Nazima Khan – Crocheting A New Business

 

Hello, I am Nazima Khan, the foundHER of NazimaKnits! NazimaKnits is a crochet business I started when I was in college, and I would knit on the train to and from class, work, or internships. I’ve been knitting ever since I was 8 years old, so it’s always been a part of me. One day I went into the massive bins of cloth and began to look for fabrics I liked, cutting them up and hand-sewing anything I wanted, bedazzling them with my trusty glue gun alongside me. This is when it all started: I was 8, and my mom handed me a pink ball of yarn and a crochet hook, teaching me the basic stitch.

At first, I started my own Etsy page, but then expanded on to my own website around 2016 and started trying to utilize the early days of dropshipping to help grow my brand; however, back then, it required a lot more maintenance than it does today. In early 2017—after I finished my undergrad in international marketing—problems arose when my father passed away, so I had to start being more careful with my finances, all while continuing to work in the banking industry and pursuing my master’s in accounting at night.

Fast forward to the present: after 3 years in public accounting—where I started my career right at the top of the mountain at Deloitte—I’m reprioritizing what I’m about. More than a decade later, I’ve worked with and continue to work with a variety of materials and textures: yarn, recycled fabrics, crochet hooks, looms, pompoms, flowers, and elastic; you name it, I’ve probably made something of it! And currently, my business is back up and running on Shopify, expanding into an online marketplace with NO LISTING FEES for other small businesses looking to expand their online presence through marketing. Compared to my prior platform on WordPress, Shopify is a lot easier to navigate and use, and now dropshipping is a breeze!

Throughout my crochet journey, there have been many hardships in turning my passion into a startup business—from financial to personal challenges. Despite having to experience those difficult, trying times, I haven’t stopped growing into the person I am today as I continue to better myself and my business. In the end, I have come to realize that my passion and skill for creating were meant to be more than just a hobby.

Oprah once quoted ‘You’ve got to follow your passion – You’ve got to figure out what it is you love – who you really are. And have the courage to do that. I believe that the only courage anybody ever needs is the courage to follow your own dreams.” Please share, how you had the courage to follow your own dreams.
 
Tell us what the word “Entrepreneur” means to you?
 
 
What has been the biggest lesson you have learned from being an entrepreneur?
 

You can’t add a monetary value to time. It’s priceless. And the only person who has control over the actual monetary value, is yourself. Once you’re able to increase this value, the next big thing to know is how to manage it. Many people have made millions, but very few know how to actually manage it or interpret reports. I’m not saying to become a full financial advisor or accountant, but be receptive to learning the pieces of information you should know when it comes to money management.

 
What inspired you to start your own business, and how did you go about identifying a need in the market that your business could address?
 
I started my own business because I just like being naturally autonomous. Part of the need that my business fills is providing high quality, sustainable items to consumers that encourage individuality, as well as raising awareness that it’s okay to try and pursue your own business. Growing up as a first generation female, you’re exposed to a wide range of views, but only a few of those views will accept you. Building a sustainable fashion company as a first generation woman is not only contributing to the economy and planet, but it’s undoing years of setback that the women before me faced.
 
What is your favourite quote about “following your dreams”?
 
“Be comfortable out of your comfort zone.” Following your dreams requires going to places you haven’t been, which is always uncomfortable; just embrace it.
 
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?
 

I would advise you to first do a self check in. See where you are mentally when it comes physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Money is a relationship just like any other relationship throughout life. Learning how to be receptive, compromise, patience are all things needed when it comes to managing money. As a startup, stretching that first dollar from the ground and building that steady foundation, can go a long way. I would also advise to try and surround yourself with individuals who have similar goals to yourself because when you’re in the mud of running your own business, having that moral support can be huge.

Connect with Nazima here:

Personal Instagram: https://instagram.com/zimmzima?igshid=ZWQyN2ExYTkwZQ==

Business Instagram: https://instagram.com/nazimaknits?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==

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