Although those born under the astrological sign Gemini are often characterized as unlikely to commit to following their passions, Kieran Mustafa, a recent Liberty graduate, proves this otherwise as she owns the soap company: Gemini Soap Co.
A handmade gift introduced Mustafa to the process of soap-making and new possibilities emerged as she invested her tutoring money to eventually open a small business.
“I did not start with the intention to create a business, but instead to enjoy a creative experience, it just turned into a business almost naturally,” explained Mustafa as to how she found herself as the owner of her body care brand.
Since its opening in April, Gemini Soap Co. has amassed at least $4,000 in sales. Though this did not occur overnight, nor without trying challenges along the way.
“Many of my packages were lost or inventory did not arrive according to schedule. Much of what I ordered this past year I had to guess on,” said Mustafa on the struggles of opening her business during the pandemic.
Yet, Gemini Soap Co. is doing extremely well, largely because of the products’ unique attributes. Every item is hand-made with vegan, cruelty-free, abundant ingredients that are unlikely to disrupt the environment. The complimentary low-waste, non-plastic packaging further reflects the sustainable approach Mustafa’s small business adopts.However, some still doubt the young business owner.
“People don’t take kids seriously all of the time. They comment that my business is impressive because I’m young, but my business should standalone with impressive products not just because of who I am,” clarified Mustafa, providing a glimpse of how her business is treated differently because of her age.
Besides challenges, the business is made worthwhile as it returns positive mental and physical health benefits to Mustafa. Since she is afflicted with a chronic illness, the ability to make soaps without pain provides an added joy to Mustafa’s life.
“My business makes me happy and my motivation has always been for the reaffirming feeling I receive afterwards, like how achieving my goals proves that I can do this and I am proud of myself,” she stated.
To open one’s own business just two months before graduating high school is a huge feat. Mustafa’s genuine enjoyment for what she creates, paired with her support system of friends and family and her strong work drive, is likely why she was able to materialize this new venture.
“[I would recommend] if you’re afraid of starting something new, that is good because you should be. So many things in this life are a risk; everything we do is a risk, so if you’re ever thinking about doing something, take the risk,” said Mustafa.
Even as she moves forward to pursue studies in child development and education at Los Medanos in hopes of becoming an elementary school teacher, Mustafa pledges to carry her business with her and hopes for it to become a forever “side hustle.”
“My goals include employing more workers, creating an office space, restocking more efficiently and becoming registered as an official business. I also hope to open a physical storefront one day with a collection of small business products,” said Mustafa, determined to continue putting in work for her business.
For a niche, vegan, sustainable body care business whose owner is a recently-graduated high school student currently living in a two-bedroom apartment full of products, the Gemini Soap Company success story sure is like no other.
To support the Gemini Soap Company, visit (geminisoapco.com) or follow the business on social media: (geminisoap.co).