Bosnia’s booming handmade beauty industry boosted by social media


October 2021 Business, Living

Haris Buljubašić

AUTHOR


If you open your Facebook feed, you will most probably come across promotions for beauty products. And, a lot is offered. From zero-waste solid shampoo bars to bronzers which will make your skin glitter and tan faster. You have hair loss issues? Not a problem at all, you can easily find many home-made products on offer. Beauty industry producers have a lot in common. West majority of them are young women, many claim their products are all natural and they largely rely on social media to sell their ‘babies’ as one of the entrepreneurs we talked to called their products.

“I had a lot of problems with my skin, like sensitivity to chemical ingredients in care products, facial eczema and inability to use standard hair removal methods”, says Meliha Klopić-Murtić, owner of the Magic Touch Natural Cosmetic brand. She started her business in 2013 with one product alone – suggar paste for hair removal whose formula Meliha protected at the Institut for intelectual property of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Naturalno.ba is also ran buy a young woman and she changed the concept of her business a lot, ever since she started it. Mirzana Arnaut’s products became well-known among those who are striving towards zero-waste or less-way lifestyle.

“We are now focused on solid cosmetics in paper packaging that is compostable / recyclable. So weight towards zero waste products“, she said adding that 90% of her sale happens through social media such as Facebook and Instagram.

Social Media key to success

Mirzana is not the only one who counts on social networks to sell what she makes at her lab. Anela Hodžić-Musić does so too. She thinks social media is essential in her business and stresses out the importance of creating engaging content that will attract your potential buyers.

Social media is important to gain trust, increase awareness about your brand and increasing your sale.

She started production of natual cosmetics called Balance only two months ago, despite the ongoing pandemic that has affected the entire industry.

COVID-19 challenges

Although the pandemic has increased online shopping, due to stores being closed for months, it also brought many challanges to these enterpreneurs. They were not prepared for them, but had to quickly find solutions to keep their businesses run successfuly. Magic Touch’s sale was heavily hit.

“Our best-selling products are all mostly used in the summer, on holidays or for night out. But, people were locked in houses and for that reason, our sales were worse than before Corona”, says Meliha for The Adriatic.

Naturalno.ba imports most of the packaging and ingredients from outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina, so importing them was their biggest challenge during the early phase of COVID-19 pandemic. Mirzana says her business was basically paralyzed, though situation has quite normalized and she believes their time is yet to come.

The pandemic didn’t prevent Anela from making her dream come true and start running a small business of natural cosmetics.

“My opinion is that COVID pandemic definitely turned many to online shopping. People spend more time at home and don’t want to go to shopping and be at risk. So they choose to shop online”, she concluded.

While all three are trying to grow their business, they are facing a lot of competition. The question is – who is manage to attract new and keep existing buyers.

THE ADRIATIC

This article is part of The Adriatic Journal: Strategic Foresight 2021 project.
If you want a copy, please contact us at info@adriaticjournal.com.