Have you ever wondered what the A&A in our name stands for? In this fun 10 questions with Poptron, we share why we started the business, what our favourite products are, and what challenges we’ve faced as small business owners. If you’ve always wanted to know more about what drives us forward, read on!
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What does the A&A in your name stand for?
We were very inspired when we came up with the name (of course not, we’re joking). A&A stands for Afiza and Andrei. It’s a legacy name and the best we could come up with in 2018 when we first started the brand. We like to think we’re smarter now, but decided to keep the name.
What is your favorite product from your line and why?
Our Divine Face Serum. It was the first skincare product Afiza created because she wanted an effective anti-aging ‘magic potion’ for herself! So it remains our core favourite and pairs perfectly with our latest Hydra Gel Moisturiser.
What challenges did you face when starting your brand and how did you overcome them?
There are too many to name! One of the major challenges we faced was to turn our dreams and passions into an economically self-sufficient business. It’s a work in progress.
What do you love most about running your own business?
Freedom – and this has two sides. Positively – we can do what we want when we want, and how we want. The downside – we have to live with the consequences of our own actions (or inactions).
What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Depends on whom you’re asking. Andrei would say: “Follow your inner calling”. If your calling is to start a business, just do it. You will soon enough figure out if you are doing the right thing, and how to do it right. And if not, it is most likely not the right thing for you.
How do you balance running your business with your personal life?
We struggled to find this balance for a long time, as we put all our efforts into the business and missed out on enjoying our personal lives. Eventually, we realised that we could combine our business and personal lives. For example, when we travel for business, we extend our stay by one or two days to explore. We also discovered that we could brainstorm ideas while hiking in the jungle. The most amazing thing was that taking a break from work and attending to our hobbies gave us new perspectives on the challenges we were facing in business.
What do you do to stay motivated and focused on your goals?
That’s a tough one… we both have this inner calling that works like a strong inner compass. Even when we drift away, our inner compass guides us back to the path we have chosen. This is something that we have naturally and it’s difficult to explain in words, since we really never had to struggle to find motivation.
Can you share a favorite memory from your time as a business owner?
“Wow, I swear by how effective your Cleansing Oil works on my skin!” Hearing genuine feedback like this from customers sometimes brings tears to our eyes. We personally formulate, R&D, and test our products to ensure they are truly ready for market release, so it means a lot to hear how they have helped others.
What do you do to unwind and relax after a long day running your business?
Afiza does something called pre-winding, which starts out as a yoga session most days. This gives her the energy and strength to face the day. For Andrei, unwinding entails going dancing at night after a long tiring day.
What is your proudest personal accomplishment?
Finding out WHY we do this business! We want to touch people’s lives and inspire them to better their overall well-being.
This article was written by Emmelyn M. and published on 20 December 2022 in Journal by Poptron.