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Azra Khalfan_Plaques by Azra_260x152Your Name:  Azra Khalfan

Business Name:  Plaques by Azra/Signs and Lucite Products, a manufacturer and distributer of award products

Type of Business:  Other — Awards, Banners and Signs

Business Location:  Elmhurst, New York, United States

Reason for starting:  These companies were established by my parents, Aunali & Shirin Khalfan. My mother was business savvy and my father is a genius, creative and very innovative. Together they ran two businesses side by side. One business catered to more of an “on demand service” for engraved signs, awards and plaques, and the other catered to the growing Muslim population, a niche for Islamic gifts and awards for the Muslim community in North America. In 1996,while I was attending college, my parents needed someone to manage the company. Ever since, I have been a vital part of their companies, one of which was named after me, Plaques by Azra. I absolutely love to do what I do!

How do you define success?  Accomplishment, achievement, consistency and contentment. If you believe that the best is yet to come, you will stay motivated and keep pushing yourself higher.

Biggest Success:   This is difficult to answer precisely. From a business perspective, we have done some interesting projects and some of our awards have been presented to Nobel Peace Prize winners, the First Lady in office and famous sportsmen, to name a few. Our company was also featured as a cover story in Azizah Magazine.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?   As a woman, I feel you have to go that extra mile to prove yourself. My faith in God and continuously thanking Him no matter how difficult it may get, has instilled the ability in me to do so. Balancing with family commitments often interferes with work. I do my best in managing, and wouldn’t give up my family for anything.

Who is your most important role model?  Lady Khadijah, (peace be upon her). She was a successful business woman in the pre-Islamic Arabia who later married Prophet Muhammad, (Peace be upon him). I marvel at her abilities to maintain her status during a time when ignorant and haughty men were in control and considered women as feeble characters. She shared her wealth for good causes and strove to educate the community out of ignorance.


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Edited by The Story Exchange