What inspired you to start your business?
My children, especially my little girl Zaahra, inspired me. While taking trips to refugee camps to supply basic food, clothes and hygiene needs, my children asked the question, “What more can we do?”
What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?
Women need to be a chain, women need to encourage other women, not see them as competition, and lift them up. Success is not achieved alone, always together. We are stronger together.
What three traits define you?
Empathy, Mercy and Patience.
What women inspire you?
Zaahra…My little girl. After four boys, I had Zaahra. I had already become a mom but with Zaahra, my only girl, I realized how precious & important it is to me to raise a resilient and empathic young lady who can be strong and courageous in a world that values money, brands & who you know over family, helping humanity and giving up something that is so precious — time to give back.
What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?
Sustainable and mission-driven products are being recognized for quality over quantity. More consumers are aware of how they spend their hard-earned money and who they are supporting.
As a business owner, what keeps you up at night?
Knowing that women are dependent on me for the opportunity to create their path, livelihood and the ability to put food on the table and invest in their children.
What are the biggest obstacles you see for young female entrepreneurs?
The lack of mentorship and the lack of opportunities, motivation and determination to create an environment for all women to succeed in the way they define success.
What do you love about being a business owner?
I love being my own boss. I am strong and can show the world success of a mom, wife and woman.
What’s the hardest part about being a business owner?
Wearing many hats in the company as a solopreneur, as well as being a supporting and loving mom and wife.
How do you define success?
Vision, motivation, determination, passion, persevering, trying your hardest.
What’s your favorite career moment?
ZAAZEY® telling her story and being recognized and awarded 3 Gold Medals on the international platform — New York, Canada & London international olive oil competitions in 2021, and silver in Japan! Showcasing to the world that true intentions and hard work do get recognized — grit and grind are important.
What’s the best way to start your day?
Waking up knowing where my five children are sleeping, most of my children are still home; having two boys just leaving for college hurts, but I still walk by their bedrooms knowing they will be coming home to a full and loving home. I love the time in the morning to make the kids breakfast, say good morning to both my mom & mother in law and drive my little girl to school — I love hearing her talk about her plans for the day.
Fill in the blank:
When I face a challenge, I… pray and ask God for strength, I focus on the solution and not the problem.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… to not rush production, take your time and let time wait on you.
The one thing I couldn’t live without is… my children, husband/family & Sumeyra, my project manager in Turkey, who has been my strength even in difficult times.
By this time next year, I… will be beginning the new harvest, adding to the ZAAZEY® production line with new products, because more products mean more jobs and opportunities for women.
To get my creative juices flowing, I… need to be in Turkey, on the olive groves, smelling the fresh herbs and flowers and hearing the voices of the women laughing.
ZAAZEY® early harvest, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, has created sustainable jobs with higher paying wages for women around the world. Thei pickers/rakers/packers are mostly moms that need an opportunity to have their voices heard. Enjoy ZAAZEY® knowing that you paid for quality, commitment and equal pay wages while cooking, sipping, dipping or drizzling amazin Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Let ZAAZEY® be the door to help open endless possibilities for women around the world.