The idea to spin Ammona Ghanem's household staple of black seed oil in to a clean, luxury haircare brand might have been her dad's idea, but it was she who made it the luxury brand it is today.
Built upon the centuries-old tradition of hair oiling in Asian and Middle Eastern countries, Ammona built an entire high-end lifestyle with some of the cleanest, highest quality hair products my scalp has been lucky enough to soak up.
But, Ammona's AvitaSen is so much more than that—it's her brainchild. It's not just products that smell incredible (which they absolutely do), but about nourishing ingredients with centuries of beauty wisdom backing up the power of them, all wrapped in a luxury bow.
AvitaSen is her baby, but this is her story.
Storytelling is a big part of AvitaSen as a brand. What is the story you hope to tell with it?
We want to bring the benefits of black seed oil to everyone. It's not just a dietary supplement. Every clean and cruelty-free product in the line is a great benefit to hair and scalp health too.
We want people here to benefit from black seed oil the way the Easter world has been benefitting from it for centuries.
What has been your biggest challenge and highlight as a business owner?
One challenge we didn't anticipate is how difficult it would be to spread awareness of black seed oil.
We have known about it for so long that we figured people would flock to it but spreading awareness of black seed oil benefits has been relatively challenging.
That said, it's a challenge we welcome because we know it could benefit so many.
We want to grow our audience continuously till black seed oil is synonymous with hair health.
How does coming from a marginalized community play into the way you conduct business on a day-to-day basis?
AvitaSen is a family-owned business. I work alongside my father and sister.
Without the strong family bond, our shared passion, and Palestinian background, AvitaSen wouldn't exist.
Black seed oil is very well known in other parts of the world and it was a staple in our house growing up. My parents had the typical "coming to America when they were young and build themselves story". They came from Palestine when they were very young.
My dad was an entrepreneur and my family members all built themselves from scratch, so my sister and I have always had that entrepreneurial spirit growing up.
What can we expect from the future of AvitaSen?
So we have some fun things in store for the future. We are super excited for the future of AvitaSen. One thing we have in mind is a conditioner. A lot of customers have asked for one so we are going to give them what they're asking for!
We're in the works for some fun projects for hair and beard health. It takes time, though. We're perfectionists and we want the quality and ingredients to be perfect.
Tell us about a book you'd recommend.
I love "Love Rosie" by Cecelia Ahern. It's a really easy read. After a long, stressful day it's really nice to unwind with a cute story.
What charities do you support?
I love the PCRF, the Palestinian Children's Relief Fund. They focus on treatments of illnesses for children from Palestine who can't get treatment locally. Their mission is so impressive and they have been around a long time. I have a lot of respect for them.
What is on your nightstand?
I have a bottle of water, box of tissues, and a candle. I don't like clutter so you'll never find a ton of stuff on it.