They say all it takes is an idea. And that’s exactly what happened when inspiration struck for college lecturer Muzon Ashgar. Despite having no direct business experience, Muzon knew that she was onto something when she held a spa party for friends at her home and decided to create homemade natural skincare products as gifts. Her friends were impressed—so Muzon made a further batch of products for a local fair and sold out in record time.
Having seen the potential, Muzon went on to fill in the gaps in her business knowledge and experience to build MZN Body Care alongside her day job.
Support in all the right places
As well as doing plenty of internet research and taking courses in everything from business to natural skincare, Muzon looked to social media for inspiration and support. “I participated on Facebook groups that focused on natural soap and interacted with product makers and businesses,” she explains. “It helped me learn, especially about the manufacturing side of the business.”
Another major source of support for Muzon was her family. Her husband, sister and sister-in-law have lent their expertise on aspects like finance, brand and packaging design, as well as the hands-on work of running a business while managing other commitments at the same time.
More recently, Muzon has rented a workshop to house her business through an industrial incubator project that sets out to empower women in manufacturing through practical and knowledge-based support. This has made a huge difference to Muzon, allowing her to expand production, store more products and materials, hire staff and procure the all-important manufacturing permits she needs for her business. Best of all, she says, the incubator provides the ideal environment to motivate women like her to do their best work, share skills and help each other succeed.
Becoming a manufacturer—especially with no previous experience—was no easy task for Muzon. One of her major challenges to date has been sourcing the right raw ingredients and packaging for her products within Saudi Arabia. She is currently importing these from the U.S. until she is able to find the right supplier closer to home.
In the meantime, demand for MZN Body Care’s products is steadily growing, with popular products from her line already becoming cult favourites among her customers.
“Instagram is a major advertising platform for my brand,” Muzon explains, crediting around 90% of her overall website traffic to the platform. “Facebook is another selling platform for me, but it also allows me to connect to my customers and advertise new products and discounts.”
Fast-forward to the future
In just two years, Muzon’s skills, experience and ambition have developed dramatically—and her business has grown to become a team of three, with more hires planned. These days, tasks that were once new to Muzon—such as invoicing, contracts and inventory management—have become second-nature.
Muzon still lectures in design at a design college in Dammam, but is dedicated to growing what has proven to be an in-demand brand for Saudi women. “It’s now my ambition to expand MZN’s production and grow our presence across Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.”
Learn more about Muzon and MZN Body Care: