Originally from Nablus, Palestine Shurooq, began creating stained glass home décor as a hobby over 12 years ago. While attending a local handcrafts course, the instructor, impressed with Shurooq’s artistry, began displaying her pieces for sale at the community center. She was thrilled at the prospect of her products generating additional for her family, but her husband was not. This proved to be the biggest barrier Shurooq encountered on her path to becoming a businesswoman.
Shurooq’s husband rejected the idea and questioned her motivation for participating. He feared that if she pursued this path that she would no longer have time to care for the house and the family. This did not discourage Shurooq; she was insistent and used the rationale that by doing something for herself she would be a happier wife and mother. In turn, this would only affect her family duties in a positive way by providing her with motivation. She proved to be quite convincing and began selling her pieces in 2005 while attending additional classes to further develop her technique. In 2012, Shurooq even received a small loan from the Palestinian Businesswomen’s Association, Asala, to further her business venture.
It took almost 5 years, but not only does Shurooq’s husband support her business but encourages her to succeed. When Tomorrow’s Youth Organization approached her during Global Entrepreneurship Week in Ramallah, to participate in the WISE II program, her husband was more than supportive.
The WISE II program has opened up new networks for Shurooq to market outside of her community. She understands the need to be distinct from her competition and has begun creating unique home decor products to expand her clientele base. Through the professional development courses provided by the WISE II program, she has learned vital English and IT skills to pitch her business more effectively. She plans on formally registering her business with the Chamber of Commerce in Nablus upon completing the program.
Shurooq has not only benefitted from the WISE II program professionally but psychologically as well. The program has lifted her spirits and driven her to accomplish her dreams. She loves having a routine that revolves around her and gives her something to look forward to every day. The importance of self-worth that she explained to her husband early on in her career has been instilled in her teenage daughters as well. They are very active in their community and participate in afterschool activities in order to empower themselves and others.