Small Business Saturday: Meet Pamoja

As part of our celebration of Small Business Saturday, this week we’re celebrating small businesses from our community that have inspired us.

Each of our chosen winners will receive £100 to spend on freelancer services to help grow their business. Over the course of this week, we’ll introduce you to each of our worthy winners.

In our last story, we spoke to Teresa Ewart – Founder of Wasteless Market. Today, we’re introducing you to Pamoja – an independent, skincare brand based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. We chatted to Sarah Taylor, the Founder of Pamoja to hear her story.

How did you come up with the name for your business?

Pamoja [pam-oh-jah] is a Swahili word, meaning together, inspired by my mixed heritage – Tanzanian/English. 

Why did you start your business?

I started my business to help others and show women like me that being in your 40’s can be incredible. My mission is to help busy women nourish their skin and nurture themselves with high performing natural skincare. To embrace themselves and celebrate their natural beauty; at a time when life can feel overwhelming and when women don’t always make time for themselves. When we are kinder to ourselves, it helps us to be, and feel, our best. 

How did you set up Pamoja?

During a career break to be a full-time Mum, I experienced severe skin sensitivities. My skin was overwhelmed, and I was too. I couldn’t find products that worked, so I began to make them myself. 

High performing natural ingredients nourished my skin back to health, and a daily skincare ritual helped me nurture myself and inspired me to help others. I loved feeling closer to nature and more sustainable, using fewer products and creating less waste. I fully immersed myself in a career change, studying for two years with Formula Botanica and setting up an in-house lab to work on product design and formulation.

How is the business doing today?

I launched in November 2019, so it still feels I’m in the early stages of business! I started with the mantra of progress over perfection so over the last 2 years I’ve made changes to the website, refined my marketing, social media presence and grown my customer base and product range.

How have freelancers helped grow your business?

As a small business owner, I do everything in the business myself and I work within a small budget.  It’s important to learn as I go, but that can be time-consuming and costly.  I need to be able to outsource small pieces of work to the experts.  However, it can be difficult to even get quotes from the larger service providers who are well-meaning but generally too busy with larger-scale projects to take on small ad hoc pieces of work.

Being able to access a wide range of freelance experts in one place, with very transparent communication and payment system like PeoplePerHour is brilliant.  I’ve been able to quickly update my website in a way I couldn’t have managed myself, helping to increase conversions.  I’ve also saved money as the only other option for me was to access a monthly website maintenance contract which was too expensive an option.

Congratulations to Pamoja and Sarah on being chosen as one of our Small Business Saturday winners! Keep your eyes peeled for the rest of the week as more of our winners are revealed.