I was five years old when I moved to Chicago, Illinois, from Pakistan with my family. When I was young, I didn’t embrace the customs of my home country. I loved fashion, beauty, and beauty products. It was as a young adult that I began embracing my culture, religion, and ancestry, and that has played a large role in where I am today.
When I started my skincare business in 2017, I wanted to use an essential ingredient from my homeland that was around me as a child and is used in high-end perfumes—oud. It has a natural, woodsy scent and comes from agarwood. It smells like nature, like a walk, like utmost luxury. Oud also has high antioxidant levels and antimicrobial elements, so it was a natural choice for me to include it in my luxury skincare products. It is 1.5 times more valuable than gold, so you feel like a prince or princess when you have this on.
I joined the Master of Business Creation program at the David Eccles School of Business and Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute in 2020 because it was perfectly aligned with the goals of my company. The MBC accelerator program gave me the tools to form a Khalm Advisory Board that will help grow the business, and it helped Khalm Skincare reach major, instrumental milestones—like having Forbes name my Overnight Oil Elixir as one of the 5 Best Face Oils to Use in 2021.
The next couple of months, we’re focused on sales and really homing in on who our customer is. We’re looking for investors and an anchor store that will market us well. I’m looking forward to seeing who really appreciates the brand and its ethos.