Name: Fathima Afrin & Fathima Sameera
Location: Chennai, India
Industry: Apparel & Accessories
Reason for starting? Afeera is a combination of our last names, Afrin and Sameera. We are two young girls without business training, but right after finishing 12th grade we wanted to do something, that’s when Afeera happened. We started a page on Instagram and Facebook and started selling accessories. As time passed we also developed our own clothing line and began selling apparel. We are both pursuing careers in different areas, engineering and the arts, so we both have very busy schedules. But in spite of everything we have drawn from our passion for designing and are so happy that we can be independent and do something of our own.
How do you define success? Success is when you don’t fear your failure. Instead you always try to overcome these failures and gain knowledge while achieving a good outcome from your hard work and determination. We have always wanted to gain a good response from people and get things done right. Starting this business at a very young age without any support from anyone but our parents was so hard. But we were able to work hard and reach where we are today. We had to stay focused and over all, love the work we were doing.
Biggest success: When we had a huge set of orders to complete but managed to send them all out on time and see our customers satisfied. It’s really nice to meet new people and fresh faces who try to impress us each day and give us so much of their own feedbacks so that we can continue to grow and develop a stage where our products will come out well. The biggest success is seeing our customer’s satisfaction; making them feel comfortable in our clothes so they feel they are wearing the clothes and the clothes are not wearing them.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? Our top challenges is to deliver the products on time. Many problems occur and we just try to overcome them and give it our best shot. Challenges happen daily and we need to face them. Another challenge is finding our own way in this field. It’s not easy to start at the age of 17. There were a lot of barriers and only a few people who were supporting us. This entrepreneurial journey has taught us that success is not something that comes easily, it’s something we need to work hard for and something we need to be thirsty for.
Perhaps our biggest challenge is gaining customers and winning their trust in our product, which is the most important thing when you are running a business. We have won over many hearts and have customers now who come back to order things and that’s a great moment for us. It’s amazing to be an entrepreneur at a very young age, to learn a lot from experiences, to be inspired by many people we meet each day and to gain a lot of knowledge.
Who is your most important role model? Everything inspires us, each day when we meet new people and get to know their stories they become our inspiration. Our role models include people who teach us to think out of the box, designers sabyaasachi, Elle Saab and many more. The list is too long.
Edited by The Story Exchange