Joining TYO through our WISE program, Aisha Dwaikat, 33, is transforming her hobbies into a business.
A native of Nablus, Aisha studied at An-Najah University and graduated with the class of 2003 with a degree in interior design. Not only was it a subject she enjoyed, design was also a hobby. Doing what most only dream, Aisha decided to make a profit from capitalizing on her hobby. In January 2012 she started her project, Aisha Design, focusing on jewelry making, such as rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces, all modern pieces but with a traditional Palestinian twist.
Launching her project has been slow. She has many designs and ideas, but it is hard for her to find good jewelers and craftsmen to actually make her jewelry. Another issue is the lack of quality materials needed for her work. Hoping to overcome these obstacles, Aisha joined the WISE program after learning of it through the Small Enterprise Center. Seeing it as a great opportunity not only to find investors to support her project, but also as a means to learn as much as she can about running a business and receive proper training, Aisha works tirelessly everyday juggling work and the WISE program. Once she feels she has enough experience, knowledge, and financial support she hopes to add interior deign and home accessories to her company.
Aisha luckily has a very supportive family, having no problem with her doing three month long trainings in Ramallah, or working with men, Aisha gets the encouragement needed to pursue her dreams. Though the workers she pays to make her jewelry have no issue, there are men at her work who have difficulties putting aside their gender views and taking direction from a woman. She hopes that, with more women involved in the workforce and running their own businesses, gender issues such as this will cease to exist.
She stated the top three areas of growth she would like to see in herself in the coming years as being:
- Developing her critical thinking skills
She added that the best piece of advice she has received, that has always stayed with her, was from a friend who said:
You should work to enhance your knowledge of a field before you work on a project. Always look for new ways to learn.
With the hope of making her fun hobby a huge company, Aisha works hard every day with a seemingly endless supply of energy and the drive to succeed. We look forward to updating you on her progress and the evolution of her project.
Lila is a Fall 2012 intern.