Joining TYO through the WISE program, Abir Baraa, 48, is dedicated to running her popular business and learning as much as she can.
A Nabulsi native who never went to university, Abir decided to get some training in design and ended up finding a passion that would lead to her business. Though initially faced with some opposition, being asked why she as a woman would want to be working, Abir continued with the moral support of her family and the financial support of her husband to launch her project. Beginning in September 2000, she opened her small shop, Beit Al-Arousa, where she sells and rents wedding and engagement dresses as well as undergarments. Fed up by the lack of originality in the markets, she always looks for new dresses outside of Nablus and brings back one of each design. This way, when someone buys from her they know it’s unique. Also, she makes sure to look for only the best quality dresses and undergarments. Thanks to this, she has become quite popular in the city.
Abir found out about the WISE program through her son. Due to her lack of experience when beginning her project, she thought that receiving training for running a business would prove beneficial. One thing that she finds especially useful is the fact that in the WISE program, they follow up with the entrepreneurs and are there to help whenever she needs assistance; she feels like there is a place for her to come and ask for help.
She stated that the most important area of growth she would like to see in herself in the coming years as being patience—not only with people, but also with herself and in running her business. She also stated that the best words of encouragement that she’s ever received came from her customers. When she was running low on money and thinking about closing her store her customers told her, “you have the most unique dresses and buying from you just makes our engagements and weddings that much more special”.
With the popularity of her store and her professionalism, no longer do people question whether or not she can or should run a successful business. They see for themselves how well she is doing and we are very proud of her. Stay tuned to learn more about how much her business will progress with the help of WISE.
Lila is a Fall 2012 intern.