Gayle Lemmon: “Women Help Each Other Start Businesses in Afghanistan”

January 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm Leave a comment

gayle lemmon photoAnother great piece on Afghan women entrepreneurs from Gayle Lemmon: “Afghan businesswomen who are inspiring their daughters, friends and even husbands to go into business for themselves.”

Women Help Each Other Start Businesses in Afghanistan
By GAYLE TZEMACH LEMMON
KABUL — Khan Agha Niazi stands in his narrow street-front showroom and thumbs through a blue plastic folder full of orders from customers outside Afghanistan. Gingerly removing earrings and a silver bracelet from a wood-bordered glass case, he unveils the jewelry he will soon be shipping to the United States.
In the past six months alone Mr. Niazi has received a steady stream of orders from One World Projects and Charities USA, both U.S.-based companies that specialize in fair-trade goods made by artisans overseas.
One World Projects’ buyers say that the company’s Web sites sell out of Mr. Niazi’s goods nearly as quickly as they stock them.
Mr. Niazi, 46, credits his business success to his wife, Bakht Nazira Niazi. An entrepreneur whose ladies clothing and shawls made by Afghan women hang from the shop’s side wall, she encouraged him to start a jewelry line after her customers kept asking for necklaces and earrings to accompany outfits they found at her shop.
Seizing the market opportunity, Mr. Niazi traveled to the eastern city of Jalalabad and engaged a group of jewelers to work with him on designs for his wife’s customers.
His earrings, rings and necklaces sell for anywhere from $8 to $80.
“If I have this jewelry business, this belongs to her efforts,” Mr. Niazi said, pointing to his wife. “She gave me many good ideas. I am using her experience in my business.”
The piece continues here: http://nyti.ms/i9xjAN

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