During this time (and always!) it is so important to support local and small businesses in our communities, and it’s great for the economy too!
We are constantly inspired by the ambition and resilience of small business founders and feel that the risks that they take lead to innovation and help in moving the world forward.
Inspired by these entrepreneurs and their stories, we recently chatted with Mirna Zouein – owner of Sweet Wonders about being an entrepreneur, running a business while also running a family, and how she has adapted to the changes that Covid-19 had brought to her business.
What is your business about and why did you start it?
Sweet Wonders is where decadent chocolate meets art.
We offer our customers the opportunity to spoil their friends and loved ones – while expressing themselves – with handcrafted arrangements of decorated smooth premium chocolates, that make an impression and leave an impact. Our gift arrangements are customized in ways that reflect a customer’s taste and range from simple seasonal giveaways, to a Happy Birthday or Have An Awesome Day arrangement, Tabletop Dinner Accents for hosted guests, to New-Born/Baby Shower setups, etc. Simply, we can create anything with a brief 🙂
I’ve always been crafty all my life and along the way – and as a hobby – I created quite a few setups and arrangements for friends and family, and they loved the work and always found it to be quite unique. This inspired me to scale up my passion into a small business where I can partner up with customers to design their heartfelt chocolate gifts that leave the right impact on their loved ones and people who matter to them the most. That’s how the business started.
What do you love about your business?
Sweet Wonders is all about creativity; I love the ideation and exploration part primarily and the insane things you can do with arts and crafts. That is also a double-edged sword though, as after every arrangement or concept there’s the challenge that comes with keeping the bar high and ensuring creative freshness. Creativity is demanding for sure, but I love it.
Funny enough, I also love soaking my eyes with textures of paper, fabric, colors, ribbons… it’s a world of beauty like being at Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory – no pun intended 🙂
The other element I love are the people themselves. I enjoy meeting new people every day and getting to know them better as I have to work closely with them to create bespoke designs for them and their loved ones. A lot of my customers have become good friends and we are constantly in touch.
How do you manage your time between running a business and a family?
I have to say I am quite fortunate to have an open-minded family that’s super supportive and independent. There’s a lot of shared responsibility around our house and that is a blessing. My family were quite supportive and encouraging at the start of the business, and they continue to encourage me to focus on growing it. They manage themselves really well around the house when I’m busy in order not to disrupt the work; they even take care of me. I had to pull a few all-nighters during a couple of high seasons, but never did that alone – someone was always there to keep me company.
I do a lot of planning and build my schedule accordingly; balancing personal time, family time and Sweet Wonders time. That’s what keeps the train on track alongside the support of my gang at home.
How has Covid-19 affected your business and how have you adapted?
COVID-19 has pretty much affected Sweet Wonders… with the confinement and curfew we ate all the chocolate! Just kidding 🙂
The business slowed down quite dramatically, especially when there’s no gifting during such a strange time. Of course, it upset me a little, but I diverted my attention towards doing quite a lot of research around new supplies, ideas, and picked up a few new skills too that will come in handy for the business. Best time to do all that.
Any piece of advice to other small businesses owners or anyone wanting to start their own business?
Don’t debate, just jump in. If you believe in something, do a check with your gut and if you’re feeling it go for it. Don’t let money, or second thoughts or opinions pull you back because the minute you get going, you will cruise, and the business will grow.
All you need is passion, belief and dedication. Everything else is secondary.
Find out more about Sweet Wonders.
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