Written By: Christine Garcia
Photo Credit: Selmin Karatas
Selmin Karatas has never been someone to be content with a 9-5 job. As a creative individual she has always strived to create her own path in life. Watching her father work as a chef with various different ingredients from a young age allowed her to take on a perspective on life that differs from the status quo.
Selmin first started her hair care company alongside her father in 2016 as a way to provide others with Mediterranean inspired products that would help in not only bettering their hair, but helping to better our planet as all of her products are both sustainable and clean. The inspiration for what goes in the product stems from Mediterranean rituals from as long as 2000 years ago. The company name itself, Kazani means “traditional copper kettle” which is what was used on open fire 2000 years ago. In addition Selmin utilizes traditional Asian time-honored recipes which is only part of the various details Selmin makes sure to pay attention to in order to provide the highest quality products for her customers.
In fact, when talking about the most difficult part of her job, Selmin explains that she can’t “sleep at night thinking of what [she’s] going to do with [her] website or even with [her] products.” Although she is very fortunate to receive some help from others, including some mentors, the aspect of producing is especially difficult and time-consuming. In order to combat this daily challenge Selmin makes a list of every task she has to complete for the day and proceeds to carry it all out. The great amount of effort that Selmin puts into her company is ultimately a payoff to create more business and attract more customers. Selmin even goes on to describe the job as “wearing ten different hats” as she does “everything from blogging to [working on] the website to putting up the social media and also trying to sell [her] products.”
Nevertheless, Selmin says she is “passionate about each part of the story”. This same workload is what is essentially most enjoyable about her job as she loves the fact that her products are able to help people see positive change in the quality of their hair and scalp. In fact, she loves seeing these results so much that her company is expanding into body care as well, which Selmin says is very good for those who have special or unique needs.
Unfortunately, however, given the recent COVID outbreak, her business was impacted greatly and resulted in a major setback. Before the pandemic, Selmin was selling her products in Manhattan and Queens where she would do various pop-ups. However, after speaking to different distributors and retailers, she soon learned that customers were not going into the shops or pharmacies she previously sold at and when they were, they only shopped for the most essential items such as groceries. Now, after experiencing this obstacle as a business owner, Selmin is pivoting her business and working more on her ecommerce as more people are shopping online so as to avoid the outbreak that exists outside. By doing so Selmin hopes to ultimately accomplish her dream of selling her products regionally, and at some point, worldwide.
These hopes and dreams are kept alive through Kazani’s mission which is to “ help conserve nature as we see climate change going on.” The more people that Selmin is able to reach through her sustainable products, the cleaner our world will become. Through this work Selmin hopes to be someone that aids in bridging our present lifestyle with a better future that includes her sustainable, gender-neutral products.