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Business with Purpose


Jun 30, 2021

My guest today is Ferzan Jaeger, the founder of Olive & Loom. Her mission is to bring her customers traditional, old world goods with a fresh, modern aesthetic.

Raised in Istanbul and settled in the U.S., Ferzan’s passion is exploring new ways to bring these two cultures together. She loves to surround herself with simple treasures that remind her of family, history, her favorite foods, and the vibrant Mediterranean lifestyle.

After having kids, she has become even more interested in raising them in a multicultural environment and teaching them her family traditions.

4:45 – Ferzan 101

  • She has a very quantitative side to her. She loves science and math but is also very creative.
  • While working at NASA, she discovered a more creative, entrepreneurial side to herself.

8:30 – Growing up in Istanbul

  • She felt like life events took over her destiny. She wanted to find out what she liked besides math and science.

12:15 – Finding herself in her 30s

  • Farzan felt like she started finding herself in her 30s.
  • She wanted to do her own thing and be an entrepreneur.
  • She settled into a routine and realized that nothing mind blowing was happening for her to quiet the noise of wanting to be an entrepreneur.

17:12 – Olive & Loom

  • Ferzan wanted to do something on her own and was struggling with homesickness. She couldn’t find any Turkish products.
  • She started her company with Turkish towels and olive oil soaps. It started getting traction, but not as much as she wanted.
  • She eventually left NASA to focus on her business.

25:32 –A different approach

  • Many women think they can do more, but she underestimated how difficult it would be to run two brands.
  • It’s important people know it’s not a charity brand.

27:46 – Misconceptions

  • Some people have misconceptions about working with the refugee community.
  • Even though they have accents, we all think the same.

32:43 – Get to know you

  • What sport would she want to win a medal in? Tennis
  • What she misses most about Turkey? The food

FEATURED QUOTES

“This desire to do something for myself and use a more creative side of me grew and grew and grew.” – Ferzan

“Do you just stay somewhere, dreaming of some other aspect of a life, or do I just go follow my dreams?” – Ferzan

“It’s like these life events kind of take over your destiny in a way.” – Ferzan

CONNECT:

https://www.oliveandloom.com/

Thank you to our partners of the show:

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I’d like to introduce you to Deux Mains. In French, Deux Mains means two hands. Why ‘two-hands’? Because everything they create is made by trained artisans who use their two hands to make their life better while crafting beautiful products.

Truly, this is a company that set out to change lives and make a positive impact in the world. It started when the founder, Julie, wanted to create dignified jobs in Haiti, a place she was growing to love, and that was exploding with creativity. She wanted to share this talent with the world.

Julie set up an educational program to train people with artisan skills and then went on to build a factory that operates on 100% solar energy. Deux Mains now employs more than 40 artisans that handcraft premium leather goods, jewelry and sandals. Their lives are forever changed by their craft.

What’s also cool is their products incorporate an eco-friendly twist, working with responsibly sourced materials and repurposed inner-tube and tires in their designs.

When you buy from Deux Mains, you get to be part of a movement that is making a difference in the world, while adding an incredibly well-made piece to your closet that supports conscious living!

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