In September 2018, I was lucky enough to head over to Lebanon from London to spend two weeks in Beirut (and surrounds).
Part of this trip included meeting up with Liesl – who at the time ran operations for Fajr and I hadn’t seen in six years! – and spending some time with the three Fajr families in their homes.
It is one thing to work on a business from London and think about shipping margins and packing efficiency and another to sit and drink tea with the families who make our notebooks. They are beyond inspiring. At one point during the visits, I got a free makeover from some of the kids featuring very lovingly brushed hair and bright red nails.
I also got to meet Francis and Hïba, who both worked on operations in Beirut at the time – making sure all the coffee shops we partner with have stock – and social media for Fajr, respectively. Power women! It was a really special time and left me more motivated than ever to grow awareness of Fajr notebooks and sell to more corners of the world.
This year, running Fajr ‘on the ground’ has been taken on by Nuna and her family. Times are tough in Lebanon but we are looking to drive sales internationally in order to continue supporting the families through very difficult times. Due to inflation, it is no longer possible to sell notebooks within Lebanon itself and we have been sad to say goodbye to many of the wonderful stores that have sold our notebooks over the years.
Thank you for your time and support as we look to the rest of 2020 and what it holds.