This month Faten Nayroukh, a ceramic artist from Bethlehem-Palestine is our Entrepreneur in the Spotlight! She owns an atelier and shop called “Salsal” which means clay in Arabic.
Getting into this field started as a hobby, I was taking several ceramic courses beside my work as a researcher in the field of agriculture and environment. My educational background as agricultural engineer has its inspirational effect on the produced work. The work highlights the beauty of the Palestinian environment which is rich in flora and fauna, reminding people of the dramatic change that has occurred to the Palestinian environment.
When mastering the work, many have shown their interest in the acquisition of my pottery pieces and I found myself converting this hobby to business. I put all my savings in establishing my workshop in 2005. The pottery workshop project was in a small flat. In order to make the business more successful, it was necessary to offer quality and a diverse collection of work in order to satisfy the customers taste. The pottery products are decorative, functional, and handmade and I also make tiles and Christmas ornaments.
The techniques used for decoration are carving, painting or silk printing. They are made with special care by me with the support of women whom their major concern is to provide artistic pieces with high quality.
Starting a new business is a big challenge in a country like Palestine, which is an occupied one and goes through many wars. I was lucky to have the support from my family especially my husband and have enough capital to start up my business. Many women in my society have brilliant ideas to start a business but unfortunately, they are either underestimated for their ability to achieve success or do not have the financial resources to start their business.
So it is all about the lack of resources and supports from the government, having a wavering economy, difficult access to raw materials due to closure of roads in case of security problems, and the high cost of participating at international exhibitions. All of these challenges make it difficult to make plans or strategies and this leads to slow business development.
I always say if one believes in her skills and works on nourishing those with knowledge, training and patience she will achieve the success no matter what the obstacles are. Always follow your dreams and let the fear and hesitancy away.
Courtesy of Yente an Arab Woman Mag Collaborator
Yente is an international network for ambitious women entrepreneurs with small and medium enterprises, SMEs. Yente empower women entrepreneurs.