Each week, Female CoFounder features a female founder in the community. Follow along each week and learn from different founders and their journeys.
FcF: Tell us about yourself.
Abeiene: My career feels serendipitous! I grew up thinking I wanted to be an animator and studied Fine Arts at Sheridan. Realizing early that I wasn't that great at drawing (or to Disney's recruiting standards) I opted for Graphic Design & Advertising.
I fell in love with the problem solving skills need to take a visual asset(s) and convey a brand message through a medium (billboards, print, editorial, etc.). I actually got a job out of school at a great design firm in Toronto at the time. And I say "actually" because most people don't end up in a career based on their studies!
Fast forward a decade and I still consider my self a "designer" in a sense that I use Design Thinking approaches for every project that I do. I love helping my clients create innovative solutions through user research, creative workshops, and service design.
FcF: What is Stories and Design?
Abeiene: 'Stories' represents the stories people tell me. These stories provide key insights and opportunities I need to help my clients 'Design' innovative solutions that their customers
FcF: What is your advice for businesses right now on how they can thrive during uncertain times?
Abeiene: Whether you're just starting a business or you have one running, remember that your customers are your north star! They can help you understand where to take your business next.
In other words, talk to them and learn how you can make product features that resonates with what they want and need from your company.
FcF: What advice do you have for other women who have a start-up idea or side project idea?
Abeiene: Validate your idea! I can't stress that enough because this is the number 1 reason a business fails; their product isn't seen as valuable or useful for their customers.
There are different ways to validate an idea, but I find the most effective is running remote interviews where you ask your ideal customers:
This is a really basic 10 min conversation to help you get ideas on what features to prioritize!
FcF: How can the Female CoFounder community help you?
Abeiene: Being an entrepreneur can be a very lonely journey when you're surrounded by people who "don't get it". I love the FcF community because I get to learn from great entrepreneurs who also share the same struggles and wins as I do. It's important to be surrounded by people who can give you perspectives and advice on topics I might not have thought of! Really glad I found this community!
FcF: How can people contact you?
Abeiene: I love incorporating research and play into my work and if you're interested in learning interesting research techniques to try with your customers, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I also have a free video training on How to Create a Thriving Business through Uncertain Times, check it out here: https://storiesanddesign.ca/free-training/
You can also message @Abeiene Nejar in our Slack Group!
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