We had the good fortune of connecting with Shanora Ali and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shanora, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
DiDi-N-Tingz was an idea that came to me after several of my friends kept asking me to prepare sea moss. I would tell them “of course!” They always insisted on paying me. For my daughter’s first birthday we went to Jamaica and met a lot of people. One of the kind souls reached out to check on the kids and I to see how we were doing with COVID. He was asking if I found any hobbies to pass the time. I told him how I was researching herbs, sea moss, and how to make soaps for my daughter’s eczema. He asked if it was ok to send me something in the mail as a gift and I said sure! A few weeks later I had 25 pounds of sea moss in my apartment lobby waiting for me. I contacted my friend and asked him “what am I supposed to do with all of this!?!” He simply replied, “try it, if you like it sell it to people and come and buy some when you need more.” So, that is exactly what I did. I am thankful for the kind and pure souls I have come across in life.
What should our readers know about your business?
In Hindi, Didi means big sister. At DiDi-N-Tingz we serve as the big sister for our community and the world. We serve products that nourish the body and take care of you as a big sister does. I can honestly say that I got where I am today not only through perseverance and hard work but, by the love and genuine support of my customers. It was not easy and I continue to have humbling learning experiences. I overcame many of the challenges by taking a step back and seeing what people need. Thankfully, I have been able to maintain flexibility and change the course of my business. Many of my customers have been referred by other customers. People sharing my posts on social media have also been a huge part of how I got to where I am. What sets DiDi-N-Tingz apart from anyone else is that we are truly a family. We take everything you all say into deep consideration and we care for you as if you are apart of our family. I am most proud of my progress with incorporating new products for people. I am so excited to launch our spring collection. We have some exciting new products coming! Some lessons I have learned along the way are to be consistent, do everything with positive intent (not for sales), and to give thanks always. I really want the world to know that we strive to be better each day and look forward to growing.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ha ha surprisingly this is a hard question for me! I would definitely treat them to Phonatic off Colfax and Logan on the first day that they arrive. Their Pho is so amazing and the owners are even better! The next day we would start by heading to Dutch Brothers for some caffeine and then heading to take a hike at St. Mary’s Glacier. This is my favorite spot to hike with my kids. We never make it past the lake. My friend and I would have to make it past the lake on this trip. After a long hike we would take a trip to Wing Wagon. I LOVE wings! The next day we would probably have a little more relaxed day and enjoy brunch at Lucille’s Creole café. I love their red beans and rice. We would take a tour of Five points, hit up Whittier Café for coffee, the Black American West Museum, and enjoy some amazing sandwiches from Coffee at the Point. Other must have food places during the trip include Welton Street Café, Outlaw Wings (did I mention I love wings), Lucero’s, Denver Biscuit company, and Blue Pan pizza in the Highlands. Other places we would have to visit are Red rocks, The Nature and Science Museum, the Zoo, and Dinosaur Ridge. If we wanted to catch a vibe post COVID we would definitely hit the scene on Market street and explore Downtown Denver.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I definitely would love to shout out Mr. James in Jamaica who gave me a head start to the business. David Smith for helping me perfect my soap craft and my family. My sister helps a great deal with my children and helps push me to the next level. My brother for setting up my website, my family for showing up to every pop up shop to support, and my children for all of their help behind the scenes. I would also like to shout out my friends! My friends listen to my ideas, try new product before I launch it, help me at pop up shops, let me cry to them, and are there for me when I need a girls day. I have to shout out my village! Which includes my customers, social media followers and my children’s god mom Rachael. I am so blessed and would not be where I am if it wasn’t for them! Lastly, I must give all praise to God and those who came before me. Thank you for paving the way and guiding me.