In an exclusive interview with “Enta Arabi,” Alia, the young founder of Gammbaz, reveals her inspiring journey in the world of entrepreneurship and how she turned her passion into a successful project characterized by innovation and social responsibility.
The Beginning and Motivation
In January 2021, Alia, a young Egyptian student, embarked on her journey into the world of entrepreneurship. She utilized her free time during online studies due to the COVID-19 pandemic and started her project with a capital of 10,000 Egyptian pounds that she received from her father. Remarkably, she managed to recoup this investment within just two months. Alia had a passion for entrepreneurship since childhood, and she felt that this period was the right time to make her dream a reality.
Inspiration for the Project and Product Selection
The idea for her project came when she noticed that her mother always brought candles from abroad when traveling. When asked why, her mother explained that the available scents in Egypt were very traditional, such as vanilla, oud, and lavender. Moreover, most candles in the Egyptian market were made of paraffin, a harmful substance that emits toxic fumes. Alia used soy wax as an eco-friendly alternative and began importing it from abroad. This led to the establishment of her company, Gammbaz, which now offers more than 80 different candle scents, emphasizing her desire to start a project that benefits the community.
Family Support and Donations to the Community
Alia emphasized the importance of her family’s support in the early stages of the project, both financially and morally. She decided to donate 10 Egyptian pounds from each candle sold to the People of Egypt Foundation. An agreement was signed between Gammbaz and the foundation to employ burn victims in candle manufacturing, reflecting her commitment to social responsibility and her desire to make meaningful contributions to society.
Education and Future Aspirations
Alia stresses the importance of education in her life, as she is still in school and aspires to study chemistry and architectural engineering at university. She believes that education will provide her with a strong foundation and open doors for expanding her project in the future.
Transition from E-Commerce to Physical Presence
Gammbaz began as an e-commerce project on Instagram and later expanded to include a website. Alia also started showcasing her products in a boutique in Maadi. She emphasized the importance of customers being able to purchase from physical stores, as it allows them to choose different scents and experience them firsthand.
Participation in “Shark Tank” and Its Impact
Alia participated in the “Shark Tank” program after the program’s team reached out to her on Instagram. She described her experience as surprising and joyful. Her participation in the program significantly increased Gammbaz’s popularity and her Instagram followers, from 3,000 to 63,000.
Business Management and Future Plans
Alia works independently, handling everything from manufacturing and packaging to photography and marketing. She plans to use the investment she received from the program to open new stores, and she is currently working on expanding in both Egypt and the United Kingdom.
Challenges and Adaptation: Working Across Borders and Market Differences
Gammbaz currently operates in both Egypt and the UK, and Alia pointed out the differences between buyers in the two countries. Egyptians prefer buying in larger quantities and oriental scents, while the English prefer lighter and more refreshing scents.
Hobbies and Dreams: Beyond the Business World
Alia has diverse interests that range from drawing and cooking to shopping, ice skating, and playing ball. She dreams of owning her restaurant in the future and intends to further develop her products to ensure quality before expanding into new areas. Ultimately, she hopes to become an investor in the “Shark Tank” program and expand her brand to the global market, helping others start their projects.
As Alia looks forward to a bright future, she leaves a positive impact behind, emphasizing that hard work, creativity, and passion are the keys to success in the world of entrepreneurship.