This interview is the first in a new series on People of the World where we’ll meet locals from all over the world who run small businesses. Hope you enjoy it! If you know a small, local business you think we should profile then please write to us!
Today we’re meeting Sevcan, who was born in the UK but has lived in Turkey since the age of 13. She’s a mother of two who runs a natural cosmetics company together with her husband, using her cross-cultural savvy to bring new products to the Turkish market.
What is your business?
Our company’s name is Burmino, our aim is to bring certified, high quality, eco friendly products, to improve the quality of our lives and the world we live in. We are the exclusive distributor for Skin Blossom UK who are a skin care company who make safe, affordable, effective organic skin and hair care, because we believe everyone is entitled to healthy, beautiful skin.
How many people work for you / with you?
Burmino has a young and dynamic team of 4 employees. My husband and I work together which is great, he is in charge of sales and I do marketing.
Do you have a website? How else do your customers find you?
Yes we do! Here is Burmino’s website, and we’re also on Facebook and Twitter. Our customers also learn about our products through doctor and pharmacy recommendations. Some doctors prescribe our products to patients with skin allergies.
Where are you based?
We have an office in Bursa and our products are sold in health stores, pharmacies and online.
What’s the best thing about what you do?
I love the fact that we are selling something that is organic and good for you! I know that what I am selling has no nasty chemicals, no animal testing and will make you feel great!
What part of your job gives you a buzz?
We have only been in the market for 4 months so everything is so exciting! When the telephone rings, when I get an email asking information on the product, when customers reorder!
What’s the hardest thing about what you do?
Turkey is very new to the Organic Market so it’s very hard explaining to people why we should choose certified organic products. Unfortunately lots of brands claim that they are organic but when you look at the ingredients you can see that the products contain chemicals like SLS [Sodium Lauryl Sulphate] and Parabens. Skin Blossom is certified by the Soil Association, we chose organic certification so there is no quibble about the safety of our products. They guarantee the organic integrity of our ingredients and also assess that they are not harmful to health and have minimal environmental impact during manufacture.
What’s a typical day like?
I wake up at 7:30, take my oldest daughter to school and my baby daughter to my mum’s house. I’m lucky because I live in Bursa and it’s quite easy to get around as there is hardly any traffic compared to Istanbul. I normally work continuously… I’m a working mum so I need to get as much done as possible. I try to visit customers once or twice a week which is really important. I like to make sure my customers understand about my products and this means visiting and explaining the ingredients a number of times. I love going to the organic shops in Istanbul they are all so very quaint and welcoming and really care about what they sell, it really is not just about the money.
About the authorLucy