I’m a firm believer that what comes around goes around.
Acts of compassion given anywhere in this world, feeds your soul and makes this world a better place.
I've been asked numerous times why I make my products in Egypt, and why I don't make them in the USA. To those people I would say that we are all one human race, and there are less fortunate people all over the world who need our help.
I still remember my first impression when I stepped out of my taxi in Cairo in 1988, and saw a family rummaging through garbage cans looking for food. My heart stopped...and from that moment, I knew that I would one day start a company to help put people to work in Egypt.
10 years later in 1998, I was fortunate enough to work with an initiative in Egypt where I could make my products, and make a difference in people’s lives. Not by giving handouts or donations, but by teaching a trade to someone so that they could earn an income and better their life. I learned very early on, that income translates into empowerment, when I started working with the 13 Villages Project. Women who had never earned their own income, found themselves with money to contribute to their family in a way they never had before.
I remember visiting one of the villages to check my carrot toy production in the wintertime, and saw that one of the women working on our toy had a newborn baby in just a bodysuit, with no hat or booties on. I sat with her and explained that by keeping her babies head and feet warm in the winter, it would help keep her baby from getting sick. If she was not involved in our project, I would have never had the chance to speak or get to know her. When I came back a few weeks later, I found her baby dressed in winter clothing. The mother was actually proud of how her baby was dressed, and made a point to show her to me.
This woman went on to receive a micro loan to start her own business. She repaid her loan and is now enjoying success. Growing up, she had never attended school but is now making sure that all her children is getting an education.
The entire community benefitted from teaching one woman how to make a carrot toy.
I don’t define the success of my company by how much money I make, but rather by how many people's lives are better because of our company and who we are.