After graduating from a technical institute, Mary worked in tourist bazaars as an accountant for various artisans. Each day, she watched the craftspeople create and sell their products. She was intrigued by watching the process of transforming copper, silver, and leather into marketable products–and became one of the bazaar’s best customers.
Eventually, Mary was inspired to join this world of artisans herself. Instead of watching others create, she decided to start her own project.
Mary was especially interested in working with glass, creating unique shapes and styles that she hadn’t seen in the bazaar before. After she spent time perfecting her craft, she was ready to present her products at exhibitions. Her brightly colored jewelry boxes and unique techniques were admired although she struggled with finding the right markets for her products.
A breakthrough for Mary came when she joined HANDS’ training program for young entrepreneurs, where she gained skills that have transformed her business. She learned how to reach a wider customer base, where to find the best markets, and the value of networking with other artisans.
In addition to marketing training, Mary also learned to increase her profit by considering the costs involved in creating products, such as shipping, packing, and materials, when setting a sales price. HANDS’ training also opened the doors to new opportunities to present her products at exhibitions both inside and outside of Egypt.
Having found her new passion, Mary now plans on opening her own studio, where she can create and sell her handicrafts.
Mary’s vocational growth is thanks to the support from friends–like you–who have been supporting HANDS’ Young Entrepreneurs Program. We’re so grateful for your partnership in bringing opportunities to entrepreneurial young Egyptians, like Mary.