Al Otna Sisters’ Road to Reintroduce Natural Skin Care in Yemen, with Black Camel

Recently, I have become a regular customer of Coffee Corner. A woman with black hijab sitting inside the coffee house greeted me with a warm smile. A little girl in floral dress sat between Yasmine and her sister, Enas. Enas apologized that she forgot to bring product samples with her. When I heard the word “natural”, of course I want a beauty treatment for myself. I have fighting with skin problem for many years. I tried the most expensive skin care and had laser treatment. None of these had helped me.

It seems every beauty product in the market has been stamped with some version of an “all-natural” or “organic” word. So I sat down with Enas and Yasmine to discuss natural skin care and Yemeni women’s beauty secret.

Black Camel: Has Charisma Beauty Care been long in the Yemeni market?
Enas: The idea of the establishing the care line has started four years ago. Charisma has been in the local market in Yemen for only four months.

Black Camel: What is special about Charisma Beauty Care?256313_335490246537110_1616929924_o
Enas: It is the only natural product for facial care in Yemen. The ingredient is the mineral mud from the mountain that was using by my grandmother’s generation. This is a Yemeni traditional beauty care product. Many women nowadays don’t care about natural products and they misuse them. They don’t choose the right one for their skin types. This product is for any skin type and is specially targeting the acne and dry skin type.

Black Camel: What inspired you to break into natural skin care?
Enas:The benefits I personally get from when I had skin problem. I had a common warts infection all over my face; I had to use different medical products that cased brown spots that neither any medical nor cosmetic could get rid of it. I have to go back to the nature and take advices from my grandma. I started using this white clay. Then amazingly my skin started to get back as it was and much better too.
After that, the idea of sharing this started to be formed.

Black Camel: All of your products are handmade and the ingredients are all natural. How has this hands-on approach shaped your skincare line?
Enas: We are not doing any kind of chemical treatment, and we are working by hands to make sure that each packet is being wrapped probably and filling the best quality materials.

Black Camel: What are challenges when you try to look for counters and shelf to sale your product? What are the people’s reactions to you and to your product?
Enas: We prepared a plan to distribute the product and categorized the sales points to three categories. Category A is for the most visited shop and markets; B for the moderate; and the group C is for the shops that have fewer customers. Then we arranged for meetings with the owners and showed them our product. When they agreed to put our products in their shop, we signed an agreement with them. This work needs lots of efforts and knowledge with experience of how to convince them in a professional way. The second challenge is how to lead the customers to our product and how to use the right tools to market the product.

Black Camel: At this moment you have not hired any labors, how you manage marketing, packaging, and finding new products and all?
Enas: We are a family team; we set meetings every week and outline the needed tasks for this week, then everyone handle the things that can be done in short time based on the experience.
Without labors, of course we are moving very slow. But since the capital of this project is small we can’t afford hiring any external employees currently. Afterwards we are planning to expand the project and have our own employment structure.

Black Camel: Has there been a moment that you are depressed and want to quit?
Enas: No, we are a team who accepted such a challenge and study each step before going forward.

Black Camel: Your line is expanding and can say it is successful. What would be your advice for any women in Yemen to start a business?
Enas: Always think about new ideas, set your aims and goals, and always take consults from others who have more experience.

Black Camel: Which of your products do you consider a must-have in every girl’s beauty arsenal?
Enas: We’ve just started with one product and in the process to go to the next level and produce another one. Healthy beauty needs more than one thing to be use; and we are trying to make the list shorter by making few product than cause no harm and easy to use. Each girl is free to use any product based on her needs.

Black Camel: How do you see your line expanding in the future?
Enas: It’s very promising. We are not stopping in one point; we are walking forward with all the means that could be used. Making money is not our aim, but grant treasure from the Yemen Nature for every woman in the world is the real profit to us.



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