International Women’s Day has been celebrated for over 100 years and we as women have a lot to celebrate! It is important to give credit where it’s due to all the women who have fought to come to a closer place of equality over the years, but also keep in mind that there is also a long way to go. With this in mind, I wanted to share my own journey in business in a very male dominated industry. 

My journey into selling rugs came quite naturally. I have always gravitated towards textiles and decorating. My Central Asian heritage has allowed me to really embrace the beauty and uniqueness of rugs and cushions and fabrics, as this is what I grew up with. Rugs were a key part of our decor at home and had a strong influence on my tastes when it came to decor. When I met my now husband, his family was in the textile industry so it came naturally to start working with them, but I always knew that I wanted to branch off and work for myself and find my own place in the industry.

Starting Wild Yarn seemed like the right next step. I was already working with factories around the world for many years to develop beautiful and high-quality products and knew all about the intricacies of rugs. Coming from having my own bricks and mortar stores, I had many years of experience in helping customers find the perfect rug to complete their space. I wanted to expand and create a place online where I could share this with others who were as passionate about their interiors as I am. Starting an online store was a way that I knew that I could help even more people with finding the perfect rug for their space and connect with more people who had a passion for interior design.

Getting to this point wasn’t that easy though - It took around 18 years! There have been many ups and downs on my journey. The biggest obstacles I still face today is being a mum and running a business and being passionate about both. I feel like not enough women talk about juggling being a mum and running a business. I had missed a lot of open days for both my little ones as well as not being able to help volunteer at school events when my kids were younger. Despite all this, I feel like I have been a great role model to my 15 year old daughter and son. My children motivate me to keep trying harder and not give up!

One of the other obstacles that I face is how male-dominated the rug industry is both in Australia and around the world. I feel like I have had to work harder than my male counterparts and break through barriers that they may not have even had to experience. I have to do twice the work in building relationships that came easy for the males in the industry, but I couldn’t let any of that stop me. I saw this and it motivated me to work even harder!

With my extensive experience in this industry, I wanted to share some advice with women who may also be looking at starting their own business. It is incredibly tough, lots of long days and nights, and lots of sacrifice to make things work, but don't let this scare you! The sacrifice and hard work pays off and it is so rewarding to see your hard work come to fruition. My biggest tip for women would be to believe in yourself, persevere and most importantly, be open to learning new things. When you are open to learning new things, doors open all the time. Even after 18 years of being in this industry, I am still learning new things every day!

March 07, 2022 — Zeynep Tahmazoglu
Tags: General