After transitioning into an entrepreneur and starting her business during the pandemic, supermodel Ubah Hassan received the best Christmas present this season – an official endorsement from former talk show queen Oprah Winfrey.
Hassan, 34, created her hot sauce brand last summer, and a friend decided to promote the business by pitching it to Winfrey to boost sales. According to Page Six, she loved Hassan’s hot sauce and added it to her annual “Oprah’s Favorite Things” list.
“I felt like I had won the Oscar for small business entrepreneurs,” Hassan told Page Six.
While Hassan received the official approval from Winfrey, she had no idea how much inventory she would need to sell in such a short amount of time.
“I had about 1,000 boxes when I started in June… I launched in a pandemic, and it’s a new product, so I thought, maybe sell 100 or 200 and send the rest to family and friends to try it,” she added.
Hassan continued, “I was running low on inventory when I got the phone call!
While the supermodel-turned-entrepreneur may have panicked during a shortage to deliver more products, she eventually found a company in Ohio that would help package the products at a quicker rate. She, her boyfriend, and a couple of her friends boxed thousands of orders on their own, Page Six reported.
“We were packing 36 to 40 boxes in minutes. If Elon Musk saw us in this warehouse and how fast and efficient we were working. He wouldn’t need to create robots,” she quipped.
As a result, Hassan could supply 10,000 units to meet demand.
“We sold out. [For] a piece of my company’s success to come from [Oprah] is a blessing on earth for me. I can’t wait to give back like her,” Hassan said.
Her three hot sauces go for $23 per jar on her Ubah Hot website.
Hassan, who is originally from Somalia and later migrated to Canada, launched her modeling career after she was discovered by a photographer and signed with Click management in New York City. She has worked with top designers including Ralph Lauren, Oscar De La Renta, and Gucci.