Hany Sayed Abdel Latif
from founder Janice Masoud
A Special Basket Weaver
When we decided to make organic palm frond basket for our gift sets, we started to look for craftsmen in the small village that my husband Mohamed was born and raised in called Asyut.
Everyone wanted a piece of the pie to help us find the women specializing in weaving baskets. After learning that these middlemen were taking more money than the actual women crafting the basket, we decided to seek out these women ourselves so they could receive a fair wage.
The first woman we met by coincidence, was my husband's nanny growing up - who he had not seen for over 20 years! Fatima told us that they were unable to marry their son without a dowry, so we paid her a year's worth of work in advance so he could marry. This was more exciting to me than receiving the wonderful basket she made us!
ESQUIRE Calls our Blanket
"Best in the World"
We did not expect the amount of calls into our baby clothing company from men looking to purchase our blankets.
We sold out in 24 hours!
Nutritious Fruits & Veggies
When we first introduced our fruits and veggie toys through our 13 Villages Project and you walked by our customer service team, you would think we were a grocery store with all the stores placing orders for a dozen bananas, two dozen grapes...
It was fun listening to the calls we got!
We ♥ Onions!
our cotton fields
We plant tons of onions before we plant our cotton seeds, because the onion roots act as a natural insect repellant protecting the cotton plant as they take root. Then just a month before the onions are ready to be harvested, we plant our cottonseeds in between the onions.
Since the cotton roots only rely on the onions at the beginning, once the onions are ready to harvest, the cotton plant will have already started to grow - completely organic and free from any onion smell of course!
Lost in the Desert
It took us 6 hours to find the farm when we first visited back in 1998. It was in the middle of the desert at the time, and we ended up at a military base - which is not exactly where we wanted to be! There were no navigation systems back then and we had to rely on the colors of homes and trees to find our way.
5th Grade Fashion
Since the inception of Under the Nile, we've brought our two daughters with us to Egypt every 6 months as I worked on the collection. I was able to get them out of school by working with them on projects relating to my business that they could report back to the class.
So when the students in my daughter's 5th grade class were presenting their clay models on the Revolutionary War, my daughter was presenting a project on how a pattern was graded, a fabric design printed and the magic of how a drawing on a piece of paper becomes an actual garment.
My Grandpa, Father and Brother were all nicknamed Buddy
We name all of our toys after family members and people we know personally!