Noura Sakkijha is the founder and CEO of Mejuri, the buzzy jewelry company that sells affordable, quality pieces directly online. While Noura’s the third generation in her family to go into the industry, she had to navigate brand new challenges on her own. This week, Noura told us about the struggles she faced in the beginning…and how she learned self care was important for her health and the health of the business.
On Mental Health
Noura: I went through a very tough period in the beginning where it was high stress…. And I decided to go into therapy at that point because it was really intense in terms of, how are we going to scale this business, we barely have any funding, we barely have any people, et cetera.
…. I think as a piece of advice for anyone who is going through this is find an outlet that is helpful for you. For me it was therapy.
Carly: Were you able to compartmentalize the stress?
Noura: It just seeps into your life…. And it comes in very different forms. For me, it was a form of constantly thinking of the business. And I used to wake up at 3 AM to check my email. I was anxious about what was going on, and what was the next step, and how are we going to navigate this, et cetera. So, it came in the sense of constant thinking, constant anxiety, not being able to sort of relax. And then, at that point [I realized] I need to take care of myself.
On Company Culture
Carly: You mentioned earlier that you have a culture of challenging directly. What does that mean?
Noura: I'm very, very passionate about creating a culture that is collaborative, [where] everyone has a voice, and that it's not because you are a senior, then your idea is the one that goes. Essentially, what we love is to nurture ideation, nurture feedback from everyone. And so, if you have opposite feedback, then you can definitely challenge directly without damaging relationships.
…. And it's really key for a leader to nurture that environment where it's not sort of a top-down approach, but it's also an environment where everyone has an impact…. Everyone is building the business. And so, everyone gets to voice their opinions, their tactics, their strategies. And we get to have a conversation about it. So that's essentially one of the core values that we have.
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