Avakino Ltd is the company behind Masumi headwear, which creates a variety of comfortable headwear for people who have lost their hair. Director Ali Nowroozi tells BQ about the business, and why he has entered it into this year’s Innovation Showcase at Venturefest Manchester.
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Describe your business in no more than 100 words
At Masumi Headwear we design and produce seasonal headwear for those with hair- loss due to cancer and alopecia. Made from the softest, most lightweight materials available, including silky soft cottons and delicate bamboo fibres, the natural fabrics have been carefully selected for the added comfort they provide when worn by those who have more sensitive skin.
We feel passionately that losing your hair needn't mean losing your sense of style, and that is why our stylish and chic designs and colours are made for everyday use throughout the year, as well as for wearing on those special occasions.
What prompted you to enter the Innovation Showcase competition? Describe the innovation that you’ve entered the showcase with.
We believed we have innovated something great, changing lives of those who are going through hair loss. We had everyone talking about our products on social media, nurses thanking us for creating such an amazing products. When I was working with my digital team Nothing But Epic, who are making our amazing website, they told us that we must apply and now we are so delighted to be finalists.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
Working as an entrepreneur can be very lonely sometimes. I therefore try to keep in contact with my mentor at the growth hub and other entrepreneurs and keep a positive mind at all time. The cash flow at the beginning is also very challenging, as it takes time to build your customers portfolio. But if you have a great product, with great marketing, you can overcome that. You just need to ensure to keep the cost down as much as possible, watch the cash flow, and keep a close eye on your finances regularly.
What are your biggest professional achievements to date?
We had a tough time getting where we are now. We had to sacrifice so much and take so many risks, but when we hear the positive feedback from those who are currently undergoing treatment for cancer and alopecia, and see them sharing their beautiful pictures wearing our headwear, that is my biggest achievement so far - it makes it all worthwhile!
How do you feel about exhibiting to potentially hundreds of people at Venturefest Manchester?
Amazing, we are so honoured and humbled to be chosen and given the opportunity to present our products to all other businesses, entrepreneurs and investors. We would love hearing the panel’s feedback.
What would winning the Innovation Showcase mean to your business?
We have managed to achieve so much in such a short period of time, however we have so much more to achieve and winning Innovation Showcase would open the doors to so many new opportunities, allowing us to grow so much more.
Where do you see your company in five years’ time?
In five years’ time we wish to be a leading brand and supplier of headwear all around the world.
What advice would you give to aspiring innovators?
If you have an innovative idea, just go for it and do it! Work hard and keep up the hard work. There will be a lot of challenges on the way. There is great support out there; make sure you use it and make it happen. For us Business Growth Hub been incredible and we could not have been able to be here without their help!