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Name: Maryum Farhan

Business: The Market Find, a maker of handmade handbags, scarves, and furnishings 

Industry: Clothing & AccessoriesE-CommerceHome & Housewares

Location: Montville, New Jersey, U.S.

Reason for starting: As an avid enthusiast for the bohemian lifestyle and a desire to stand out, I noticed a void in the retail market for a consistent line of bohemian inspired clothing and handbags with a global flair. There are arts and crafts indiginous to India, Pakistan, Morocco, Turkey and Iran that have not yet been introduced to the American market. Working with fair-trade partners in these countries, my goal is to make ethnic inspired handbags, clothing, accessories and home furnishings that are affordable and fit the American lifestyle. Most products are Made in the USA as I believe local manufacturing is making a comeback and is appreciated by the consumer. The Market Find launched the online store on Thanksgiving 2013 and is now working with select boutiques that showcase our products. Each piece is timeless, unique, handcrafted with love and is bound to be a key statement piece in any woman’s wardrobe for years to come.

Growing up I was a creative child and designing things naturally came to me. My parents forced me into choosing a career path that I had no interest in. I studied computers and was never a star student. I always wanted to create, design, produce and sell. I started to educate myself on the choices had and met countless people who are now successful designers simply because they overcame their fear and tried. There was a 50% chance of failure, but “so what?” I asked myself. I decided to try.

Related: Read about Saba Asad, an entrepreneur and fashion designer working in Pakistan, here.

How do you define success? Success is being able to express my creativity and to have the aesthetic value of my products validated and cherished by customers.

Biggest Success: Each goal achieved is the biggest success so far. Launching was the biggest success for me. I did everything on my own and spent countless nights and weekends doing photography, website design, product listings, PR, social media, blogging and a billion other things.

Related: What it Takes to Start Your Own Business in 2014

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? My biggest challenge is to have my products represented at boutiques. I had no idea how to do that and it scared me. But each problem has a solution and in order to find that solution, you have to break the problem down into bite-sized chunks and come up with a strategy to solve them.

Who is your most important role model? Women with the desire to to be successful and to work hard for their goals are my role models. When I started working with artisans in India and Pakistan, I met countless women who grew up oppressed, were not given a decent education, married young and were now bearing the financial burden of supporting their kids. They decided to drop the vulnerability and go out to make stuff happen. These are honest hardworking women who didnt want designer handbags, expensive jewelry and shoes; all they wanted was bread on their table that night. These women are my role models.

Twitter   @themarketfind

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Edited by The Story Exchange