Business innovation | 15 February 2021
Glitter Glows new online venture
Innovation during the coronavirus pandemic is the key for survival. This week, Seychelles NATION talks to Mikhaela Belle, a young Seychellois entrepreneur who started a new online venture during the pandemic with her business partner Miriam Midi.
Seychelles NATION: Please tell us how did you two meet?
Mikhaela Belle: Miriam and I met at the University of Salford where we both studied Literature. It’s crazy because opening a beauty store together was never once brought up over the three years of university. It was many months later that we properly reconnected. All we knew was that some extra powerful force drove us back together. We bonded over a few things, one thing led to another and before we knew it, we were drawing up drafts and product tables for Glitter Glows. One thing was for sure, we absolutely felt this immense satisfaction when we started seeing the website coming together.
Seychelles NATION: When did the idea of having this business bloom?
Mikhaela Belle: When did Glitter Glows start? We created Glitter Glows. From my end (here in Seychelles) I’ve struggled with finding authentic beauty products. If I have managed to stumble upon them, they were never affordable, sometimes at exaggerated prices...so I thought. The beauty of starting this business was to realise why these products from the shops were that expensive. The struggle of paying rent, paying workers, paying shipping costs and tax, was enough to create sky high prices that consumers had to pay the price for. I started to understand, and I started to empathise rather than judge. This was when Glitter Glows came to mind. Miriam and I were focused on bringing in authentic products that customers would be able to treat themselves with, without having to think twice about pricing. To us, online was the way and only way to go to achieve this goal. We are now able to continuously sell products in the safest way possible. Customers do not need to worry about queues or pricing, and they are able to view products from the comfort of their own homes.
Seychelles NATION: That was a bold move to start the business amid the pandemic?
Mikhaela Belle: To say that Covid-19 was a small bump in the road would be an understatement. More like a never-ending steep hill. To the consumers who can’t afford due to the economic crisis, to the shipment delays that we face and will probably continue to face. However, we would be lying if we said that Covid didn’t bring us anything positive. (Not that Covid is something to look forward to). We were able to face challenges, think innovatively, be more creative and explore other means of making the business work.
Seychelles NATION: What was the response of the local buyers?
Mikhaela Belle: The Seychellois people have shown their support, their excitement and engagement with the website and continue to motivate and inspire us.
Seychelles NATION: Any advice to someone contemplating to start a business during this time?
Mikhaela Belle: If we had one advice for anyone contemplating to start up a business, especially the youngsters, here it is: As cliché as it might sound, giving up will be the ultimate failure. If it’s one thing that Miriam and I have found, is that you cannot reach the top without momentum. We must start below, way below; where we are staying up at night, wanting to give up, questioning ourselves, questioning the process and whether we will ever see daybreak. We are here to remind you that stars will never make their presence without the dark.