Meet Davina Ajana, co-founder of family-owned beeniebudsco, an online concept store selling beautiful, ethically sourced, design-led toys. She is also launching an exciting new print publication inspired by her daughter Sadé this autumn. Titled Sadé Magazine, it will aim to inspire, empower and build a community for black girls aged 6-12.
Below, Davina talks about the importance of supporting other small businesses (especially helping to boost the Global Black Economy), reveals her favorite social media platform and what she loves about it, and tells us more about her newest project.
LITTLE OBSERVATIONIST: Give us your tweet-sized elevator pitch. What’s your business all about?
DAVINA AJANA: Online kids concept store featuring emerging and established brands from all over the world. Bringing together a quality collection of ethically design led products for the whole family to love.
LITTLE OBSERVATIONIST: Now tell us more: What sets you apart from your competition?
DAVINA AJANA: We really focused on working with brands that are small and independent, that create quality products and use ethically sourced materials. I guess our main competitors would be the larger e-commerce stores; however, being a small brand we definitely focus on what makes our brand stand out.
LITTLE OBSERVATIONIST: Share a bit of background on yourself and your business.
DAVINA AJANA: We’re based in London. The business was founded by my husband and I. While I was expecting my first child, I was made redundant from my creative role. I decided to create a platform which shared design led kid’s independent brands. A small blog was born! Just before our daughter was born, we decided to open an online store.
We wanted to create a collection of ethically sourced, design led products for parents to love. We run this company as a family. This year will be our 10th year of trading, since we launched our store!
Our goal as a small business is to 100% support other small businesses, most importantly helping to boost the Global Black Economy.
LITTLE OBSERVATIONIST: Which social media platforms do you use for your business? Has this been time well invested? Any tips for newcomers?
DAVINA AJANA: We use Instagram, Facebook and Twitter; however, Pinterest has been our most successful account so far. Our store works really well visually as we have colourful products that need sharing with more detail. Pinterest has a few elements that have proven to be successful for us. For example, Pinterest stories are a great way to showcase products by providing more information with just one product image.
I guess my tips for newcomers will be find one account that works well for you and learn more about how you can improve on creating great content. At times it can be overwhelming when you have to keep on top of all the accounts.
LITTLE OBSERVATIONIST: What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve been given that still resonates with you today.
DAVINA AJANA: I remember going to the trade shows and seeing all these amazing brands and not deciding what to buy. I was giving advice to just buy what I liked. But later, when we got more customer insight, we could base the buying patterns around our customers also.
LITTLE OBSERVATIONIST: What have been your biggest challenges and greatest rewards as a small business owner?
DAVINA AJANA: I would say my greatest reward is having a successful business using all of my creative and retail knowledge due to my previous career. It’s also rewarding to see how our customer base has grown over the years.
LITTLE OBSERVATIONIST: What are your hopes for your business going forward: what would you most love to achieve as a short-term goal? And long term?
DAVINA AJANA: We’re hoping to expand more on beeniebuds co’s own product range. Currently, I’m working on a few projects, including a new kid’s magazine.
Sadé Magazine is an independent quarterly print publication, filled with inspiring and empowering content for young Black Girls aged 6-12 years.
Our mission is to build a community for young Black Girls like our daughter Sadé who will be leading the way for the future. We will be supporting parents and guardians with information that is not mentioned or shown as often as we would like.
LITTLE OBSERVATIONIST: Little Observationist began as a space to appreciate life’s little luxuries. Name three you’ve enjoyed recently.
DAVINA AJANA: Oh luxuries, a word that’s not really mentioned within a forever busy home!
However, I’ve been catching up on some reading and baking. I think those two work well together.
Connect with Davina:
PS: If you’re a small business owner and you’d like some professional guidance with your own social media, head on over to my small business exclusives to find out about ways we could work together to help you perfect your strategy (or create one!).