WHEN business adviser Salma Chaudry was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago, little did she think it would give her the idea to start a new career as her own boss.
When she got over the shock, she started investigating the ingredients of the cosmetics she used on her face and body, and was alarmed to find what was in them.
As a Muslim, the 45-year-old mother of four was worried to find that many contained animal products, with no sign of whether they met Islamic law, or alcohol, forbidden in the Koran.
Now fully recovered, Salma has turned her experience to good use and set up her own company, with an initial range of nine cosmetics – all ethical and Halal accredited.
She has been helped to start up by the Pennine LEAP programme, run by Renegerate Pennine Lancashire, which helps entrepreneurs.
With a manufacturer in York providing the hand and body washes and lotions, face creams and moisturisers, Salma is poised to launch her beauty products globally.
Salma, from Blackburn, has been testing her range of beauty products locally, and will be launching them nationwide in the spring, and exhibiting in the Middle East.
She said: “In 2009 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and started taking an interest in the ingredients of the beauty products I used, as well as what I was eating.
“I learned many contained alcohol and non-Halal animal products, forbidden in Islam.
“I then thought of making my own, which don’t use animal products, or alcohol, as well as not having undergone animal testing.
“They are Halal products suitable for Muslims, but also totally ethical and suitable for many vegetarians, those who abstain from alcohol, or are just concerned about what goes in their beauty products.
“As well as meeting the religious needs of Muslims, they are ideal for other people with ethical concerns, and it has turned into a rapidly- growing international business project.
“I am now looking at opportunities not just in Britain and the Middle East, but Pakistan and the Indian sub-continent, across Europe and the United States.”
Salma got free coaching support from Pennine LEAP, which offers support to anyone in East Lancashire wanting to start a new business.