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'When you succeed, I succeed': How a local business survived launching in the pandemic

By Andrea Dion
Tuesday February 16, 2021

EDMONTON -- The co-owners of #Glam Studio had no idea when they opened their business in November of 2019 that months later they would have to shut down because of COVID-19.

“It was pretty challenging,” Amina Hirabe said.

“It was scary too. We didn’t know what to expect. Are we going to succeed or not? Everything’s closing down and everybody’s going out of business, we were afraid,” Anisa Hirabe added.

The Hirabe sisters credit the support of their long-time clients and the government for keeping them afloat during the mandated closures.

“We appreciate everything that everybody has done for us,” Anisa said.

“Honestly, if it wasn’t us getting help from the government and funding for when we shutdown, I don’t think this business would be open.”

Five years ago, Anisa and Amina were still operating out of their home In that time they cultivated relationships they say helped them later.

“We had a lot of people reach out to us from social media and booking with us and that support is really good,” Anisa said.

Paris Barud, the founder of Narcissa Beauty, recalled what it was like before the entrepreneurs moved into their new location.

“I’ve been with them from the beginning, when they were in their house doing lashes in the corner of a room,” she said. “To see their dreams come true is really empowering.”

Barud told CTV News Edmonton she launched her own lipstick line during the pandemic and the Hirabe sisters helped her get it off the ground.

“In times like this, it’s important for us to really come together and support each other,” Barud said.

“When people see us supporting each other, people want to join in and support you too. It’s all about one person taking that leap of faith and then other people following.”

Barud named Narcissa Beauty after her daughter and each tube of lipstick after an African queen.

She said she incorporated this element to help prompt people to do their own research on Somali culture.

“I wanted it to mean something. I wanted it to be educational and I wanted it to touch people,” she said.

Amina and Anisa told CTV News Edmonton, if faced with another lockdown, they’re choosing to remain hopeful.

“We love what we do and we enjoy what we do... coming to work feels amazing and our staff our clients just makes us very happy,” Amina said.

“Our family supports us big time. They’re there to pick up the pieces if anything happens,” Anisa added.

Barud noted that it’s part of their culture to support one another and provide a helping hand if they have the means to do so.

“When you succeed, I succeed,” Barud said.

“It’s all about unity. What you want for yourself you should want for your brother.”


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