SQUASHED up in a little tent right in front of “Firehouse” bus stop is a newly found business that is already attracting a lot of customers with its sweet smell.
Naesmel Perfume is a fragrance business started by a daring female entrepreneur, Mrs Nofolelei Aumanu also known as Nofo.
Nofo’s perfume business started only two and a half months ago, when her daughter who is studying in Fiji told her about the product that is attracting a lot of Solomon Islands customers in Fiji. Though already an entrepreneur with an interest in Jewellery making, Nofo is eager to try something new and decided to get in touch with the perfume’s agents in Fiji.
“We initially were selling Fijian products, but it was quite expensive and I want to make it affordable for locals, so we thought ‘why don’t we just pay directly from the source and sell the product with an affordable price,” Nofo said
Nofo knows her customers well and did everything she could to meet her customers’ demands.
“I started selling a few different flavours of perfume, and then people started asking me if there are any other flavours we could get. So that’s when I decided to get a different variety of scents and people just keep coming for it,” Nofo said excitedly.
“Because we only sell our products when we have a spot in town like during the women’s market, it is hard for our customers to track us down. Sometimes people complain to us saying they want to get our perfumes but they don’t know where we arem,” Nofo said with laugh.
Unlike normal perfumes we get from shops, these perfumes are highly concentrated and raw, sent directly from the factory. Packed in a container, Nofo and her team poured the perfumes into flasks labelled with their scents.
The perfume is then poured from these flasks into a little container where it is then easily and professionally extracted by a syringe and filled into a Phial, measuring according to millilitres the customers want.
Nofo make sure the perfumes are properly extracted in order not to waste it and labelled properly with their fancy catchy labels like “Love Bitten”, “Vanila” and there’s even one with the name “poison”- not actually a poison, just a name – These labels and their extraction activities are the main attraction to the stall.
“I have never seen such raw perfumes been extracted like that, the sweet smell of the perfume just filled the air and led us here,” said a customer. “I bought a phial and the smell lasts longer than I thought it would.”
One of the staffs of Naesmel Perfume, Josephine, gently and professionally extracted a perfume scent from the dish into a phial for a customer.
“We have to be careful also when extracting the perfume, if we take too much in the syringe, sometimes the syringe can break. We are very careful with it and make sure there is only a right amount in the syringe,” Josephine explained.
The factory generates perfume, lotions, and air fresheners that the little business can also order; however, Nofo wants to take one small step at a time before venturing into other products.
Despite the high demand, the challenge is an everyday visibility.
“Sometimes people don’t show respect to our staff, they don’t understand and don’t respect what is on sale, what it is for or how it is applied,” Nofo said.
“But we try our very best to explain what we are selling, sometimes later they will come back and look for us.”
Nofo’s staff is a group of energetic women with a friendly smile and good customer services. They normally set up their tent and sell at the given spot three times in one week. Due to their growing customers, they get to keep their spot for a little longer and hope to get a place of their own too.
“For the future of the business; we were planning hopefully to get a venue and possibly promote the product. In the long run, we want to get agents to sell for us in the provinces.”
Nofolelei is a daring entrepreneur, in ways she is not afraid to venture into a new business, she pushes her team and herself to meet the customers’ demands and that is her golden rule.
“If you love money you won’t get anywhere, you have to look at what the customers want, I can make something that looks nice to me but if it’s not what the customers want then I shouldn’t bother with it.”
“You must make a decision to try and believe and do it, say u do it and do it. Put it into practise.”
Though the business is looking pretty bright already in Nofo’s eyes, this female entrepreneur is not putting her feet up just yet, she and her team is working hard as always from 8am – 6pm, making sure the customers are not complaining about where they were when they want a Naesmel Perfume.