How the pandemic helped me start Lily M
The Covid pandemic has inspired one woman to launch her own skincare business.
Nisa Mendez, from Shrewsbury, quit her job with a surveying company to create Lily M during the pandemic.
She originally sent samples of her products to friends and family for feedback before showcasing her products at her first market in Shrewsbury in November.
Nina said one of the biggest challenges has been the lack of face-to-face interaction with customers during the lockdowns.
Nisa said: "When lockdown started back in April, I was furloughed for two months. During this time, I wrote a business plan and got to work on my new business to be. I made samples of the products and sent them to friends and family for feedback.
"Once I finally had all the feedback and was happy enough to leave my job and focus 100 per cent on the business I handed in my notice on my 30th birthday in August and worked my notice. I've never looked back.
"I wanted to do something I love. This pandemic has shown me that you only live once and life is way too short to be doing something you don’t like.
"During the lockdown I realised when all the shops where closed that, buying skincare was really hard. Not only is there massive amounts of choice on the internet, it can also be a struggle to know what to buy and also very expensive.
"I would say not being able to do networking or go and sit in a coffee shop and maybe discus ideas with people has been very challenging. The socialising aspect and networking has isolated my thoughts and ideas to my four walls."
Nisa said all of her products are handmade, vegan, organic and made in Shropshire.
"We provide all the essentials to keep on top of your skincare routine or even to start one," she said.
"I've created a skincare subscription brand that sends you a box with your five daily essentials to look after your skin and continue with your skincare routine without leaving the house.
"In the box you receive a face moisturiser, toner, primer, cleanser balm and coffee scrub, which I make by recycling used coffee grounds from local Shrewsbury coffee shops.
"Each box comes with a set of guide cards that guides you through using the products and in which order.
"It's all handmade, vegan, organic and natural and of course made in Shropshire."
Looking ahead, Nina said she is very optimistic about the future.
"Although this pandemic has been a living nightmare for some, for others including myself it has almost paved a way for new businesses and a new way of buying products that can only benefit small independents like myself who are more tech savvy and are using the social media tools we hold in our hand to grow the business," she added.