I can’t draw a straight line. I have trouble coloring inside the lines. And forget about creating a masterpiece out of clay. Can’t do it.
But my friend Sima (SEE-mah) can.
Let me share a little of Sima’s story and how our paths crossed:
I first met Sima three years ago when she walked through the doors of the church. Sima came to this country from Iran and her story is powerful.
Iran is a mostly Muslim country but my friend is not your run-of-the-mill kind of gal. Sima was a loud and proud Christian in a Muslim country. Definitely not good for your health.
Sima and her son escaped religious persecution in Iran and they made their way to Akron, Ohio. And when she walked through the doors of the church that day, the twinkle in her eyes and her big smile cemented our friendship.
Through her broken English, she introduced herself and told me a bit of her story: of how she had to flee her homeland for practicing Christianity in her home; how she and her son relocated to Turkey before coming to the US. Times were tough for them but her faith saw her through.
Her story reminded me of when I moved 400 miles from my hometown to start over. I wanted better opportunities for my family (who am I kidding? I wanted better opportunities for all of us, myself included). The difference was I had a choice - Sima didn’t. And because we are both single moms, we truly bonded.
Over time, our friendship grew. I've been to her home where she's always welcomed with me a cup of tea and melt-in-your-mouth Persian cookies. And our sons grew quite close. When it comes to teenage boys, there really aren’t a lot of differences. They like to eat, they love video games, they love their cell phones, they love sports. And girls. Let’s not forget girls. Universal languages!
As Sima’s English became more fluent, she shared her dream with me: she wanted to create beautiful art. She wanted to run her own business and make items out of cold porcelain.
This art-newb had no clue what she was talking about. Cold porcelain - what was that?
Sima made a rose for me to match the live ones on my desk. Can you guess which one is the cold porcelain one?
If you guessed the one in the middle, you're right!
Take a moment and check out this video of Sima making one of her creations. I've had the privilege of watching her make one from start to finish. Prepare to be amazed!
So, how did she go from refugee to kick-butt business owner?
Sima networked her butt off! Seriously.
She told any and everyone about her dream of owning her own business. She learned how to navigate social media correctly to promote her items. She has become THE go-to person for cold porcelain items. I don’t know about you but I’ve never seen this type of art before. She’s created quite the niche for her business.
One day her networking paid off and Sima’s art was noticed. A local government agency contacted her to make a huge order of flowers for their offices. Let me tell you, I was so happy for her like it was my own business. And her business continues to grow.
She recently launched her new Etsy shop where she can share her gifts with a wider audience. To say I am proud of her doesn’t quite sum it up. If you're looking for a unique gift idea (think bridal bouquets that will last forever or centerpieces for weddings and other events), check out her online shop.
What is your gift? What is your super talent? Don’t say you don’t have one because you do. It might not be creating cold porcelain art but there is at least one thing you are super great at. Figure out what that one thing is and run with it. Use your gift to fill a void, serve a purpose, bring joy, solve a problem.
Just like Sima has.
Would you like to be featured in this spot? Do you have an inspirational story you'd like to share? Well, I'd love to hear it! We all need a little motivation in our lives, yeah? Shoot me a message and let's share your story. You never know who you might inspire. Until next time!