Yas’ AP product?
I'm gonna have to say the Moroccan Ice Set. The clay is so silky and smooth and I like to mix the mask and rose water together to get that DIY vibe.
In what order do you apply your skincare routine?
1. Cleanse with Turmeric and Seamoss Soap
2. Tone with Blue Nila Rose Water
3. Treat with my preferred dark spot correcting serum
4. Moisturizing SPF (Black Girl Sunscreen is currently my fav)
5. Seal with Argan or Black Seed Oil.
What is the hardest part about running a business?
Not psyching yourself out. Sometimes, I can get self-conscious about constantly promoting myself. It's easy to start thinking about what others think about your posts or what you do. But when you're promoting yourself, you have a target audience, and it’s important to keep them in mind. Your posts will reach the right people, you just have to keep putting yourself out there. At the end of the day, if you don't advocate for yourself, who will? It's a constant battle, but we take it day by day.
What is your least favorite skincare myth?
That toner isn’t important. I'm tired of everyone sleeping on it. Toner helps further cleanse your face, especially if you wear make-up. It helps your skin absorb products better and minimizes pores. If you don't have toner, buy ours. No one has blue rose water, I promise you, and it smells fire.
How do you stay so consistent?
It's actually really hard for me to be consistent. I promised myself in the new year that I would show up every day, whether I felt like it or not. Now that I have a team, I have a little more pressure to stay consistent because people depend on me to get their work done.
How do you deal with jealous friends as your business grows?
You don't. Once you notice someone has ill will or intentions towards you, respect your intuition and distance yourself. Sometimes it can be painful to let go of a bond or friendship you once held dear to you, but keep in mind everyone has their designated time in your life. It's important to know when to let go.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My niece is one of my biggest inspirations. She's only 8, and she is one of the brightest, most animated people I know. I want to show her that she can do and build and be anything she imagines. I want her to know that she can create the life she wants.
What is your favorite part about running a business?
Impacting so many people. When my business started to expand to the point of strangers buying my product, I felt a large sense of accomplishment. Whether it's through word of mouth or socials, the thought of establishing enough trust for people who don’t know me to use my products on their skin, face, and hair is truly rewarding.
How did you know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I didn't! To be honest, I never saw myself ending up in business. I always ran away from being in charge of things or leading anything. In high school, all my teachers told me they saw leadership qualities in me, and they constantly urged me to start clubs and lead meetings, which I hated! I guess over quarantine, I had time to reflect and get to the root of why I rejected being a leader. When the idea of making soap was delivered to me, I was that much more able to pursue it because of my prior reflection.
Will you be open to doing partnerships with major companies, or would you rather keep it super Intimate?
Eeeee! I guess it would come down to the company, their values, and the goal of the partnership. I’m very big on mutually beneficial collaborations, but I also see the value in ownership and maintaining a tight-knit relationship with my customers, but ill never say never.
What is some advice for aspiring business owners?
Listen to your gut! Only you can fully see and understand the vision, so stay true to yourself. Tune everything else out and hone in on what your body/mind tells you.