Discover the story of a powerful woman who left behind a career in the fashion industry and taught herself how to make hot sauce in her Hoboken kitchen. Sufia will be with Keenobby at the Harlem Arts Festival this weekend (June 24-25) where she will be teaching two workshops.
We have asked Sufia a few questions:
Tell us about your professional journey and how got to launch your own brand.
It all started with a Dream of winning a prize making the best hotsauce. Silly Chilly Hotsauce was never a Business Idea but it turned out to be a running Business since last year.
I used to make hot sauce at home pretty often just to learn and perfect my recipe. My friends and family knew about it and liked it. Early 2016, one of my coworker asked me if she could actually purchase a couple of jars..I was shocked about the fact that someone wanted to pay me for what I was making…After that, I decided to do a flea market in Bushwick brooklyn (that was the only one I could get in at that time), I sold 8 jars in one day and got tons of good feedback from the customers.
That’s when it all started.
Since then, I have been doing farmers market, pop up shops, flea markets, festivals pretty much every weekend.
What did this shift in your career mean to you?
Last year I left my corporate job in Fashion Industry last year to focus on the development of Silly Chilly hot sauce.
Now I feel like I am doing something meaningful, I finally have a purpose to boost my local economy. I love to think that I am giving the money back to my community by exclusively purchasing my ingredients from local farmers, vendors, suppliers.
I strongly believe farmers are the backbone of our society
who works endless hours to bring food to our table and my mission is to support them in any way I can.
What have been the biggest challenges and how did you go over it?
The biggest challenge has been the financial part. I am a solo-entrepreneur and my own investor so far. This life changing decision made supporting myself without having the security of a full time job a real struggle. As I was getting equipped for a bigger production, I had to bare all the costs myself and continue to invest to develop and bring this project to life. It’s been a long way until I could sell and see profit.
What brought you to Keenobby and what makes this community so special for you?
I met the co-founders of Keenobby when they were starting out last year and
from that day on, I believed in their mission. Keenobby strongly supports the makers.
The Keenobby community helps creative people like myself who are always busy creating and don’t have much time to understand how to market themselves or organize a workshop, network..that’s when Keenobby comes in and supports us.
You will be hosting Keenobby workshops at the Harlem Arts Festival on 24-25 June. What can people expect? Will you share some of your Hot Sauce special secrets?
I will be giving two workshops at the Harlem Arts Festival on June 24th & 25th teaching how to make hot sauce the Ancient way using hands and without using any machines.
Thank you Sufia!
Join Sufia for a workshop at the Harlem Arts Festival, get your ticket here: https://www.keenobby.com/activity/hotsauce-making-class-harlem-arts-festival/