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Solving Their Frustrations by Starting Their Own Business

by Ayesha Siddiqui   |   March 30, 2022   |   Share this:  

Ann, owner of Ilaman Skin is based out of Kitchener. This female black owned business aims to help those women who find skincare routines to be tedious and intimidating. Their products primarily target concerns around dry, dull and flaky skin in an easy three step kit.

Ann’s business was born out of her own skin struggles. She tells us about how Ilaman Skin came to life,

“After I had my son, I experienced dull and dry skin with occasional acne spots. In an attempt to resolve my skin concerns, I became a product junkie buying everything I thought would resolve my skin condition.”

Frustration started to build as Ann noticed that these products weren’t making a difference, were expensive and were stripping her already sensitive skin. Ann and her sister Idah decided to create a natural skincare line that is gentle, clean and restores the skin's radiance while being environmentally conscious. Their mission was not only to create a great product but to  help skincare beginners find their routine with a simple and easy to follow ritual. 

“We pride ourselves in using the best ingredients to ensure you get quality and effective products. If you’re always on the go and don’t have time to indulge yourself in an elaborate skincare regimen, our products include easy to follow steps to lockdown your skincare routine.”

Ann reflects on how starting her business during the pandemic was scary. She was researching support for small businesses and stumbled upon Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE powered by Google Program.

“Just thinking of how much resources are available to us, was more than we bargained for. So we jumped on the opportunity and signed up.”

She goes on to say that she would not have known where to begin with the website because it felt so complicated. She is glad  she took on the opportunity to have expert help in her business's digital transformation. 

Ann was assigned an eCommerce Coordinator who introduced her to web design and how she can manage it on her own. Ann enjoyed her experience working with her coordinator who was patient and answered all of her questions while implementing what they were discussing in meetings.

“I probably wouldn’t have launched on time if it wasn’t for the help I got with creating my website.”

The ShopHERE Program helped Ann to learn some valuable skills for running an online business and allowed her to receive the support she needed to successfully launch her website.  


“I am now able to launch my business and it still feels surreal.”

Ann’s advice to the small business community is to be conscious with your time and make the most of it!

“Use this time wisely and make something that you will look back at and say although Covid struck, it wasn't in vain, I built something to be proud of! “

Her next challenge is to work on driving more traffic to her website and convert those visits into sales and orders. 

If you’re looking for new skincare products that are gentle, environmentally friendly and simple, check out Ilaman Skin’s website!

Ann’s story is truly a representation of hard work, dedication and tenacity. If you are interested in getting support in building your eCommerce website, sign up for the ShopHERE Program today! The Digital Main Street website also offers numerous free tools, resources and workshops to support you and your small business. 


About Digital Main Street

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.

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