Making a Natural Transition to Selling Online
Honam Naturals, ‘Honam’, meaning ‘skin’ in Ghanaian dialect, was founded by Naana Daniels in Ajax, Ontario. The business values sustainability and non-toxic living, by making organic and vegan body butter, bath products, and grooming essentials. The business also packages its skincare products in aluminum containers, which is a material that is heat and cold resistant, helps extend the shelf life of the products, and is much more recyclable than plastic. What makes Naana’s business so special is that her brand is proudly Canadian and, its products are 100% vegan and homemade, which is especially suitable for individuals with sensitive skin.
Naana’s story on how she started Honam Naturals is truly an inspiring one. She was diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases in 2003, and in 2016, she developed a severe lupus crisis that affected and damaged 70% of the skin on her body after a visit to Ghana. She was prescribed more medication to take on top of the ones that she was already on and refused to take any more. In search of a new solution, Naana made the first sample of lightweight organic shea butter in the hope that it would help her skin condition improve. She ritually applied it on her skin, day after day. Naana’s friends noticed that her skin condition improved significantly after using the shea butter and wanted to place their own orders, so she decided to get in touch with a Canadian producer to provide her with organic raw butter and began selling her skincare products in stores.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the stores that sold Naana’s products were temporarily closed. For this reason, stumbling into the ShopHERE powered by Google program felt like a blessing to Naana. It allowed her to fulfill orders for her products online by launching an eCommerce store, and eventually, she was able to gather the resources that she needed to expand her business.
“It came at the right time, as I felt helpless and could not think of the next direction to take.”
After signing up for ShopHERE, Naana was connected with an eCommerce Coordinator who supported her in building the online store on the Shopify platform. Naana’s eCommerce Coordinator taught her the value of the major aspects of her online store, including sharing their brand history, having a strong logo, product pictures, pricing, product variants, product descriptions, setting up shipping, and connecting social media
Since the launch of its online store, sales for Honam Naturals have steadily increased. Naana’s business has added more product lines and expanded to different locations in Ontario. The business has recently expanded by opening new storefronts in the Canada Black Owned store located in the Pickering Town Centre, the Makers Marketplace, as well as on Amazon. Naana is optimistic for the years to come after graduating from the ShopHERE program.
“ShopHERE is a well needed service especially during this time when most store are unable to open and have lost a lot of money and are unable to spend money in some cases to have a website to showcase their shop products.”
Visit this link HERE to browse Honam Naturals’ organic body butters, bath products, and grooming essentials designed for individuals with sensitive skin. Visit this link HERE to learn more about ShopHERE or to sign up for the program.
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Meta, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Lightspeed, Ebay and Canada Post.
Continued investment from the Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) has allowed the ongoing expansion the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital across Ontario.