Aleppo soap sales soar during COVID-19
Former scholarship student, Nowar Rahmouni, recently graduated from the Lebanese International University in Beirut with a scholarship from SPARK, in partnership with Al Fakhoora and Education Above All. After attending several economic empowerment workshops, Nowar established a small soap business selling organic, handmade products from Aleppo, Syria.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Nowar took time to focus on marketing her small business, Gharna, on Facebook. “I created an alternative business strategy, re-evaluated my business and reassessed the needs of my consumers”, said Nowar. The results were dramatic.
With the market demand for soap and other hygiene products increasing, Gharna is now taking orders from across Lebanon, the rest of the Middle East and Gulf states. Interest has also been shown from individuals in China and Europe. In the last three months, the company’s revenue has almost doubled.
However, lockdown measures have brought new challenges for the small business-owner. Restrictions on international shipping and a travel ban from Lebanon are hampering her ability to ship Aleppo’s finest products abroad. Plus, Lebanon’s current poor economic situation is making importing and exporting extremely expensive and the recent Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act prevents her from importing from Syria anymore.
In the near future, Nowar hopes to find an investor, grow her employees, make her own handmade soaps in Lebanon and formally register the company so she can meet the ever-increasing demands for her products.
Find out more about Gharna and Nowar from her recent SPARK Instagram takeover.