March 8th marks International Women's Day (IWD), a global celebration that recognizes the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. This special day is an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the invaluable contributions that women make to society, and to advocate for greater gender equality and empowerment.
We believe this is a great opportunity to tune in with Deniz Adam, the female founder of Home and Rugs!
- Can you tell us about your journey as a woman entrepreneur?
My story begins with a family business passed down from one generation to the next. Growing up, I saw firsthand the dedication and hard work that went into running a successful business, and I knew that I wanted to continue that legacy.
As an educated woman, I also saw the potential for growth and expansion beyond our local market. I wanted to take the business to a global level and create opportunities for our family and employees. So, I decided to join the family business and work towards that goal.
- As a woman in a male-dominated industry, have you faced any unique challenges? How have you navigated those challenges and overcome any obstacles?
Yes, as a woman in the rug industry, which is predominantly male-dominated, I have faced unique challenges. It can be difficult to be taken seriously and trusted in this field when there is a prevailing perception that it is a man's industry. However, I have navigated these challenges by focusing on my determination and dedication to creating a successful business.
One of the most significant challenges I have faced is breaking through the prejudice that women are not knowledgeable or skilled enough to succeed in the rug industry. However, I have worked hard to prove that I am just as capable and knowledgeable as any man in the industry. Through my hard work, commitment to quality, and dedication to customer satisfaction, I have gained the respect and trust of my customers. I focused on building strong relationships with my customers and suppliers, and I made sure to always deliver on my promises.
- What do you think of this year's theme, DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality?
As a woman entrepreneur who has taken a traditional family business to the digital age, I think this year's theme of DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality is very relevant and important. Technology and innovation have the power to break down barriers and create opportunities for women in all industries, including those that have traditionally been male-dominated.
In my business, I have leveraged technology to expand our reach and connect with customers in new and innovative ways. Our online presence allows us to showcase our products and services to a global audience, and we use social media and other digital platforms to engage with our customers and build our brand.
This year's theme is significant to me because I have seen firsthand how technology and innovation can help to level the playing field for women entrepreneurs. By embracing digital tools and platforms, we can access new markets, reach new customers, and grow our businesses in ways that were not possible before.
- How do you see the role of women in business changing, and what do you hope to contribute to that change?
The role of women in business is slowly but steadily changing. While there is still much work to be done to achieve true gender equality in the business world, we are seeing more and more women taking on leadership roles and breaking through the glass ceiling. As a woman entrepreneur myself, I am thrilled to be a part of this change and to be contributing to it in my own way.
At the same time, I am inspired by the rich history of women in ancient Anatolian civilizations. Women played active and important roles in many areas, including trade and even ruling countries. This history is a powerful reminder of what women are capable of, and it motivates me to work toward a future where women are once again at the forefront of business and commerce.
- How do you encourage and support other women in the rug industry or business more broadly?
As a woman entrepreneur in the rug industry, I am committed to encouraging and supporting other women in this field and business more broadly. One way we do this in our business is by highlighting the role of women in our core identity. Our handmade rugs are woven by women, and we proudly showcase their incredible talent and skill in every rug we sell.
In addition, we have implemented affirmative action policies in Home and Rugs, which ensures that women have equal opportunities for employment and advancement.
- Looking to the future, what are your plans for expanding Home and Rugs and continuing to grow the company?
Looking to the future, my plan for expanding Home and Rugs is centered around our belief that rugs are a powerful way to express oneself. Whether the weaver putting their unique skill and creativity into every rug or the customer using a rug to express their style and emotions, rugs can be a powerful tool for self-expression.
With that in mind, our goal is to continue to expand our rug collections, offering a wider selection of styles, colors, and designs to our customers. This will allow us to provide even more opportunities for self-expression and creativity, helping our customers to find the perfect rug to fit their unique style and personality.
At the same time, we plan to continue to invest in our digital presence, expanding our online store and using digital marketing and advertising to reach even more customers.
- What does International Women's Day mean to you, and how do you plan to celebrate or commemorate the day?
International Women's Day is an important day for me as a woman entrepreneur, but I also recognize that it is just one day out of the year. I believe that women's rights and gender equality should be an ongoing effort, not just something that we celebrate once a year. Every day, I strive to empower and support women in my business and in my community.
As for celebrating the day itself, I don't have any specific plans for commemorating International Women's Day. For me, the most important thing is to continue promoting gender equality and empowerment every day in every aspect of my business and my life.
- How do you stay motivated and maintain your passion for your work?
As someone born into the rug business and involved in it for many years, I have a deep passion for what I do. I am motivated by the support and belief of the people around me, whether that means my family, team members, or customers. Knowing that I have their support and encouragement helps me to stay focused and motivated, even when the work is challenging or demanding.
I am motivated by the belief that I have the power to make a real difference and be a positive influence on others. This belief drives me to work hard, push myself, and innovate and evolve my business.
Finally, I am motivated by a deep passion for the rug business itself. Rugs are not just functional items but works of art that can transform a space and express a person's unique style and personality. This passion inspires me to continually seek out new and innovative designs, techniques, and materials and to push the boundaries of what is possible in the world of rug making.
- What is the proudest moment you've experienced as a woman entrepreneur?
As a woman entrepreneur, there have been many moments that I am proud of, but one that stands out, in particular, is when we received our first order after our website was updated.
For a long time, our business relied primarily on word-of-mouth referrals and in-person sales. However, we realized that to expand and reach a wider audience, we needed to have a strong online presence as well. So we updated our website, invested in digital marketing, and worked hard to create an online store that reflected the quality and uniqueness of our rugs.
When we received our first order through the website, it was an incredibly proud moment for our entire team and me. It was a validation of all the hard work we had put in to create a strong online presence, and it was also a sign that we were reaching new customers who might not have discovered us otherwise.
- Finally, what message would you like to share with other women on International Women's Day?
On this International Women's Day, I want to remind all women that we are strong, capable, and powerful. We can achieve anything we set our minds to if we are willing to work hard and stay committed to our goals.
Let us continue to break down barriers and shatter glass ceilings, not just for ourselves but for the generations of women that will come after us. Let us support and uplift each other and work together to create a world where every woman has the opportunity to reach her full potential.
Remember, the journey may be tough at times, but the reward is always worth it. So, keep pushing forward, believe in yourself, and never give up on your dreams. Happy International Women's Day!