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Hidden Gems: Meet Ahida Correale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ahida Correale.

Hi Ahida, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
There is always a silver lining to every grey cloud! I launched my business at the beginning of the pandemic, arguably one of the worst times to start a business, because I saw a way to bring a little bit of levity and happiness to a stark situation. The idea to the start the business came from what I saw as pretty scary images as hospitals filled up, everyone was covering their faces, and we are all told to isolate. I put my previous career experience to work and I put together a few samples of a denim, cotton-lined face mask that I embroidered myself. So cute and comfortable! I shared them with a few friends and people I admired and there was an immediate attraction. Through word of mouth and social media, the style took off and I feel rewarded everyday when I see someone wearing the mask, staying safe, having fun, and sharing their special message! I didn’t do it alone. My family, friends, and so many wonderful people helped, and I am truly grateful for each and every person that supported me along the way! I am truly blessed to be able to love what I do and be able to support the community at the same time. Like I said, there is always a silver lining! The story won’t end here! I am launching new mask styles AND new custom sweaters and t-shirts in February! So excited!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Starting a business from scratch is no small task and I think any business owner would agree. From my recent experience, the real struggle of starting a business begins with an idea that you TRULY believe in. Once you believe in it and you decide to put your shoulder into it, anything is possible. I remember the first time my sister looked at one of the first masks I put together and she said, “you should send this out, people will love it!” and I said ok, let’s give it a try (but I really set my expectations low). Following her advice, I sent a few handmade masks to friends, the next thing I know people started posting them on Instagram and then stylists began requesting them, celebrities started wearing them, and distributors started ordering them. I had to pinch myself, I was in disbelief that this could really be happening? I asked my husband what he thought I should do. He had a pretty quick response. “Choose a path?” If you love it, put your heart into it and give it everything you have or walk away.” I haven’t looked back since and put everything I have into my business, balancing family and personal time deliberately.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Don’t just say it, wear it! I believe it is important for people to smile, enjoy how they look and share their voice! I design clothing that is fun, personalized and allows people to wear what they say. Candidly, I can’t think of a better way for people to feel like individuals and stay connected in a socially distant world then by providing in style clothing with a unique message they can share. My business started with customized, two layer, cotton denim masks which weren’t on the market anywhere and I intend on expanding to other unique, fashionable, and comfortable clothing lines. I am proud that I have been able to contribute to the community and to people’s individuality at the same time during such a difficult time.

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
Luck, hard work, and creativity have all played an equal role in my business success! There are so many tremendous professionals and people in the world that want to help entrepreneurs when an idea speaks to them. I have been the fortunate recipient of generous support by people that were complete strangers and are now friends. I think that is the best kind of luck! They never expected anything in return and gave so much great advice and encouragement that I don’t know if I will ever be able to repay them. A VERY BIG THANK YOU to all my new friends, family, and everyone that has been there for me along the way!


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Image Credits:

Nick Borrelli

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