“Ella is a beautiful fairy woman who can make your wishes come true,” explains Abeer, founder of 100% natural skincare products project 'Ella’s Miracle Touch'. Two years ago, when this idea came to life, Abeer had one wish for Ella: to be able to make natural and safe skincare products for her mother, who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer.
She says: “The doctor told me that my mother can no longer use commercial [skincare] products and this was a big responsibility for me. I had to do something about it.”
It all started in her mother’s tiny kitchen, where she used to make soap bars in different shapes. She was later encouraged by her sister, who has a similar business in Australia, to gain additional technical skills in this field. With the great support of her family and husband, Abeer enrolled in intensive “Assistant Pharmacist” training courses to acquire the needed skills for her new journey.
From a background in journalism and literature, I suddenly found myself in the middle of a scientific field.
The moment she was introduced to the project
A few months later, Abeer was introduced to the LINKED project; funded by the European Union in Lebanon, through a friend who encouraged her to apply and grow her business. After successfully presenting a pitch, she was enrolled in the project and attended a series of trainings on Financial Literacy, Decent Working Conditions and other related topics that helped her develop her business. The trainings covered areas ranging from budgeting to negotiation, marketing, business formalization, workers’ rights and many others.
The grant she received from the project allowed her to setup a private workshop in the house where she lives with her husband, and procure the needed machines and raw material, which enables her to produce a larger variety of high-quality products.
“People are trusting Ella more and more, now that she has a dedicated space [workshop] for this [skincare products making].”
One year ago, she recruited two part-time staff to support her in digital marketing, packaging and distribution and is now dispatching her products on a larger scale and displaying in local shops. Abeer was also keen to benefit others from her experience, and is currently organizing soap making sessions on a weekly basis for different age groups.
Welcome to Ella's shop.
LINKED is a multi-stakeholder partnership between four NGOs (Al Majmoua, the Danish Refugee Council, Mercy Corps and Oxfam). LINKED aims to contribute to sustainable economic development of vulnerable job seekers, Syrian refugees and Lebanese host communities in Lebanon. The project is funded by the European Union.