Since I was a young girl growing up in Turkey, I have valued learning and growth. So when I find myself in a challenge, I'm energized by it— it excites me. And when I look back on the beginning of my career path, and up until recently, I always consider myself blessed with the opportunities and challenges I have been given.
I worked in Turkey for many years in various stock market firms, always believing that I would retire in the same business sector. But, as life guided me on the path it had in mind, I soon found myself in not only a different country but also in a starkly different job path.
When I moved to the US entirely sixteen years ago, it taught me the independence I never knew I had. I was pregnant all while I was juggling my career ambitions. I quickly became a jack-of-all-trades and felt as though I was constantly learning new skills in uncharted areas. Things like reading up all the how-to books on starting your own business while simultaneously learning how to parent a fussy toddler! This was almost a decade ago now, and I can confidently say it was the biggest challenge I have faced thus far.
My passion for designing and making jewelry and accessories stems from living in Turkey. Textiles and handmade clothing were a huge aspect of my culture that never left me when I moved to America. The love I have for my culture and the high-quality materials they are best known for is something that I knew I wanted to incorporate into my business. These natural and organic materials for handmade belongings additionally sustain thousands of skillful artisans who have been hand-making for generations.
This was another critical factor for me when starting my business— shifting away from fast fashion and leading the charge to offer more sustainable products and managing an ethical fashion brand.
So, I began my company with these goals in mind. I started by transforming fabrics around the house, which later turned into sourcing from natural and organic jute fabric suppliers to produce my handbags. I sold these bags on small platforms, but the more I sold, the more my business bloomed. I found myself designing hundreds of different models in my head, and that excitement I felt from my growth kept increasing.
This experience taught me how proud I am to be a woman. It also taught me that it's only possible to change our lives with faith and proper planning. As women, we have the power and passion for changing the world when we direct our energy.
Yet still, after almost ten years with my business, I learn something new at each step— and I value it! There is still much information to know, and maybe every new thing we do will open up a different world. I will love it if my path crosses with women of like mind to band together.
Good luck to everyone. 🧿