After a long career working for a fast moving multinational consumer goods company Salima decided to start her own company in the basement of her mother’s pharmacy. In Morocco there are many homemade beauty products that use world-renowned ingredients such as argan oil and Moroccan clay, but these products need better packaging, stronger branding and more established distribution channels. In 2010, Salima launched AMYs Marrakech Secrets, a high-end cosmetics company which uses all natural products from Morocco, leveraging this Moroccan know-how and her understanding of brand building. From the beginning Salima had an export oriented strategy to avoid the challenges of working in Morocco’s cash based system. She did not want to deal with consignment contracts thus went to Dubai where she could process contracts with distributors more easily. After achieving some success in Dubai Salima wanted to export to the U.S. and joined CEED in order to do so. Although she joined CEED for the practical know-how, she remains a CEED member because of the network. “It’s lonely being an entrepreneur; through CEED I can ask other entrepreneurs questions, and get quick answers.”
Through CEED Salima met Driss Krafess a fellow CEEDer starting a business in the cosmetics industry. Both Driss and Salima joined the CEED sponsored, Export Lab program implemented by the American Chamber of Commerce in order to learn about opportunities to export to the U.S. After speaking with many entrepreneurs they realized that there was a strong need to for a U.S. based distribution company which served small and medium sized Moroccan companies. So Salima and Driss decided to partner and create, DSAW a distribution company based in Miami, Florida. AMYs Marrakech Secrets would be the first brand to be distributed through DSAW which would not only help companies reach customers but would also help entrepreneurs navigate regulations and approval processes in the U.S. Salima and Driss are now both actively exporting to the U.S. and hope to scale their market reach in 2015.