• Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce to co-host Retail Marijuana Forum

  • Storefront Stories: Hafsa & Co

    Storefront Stories: Hafsa & Co - Celebrating Women's History Month Spotlights

    In honor of Women's History Month, we’re spotlighting #ACKChamber Women Owned Businesses! We asked Hafsa Lewis of Hafsa & Co a few questions, here are her answers!

     

    Q: How has 2020 challenged you as a businesswoman, if at all?

    A: Hafsa and Co. revolves around designing florals for businesses/brands. When so many of our businesses shut down due to COVID, it affected us greatly. While so many of us small businesses have experienced a sense of hopelessness as a result of this pandemic, ironically for me personally there was also an incredible sense of HOPE that flowers brought to me. In being able to create on a smaller scale and for more individualized occasions it allowed me to bring others joy during a time when the world really needed a lot more beauty and that has unquestionably changed me. 

     

    Q: What are the pros and cons of being a female entrepreneur in 2021?

    A: For me it really has nothing to do with being a female. In the two years we’ve been in business, it’s been the same answer for me each year! 

     

    Pro: You are the boss.

    Con: You are the boss.

     

    I am solely responsible for the success and failure of my business. Ask any small business owner (female or male) and I’m certain they will say the same. I am my brand, my brand is me. They are not mutually exclusive. Keeping that drive alive and working  hard day in and day out...if you don't’ love what you’re doing what's the point? I feel very fortunate to truly LOVE what I do despite all of the pros and cons.

     

    Q: What tips or advice do you have for other women wanting to start their own business?

    A: The best advice I EVER received when I started Hafsa and Co.  was, “be VERY specific about what it is you want to do and then do it REALLY well”. At one point I was doing weddings, events both on the planning side and the floral side.  I ditched all of that in 2019 and focused on the things that genuinely excited me, installations, workshops and pop-ups for businesses and brands.

     

    When you get very specific about what you’re offering and then you become really good at it...people want it. It sets you apart. Become a master of your craft… that’s what I work towards every single day!

     

    Q: What mantra do you live by?

    A: I am a woman of faith and this year I’ve truly relied on my faith both personally and professionally. FAITH. That is my mantra. 

     

    Q: How do you balance owning a business and your personal life?

    A: The million dollar question! I personally have to be VERY organized because I wear a lot of different hats. I can’t rely on my brain to hold all of the information I need it to and meet my deliverables, so I depend on my project management tools, and my calendar heavily. I think because I have both a science brain and a creative brain, this satisfies both sides. 

     

    I know there are a lot of people out there who can separate work life from their personal life but I am not one of them. Knowing this about myself, a way that I’ve found to make that manageable and work towards having both a bountiful business and a thriving personal life is through organizing my time and efforts. I’ve learned that IT is possible.

     

    In my opinion, balance isn’t something you find, it’s something you create. Hafsa and Co is my personal life and it is my business so I found that organizing things into chunks of time helps to manage feelings of drowning, don’t get me wrong I still have MANY days like that! 

     

     

    Q: Who is the most influential woman in your life and why?

    A: How could I possibly choose just one?! I know that’s a bit of a cheat reponse but after the year I’ve had, I couldn’t singularly name just one. 

     
    • My mum is the reason I’m here and she won a very scary battle with COVID in 2020. 

    • My older sister is an ER nurse in the time of a pandemic and is working full-time all while putting herself through a higher level of education so she can do even MORE for her patients. She’s superhuman, and my hero!

    • My younger sister put herself through school, is planning a wedding during a pandemic and doing it all while working full time. 

    • Some of my biggest mentors are small business owners right here on this island who I get to work with and interact with both professionally and personally regularly (how lucky am I?!?). Their influence on me is varied and vast and none more important than the other (Darya Afshari, Emily Mentes, Rachel Afshari, Leah Collins to name a few).

     

    I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m truly fortunate enough to have the influence of so many incredible women and I can honestly say, Hafsa and Co. would not be where it is today without the support of every single one of them!

     

    Q: Why do you think it's important to support other women?

    A: This question really strikes a chord in me. Since I started my business I ‘ve seen first hard the effects of women-on-women bullying and it’s truly devastating. Having personally experienced it it is the SOLE reason I’m committed to supporting as many women in business as I can.

     

    I’ve said it once, I’ll say it as many more times as I need to, “A rising tide lifts many boats”, if we spent as much time supporting one another and lifting each other up as we did feeling insecure, jealous and have a “mean girl” attitude towards our peers, think of what typed of outcome that would produce! Think of how much more could be accomplished. I realize this is a very idealized way of thinking but I don’t care, I believe “if you can, you should” and I think we should support women because we’re stronger together than we are alone. 

     

    Q: What can we expect next from you?

    A: This next iteration of Hafsa and Co is going to be its best yet. Stronger, more focused but unyielding in the ways we can touch people creatively using allll the flowers. I’m truly so excited for this season. 

    Leave a Comment
    * Required field
  •