Name: Iva Sebestyan
Hometown: Ridgewood
Kids: Mattias, 13, and Flora, 4
Business: Flora’s Cottage
Location: 7 North Broad St., Ridgewood

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New Jersey Family: Tell us about your business and what makes it unique?
Iva Sebestyan: Flora’s Cottage is my life dream. It’s a workplace, but I built it as home so all clients feel relaxed and like they’re on vacation. I offer organic facials, which means no devices or machines because I believe everyone’s skin deserves love and a gentle touch, which heals and doesn’t damage your face. I also sell certified organic skincare products from all over the world, mainly from Europe. I strongly believe it is important to care and know what you apply on your skin and what is good for your skin. As I love herbs, I put together hands-on beauty workshops, where we all make natural, organic products to be taking home. Those events are great for birthday parties, ladies’ nights, bridal parties, Girl Scouts and more.

NJF: When did you launch the business, and what was your biggest inspiration to get it off the ground?
IS: I launched in September 2019. I got to the point in my life when I asked myself the question ‘Iva what are you waiting for? It’s time to do something for yourself. Nobody else will do it for you.’

NJF: In this unprecedented time of COVID-19, small businesses are being hit hard.  How has this affected your business?
IS: This time is tough for everyone. I’m still adjusting to the situation, juggling between homeschooling and business, but I love having my kids around more. As far as business goes, I put together DIY kits, which I deliver to my customers, for curbside pickup or I can ship. It’s a different situation but it brought me closer to my clients. Also, I’m planning on bringing face yoga classes online.

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NJF: How have you pivoted your business to adapt to this stressful and uncertain time?
IS: I’m extremely happy if I receive an order for my DIY kit, which I think is fun for everyone. So, if anyone would like to make her own face mask or lip balm, contact me. That’s how I’m trying to survive this situation, beyond selling gift certificates and skincare. I always put something extra in my kits, so all my clients know I highly appreciate their support.

NJF: What will be the first thing you do as a business when this is behind us?
IS: Put my sign and flowers outside and welcome every client with a big hug. It will be a new start with the sun shining.

NJF: What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever gotten that you want to share with others?
IS: Do not hope. Trust yourself, do it, and the rest will come.

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