- Written by: Rawan Abu Asad
Among 2 million people living in a geographical area not exceeding 365 square kilometers, a girl in the spring of her life emerged to make her hobby, a passion, and a profession for her. She recognizes her designs either on tea and coffee mugs, school student bags or even in the frames of paintings on the walls of cafes and friends’ homes.
In this article, the Cactus team introduces you to Rozan Al Khazendar, a Palestinian entrepreneur from Gaza who founded her project, “Rozza Designs”.
What are Rozza Designs…
Rozza Designs is the first online gift shop in the Gaza Strip. The store was founded in 2014 by Rosan with the support of her family and friends, running it from her home.
The idea of his business is based on sending clients their ideas or requests with a message to us on our Facebook page, then I design these ideas or requests and then print them on many shapes such as cups, clothes, key chains, cushions, wooden boards, picture frames or paintings attached to the walls, Cell phone covers, school bags, and various forms of accessories.
So far I have received over 2,500 requests since I started my business and over 40,000 follow me on the Facebook page. My mission in this project is to choose the finest types of raw materials to implement creative designs for talented women in order to produce unique and high-quality products. I also believe in the project’s vision, which is to create confidence in the public in Rozza products and to spread this brand on a large scale.
The path of a thousand miles begins with the search for passion.
My story began after my return to the Gaza Strip as soon as I finished my studies in Egypt. Like all recent graduates, I started looking for a job opportunity. I applied to more than one institution and company and worked in more than one place, but there was always that feeling that the place I work in limits my energy and talents and lacks a sense of creativity, and this contradicts my personality to a large extent, as I do not like routine and constantly looking for a change and everything that is new. My passion for learning drives me to take risks to accomplish any task.
I could not find what dictated my passion in all the jobs I worked at, so I decided then to stop working and look to do something that makes me happy and makes people around me happy.
From a young age, I loved making handicrafts, and in my studies of computer science, I tried to combine the services provided by modern technology with the skills and talents I possessed, so I came out with “Rozza Designs”.
In the beginning, I implemented my designs for my home, my family, and my friends, and when I noticed everyone around me liking what I did, I felt very happy, especially when I started receiving requests, and then the matter expanded to receive requests from institutions in the sector. In order to maintain a good level of excellence, I always strive to provide something new that satisfies the customers. After that, the segment of customers or customers began to expand more and more.
Achievements and success factors
The number of orders increases on a monthly basis, thus increasing my sales and profits. My project has existed for 3 years, during which I worked to measure the extent of customer satisfaction with the product that I offer, and the results of these questionnaires were high satisfaction rates indicating that my products meet the needs of customers.
Learn from error and correct it
The mistake of trying practical experiments based only on my intuition was a fatal mistake that I made at the beginning of my career and caused many losses. But I learned a good lesson that I should have studied the work before entering it. This mistake also taught me to be more informed, search for the right information, and acquire the managerial and entrepreneurial skills that would help me develop the project more in order to avoid falling into such a previous mistake again.
Challenges and difficulties
My biggest challenge, in the beginning, was being the only woman in Gaza to enter the print business. Many gambled on my failure, and later after I proved my worth, it became the one who bet on my loss by dealing with me and asking for designs from my work.
The difficulties I face revolve around the fact that raw materials are not always available, depending on the conditions of the siege imposed on the sector for years. Whenever available, I buy in large quantities to maintain the continuity of the production line, which causes poor liquidity at that time.
Not to mention the lack of widespread technical and practical education and training in this field in the Gaza Strip, so I am still looking for external education that will give me new skills.
On happiness and the happiest moment.
Happiness for me is seeing anyone who admires my work and is happy with the product they order. At the beginning of my project, I was keen to make people around me happy with the gifts that I made for them with my own hands, knowing that my beginning was in conjunction with the recent war on the Strip.
At the time, I wanted to make my family and friends happy and remove them from the current bad moods and psychological consequences of the events of the war by presenting them with gifts, in accordance with the saying I believe in, which is “the happiest others make you happy.” My happiness is also evident when I serve women who are looking for job opportunities or information to help them in their work, or even by looking for small financial grants to start their small projects to establish a working life for them.
As for the greatest moments of happiness, it is seeing my family, my husband, and my children proud of me, as my father and husband played the greatest role in supporting and encouraging me to move forward in achieving what I aspired to.
Advice for all women starting their own business
“The most important advice I give to women who aspire to establish their own businesses or even want to develop their enterprises, is to believe in themselves, their excellence and their ability to succeed and strive to achieve their dreams.”