This young entrepreneur is joining a new generation of beauty influencers
Amal Cherni’s passion for beauty led her to open up her own beauty parlour, Flora Beauty, in Tajerouine, a town in the governorate of Kef. At only 24 years old, she is proving that age is not a barrier for entrepreneurial success.
Even as a teenager, Amal knew the career she wanted to follow. Determined to fulfil her dream of becoming a professional makeup artist, she also hoped to become a trainer one day and pass her knowledge on to future generations.
“I started my career in 2012, when I was 17 years old and still at high school. I was confident that it was the right time to stop studying to fully devote myself to my passion,” says Amal. “It was not easy to get my parents to accept the idea, but with perseverance they respected my decision. I kept on saying to them that I am going to succeed!”
Amal was true to her word. In 2012, she took her very first steps on the entrepreneurial path, signing up for a beautician training program with a specialization in makeup. In parallel, the young apprentice enrolled in several competitions for makeup artist courses to learn new techniques, before becoming a trainer herself. Three years later, she completed her studies and became an officially certified hairstyle and makeup professional.
As she was preparing to open her beauty salon, Amal discovered the Mashrou3i project, implemented by UNIDO and funded by USAID, the Italian Cooperation and HP Foundation. Through the project, she participated in an HP LIFE e-Learning training to develop her managerial skills and prepare for her future role as an entrepreneur.
“The HP LIFE training from Mashrou3i helped me a lot,” she explains. “Before I had a lot of trouble presenting my project to official institutions such as banks. Thanks to HP LIFE, I am now able to make a business plan by myself without any difficulty.”
“Mashrou3i also helped me to better manage my accounting. To raise financing to expand my business I know now how to calculate my budget estimate and adapt my credit submission according to my needs,” she adds.
Amal officially opened the doors of Flora Beauty in 2017. A loan of 12,000 DT from the Tunisian Bank of Solidarity (BTS) and additional funds from ENDA (a micro-financing institution), allowed her to complete the design and layout of her beauty parlour.
Today, with 3 apprentices working for her, Amal sees Flora Beauty’s success growing day by day and is reaping the benefits of choosing a strategic location for her business.
“Women are very fashion-conscious in Kef and the surrounding areas. Professional makeup is very trendy here, especially during the summer wedding season. Many of my clients come from Jerissa, the neighboring region, but also from Algeria. I even had customers from Krib, which is around 90 km away! They heard about me on social networks,” she says proudly.
Amal is optimistic and ambitious about the future. The blossoming business woman has already added a new service offering: the rental of cocktail dresses and wedding dresses.
“I still have so many things I would like to achieve! Like providing new beauty courses and learning permanent makeup techniques – which would be the first in Kef,” she says enthusiastically. “Where there’s a will there’s always a way!”