July 16, 2020 / Source: The Bizz USA
By Haarika Kalahasti; Edited by Adya Kumar
Despite the vast number of small businesses that have been impacted because of COVID-19, some incredible small businesses have come to light. In our new segment of The Bizz USA, "Small Business Spotlight," we will showcase small businesses that deserve recognition.
Our first spotlight is MK's Boutique. This great initiative was started by Malaika Kanth Nallabantu, a 17-year-old teenager from Memphis, TN, who is passionate about giving back and studying medicine.
Its mission stands out: "MK's Boutique helps raise money to help provide at least the basic needs of food, water, and shelter to those in Yemen." Around mid-June, one of the world's vast humanitarian crises, the Yemen crisis, broke out again, leading to a massive shortage of essential goods in Yemen. Malaika felt terrible about the crisis, so she took matters into her own hands to help impact the community. At the end of June, she launched her first business, MK's Boutique, in which she sells earrings, bracelets, and keychains from her volition to help children from Yemen. One hundred percent of the proceeds are being donated to Save the Children's Yemen Relief Fund.
To get started, Malaika bought supplies from local craft stores and drew inspiration from the latest trends on social media to create a simple jewelry line. MK's Boutique's handcrafted jewelry mainly caters to women and teens. In the future, she also seeks to eventually expand to older generations and men.
Currently, MK's boutique primarily sells its products through Direct Messaging on Instagram, in which Malaika will send PayPal invoices to customers. There is a $5 shipping fee for the products that need to be shipped out of state or internationally. For customers who reside in Memphis, TN, she will hand-deliver the products, so there will not be any shipping fee.
Malaika's business has been doing well and has been getting quite a few sales. However, due to the risky nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, some international customers are afraid to purchase products. Otherwise, MK's boutique has been going strong and persevering to help make an effort to save the children in Yemen.
The young entrepreneur has made plans to continue MK's Boutique after college. When asked how it felt to start a business so young, she said, "It's exciting. At first, I was scared that people wouldn't buy my products because it's hard to know what people want and also because of the current pandemic situation. I struggled at first with getting customers, but soon, I started gaining more customers, and I gained confidence in my abilities." Her words of wisdom to other young entrepreneurs and business owners is to "keep going and persevering and never feel that you're never going to get anywhere." Malaika also encourages them to set a high goal and keep working towards it, never giving up.
The Bizz USA recommends you check out and purchase jewelry at this nonprofit with a fantastic cause and mission. Any purchase from MK’s Boutique is a donation to those in need in Yemen! You can find them and purchase products via their Instagram: @mksboutique2020 (shown below).