It may be unusual for someone to start a business in the midst of a pandemic, but according to early sales, Amira Ashley made the right call.
Amira, a Vancouver resident who recently turned 10, decided she didn’t want to wait to start her business until the COVID-19 pandemic subsided.
“I just wanted to go for it,” Amira said.
When Amira, who’s a vegan, started selling vegan lip gloss about two months ago under the brand Boujee Vegan Girl, her product quickly sold out.
Amber Dines, 31, Amira’s adoptive mother, started the makeup line Boujee Vegan Beauty — featuring lipsticks, highlighters, bronzers and shadows — a couple years ago. Amira liked to play with Dines’ beauty products, showing that Amira had an interest and passion for the business.
Now Amira has lip glosses with flavors that range from bubble gum to blueberry.
Amira started planning her business launch about a year ago, with the help of Dines. She was driven by adults telling her the business wouldn’t succeed.
“I wanted to prove people wrong. They were telling me I could not be a boss,” Amira said.
Dines is Amira’s biggest supporter, but even she admitted she did not know Amira’s business would be such a quick success.
“She proved me wrong, too,” Dines said. “It’s been very rewarding and eye-opening. She inspires me.”
Dines said she’s learned the importance of having a vision and plan and executing them from her daughter.
Amira is inspired by Dines as well and said Dines is great at sales. Dines started her vegan beauty business to create products for vegans such as herself.
“I wanted makeup that I could love and enjoy and could stand behind because I know it’s vegan,” Dines said.
Dines’ business has done well, but she likes to focus on Amira’s success, noting that her products haven’t sold out like Amira’s lip gloss.
Part of the business’s success likely comes from Amira’s age, Dines said.
“When people see a little girl just trying to do what she loves to do, it’s easy for people to get behind it,” Dines said.
But Dines also credits Amira’s perseverance and belief in herself and her lip gloss. Amira and Dines have become closer through the business, they both said.
Amira hopes to inspire other girls through her success, particularly young Black girls such as herself who may experience discrimination and barriers in life and business.
“It means a lot to me because I feel like they should be able to be a boss and go for their dreams,” Amira said.
Dines said she’s proud of Amira for using her platform for a good cause, while she builds her business.
“This is the time for us to use our voice and be bold no matter who you are, no matter what ethnicity you are,” Dines said.