Kazi Shafiqur, Kazi Abidur Rahman and Kazi Luthfur Rahman pooled £600 of their money to start perfumery business Sunnamusk in 2009 – it now exists across Europe
Three East London brothers have gone from selling fragrances at local market stalls to owning a multi-million pound perfume empire that has even expanded during the pandemic.
Kazi Shafiqur, Kazi Abidur Rahman and Kazi Luthfur Rahman pooled £600 of their money to start their own perfumery business in 2009.
Sunnamusk, as it is known, is a range of Arabic-style perfumes, oils and home fragrances.
The company was founded in 2009 in a market stall on London’s legendary Roman Road after the credit crunch.
Originally from Bangladesh, the Kazi family have been part of the East London fabric scene since their parents arrived in the capital in the 1990s.
Speak with MyLondonCEO Kazi Abidur Rahman, who has played a leading role in the business in recent years, recalled: “After my brother Kazi Shafiqur bought some fragrances, we started selling them from our car boot and a part-time market stall in Whitechapel.
“We literally found every type of tray, threw some velvet over a table, and then started selling.”
In 2010 two brothers Kazi Abidur and Kazi Shafiqur got a permanent stand at Whitechapel Market.
They were selling £500 worth of products a day and Sunnamusk’s popularity was growing rapidly.
In 2011, they had their big breakthrough with a kiosk in Westfield Stratford.
“Opening in Westfield was stressful as it was expensive to have to pay for the kiosk but we knew it was worth it,” Kazi continued.
“Our mum was also a huge motivator as she kept telling us to go ahead and take the Westfield opportunity.
Sunnamusk built on the success and opened a flagship store in Aldgate in 2013.
Pop-up stores in Ilford, Romford and Lakeside followed.
A few years later, the founder and then CEO, Kazi Shafiqur, resigned.
This meant that at the age of just 23, Kazi Abidur became the CEO of a company that is now worth millions of pounds.
He said: “I’ve always been passionate about business from a young age. I helped with the booth when I was about 14 and even helped design the website.
“I had seen the business grow from car boots to now eight stores across London. I was confident that I could do a good job.”
Kazi is not resting on his laurels, despite even urging the business to expand during the pandemic.
“When the pandemic hit, we turned a lot of our attention to the internet.
“We have transformed our business and have made great strides. We have noticed that our online sales have increased and people have been buying in numbers.
“Between 2020 and 2021 we have managed to have a total of 17 stores, 15 in the UK and two in Germany.
“Even after the lockdowns, we have continued to break record sales on a monthly basis. We had prominent guests at our launches like Amir Khan and celebrated our 10th anniversary in 2019.
“It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come. We started with £600, then made £1m and now our projected turnover for 2022 is expected to reach £10m.
“To see where we came from and where we are now, we feel very blessed to be where we are.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/brothers-who-started-600-perfume-26736825 Brothers who started a £600 perfume company from their car boot now run a £10m empire