Sayed Mohammad Hashemi is a designer and tailor who opened his shop in El Cajon. He sells handmade purses, wallets, shoes, jewelry, plus traditional Afghan clothing and rugs.
He learned tailoring at age seven and used to own a shop in Kabul. Sayed worked with NATO as a cultural advisor for American troops – and after partial troop withdrawal, insecurity, and instability, he saw the danger and applied for a Special Immigration Visa.
He with his wife and three children moved to the States six years ago. Working hard, he was able to establish his business in 2021. The dresses he creates are mostly traditional Afghan outfits which are popular in the Afghan community here. People wear them for parties, Eid, Nowrooz, and for other public community events.
Sayed started out leasing a small shop and got his business permits. But as soon as he heard about our IRC SBDC services, he reached out. IRC helped him participate in several vending opportunities which helped grow his business. They also assisted him with other marketing efforts, networking, and resources. He says he’s grateful for the assistance and plans to work with IRC SBDC to apply for a business loan.
As a refugee and entrepreneur, Sayed’s advice to other immigrants and refugees is to follow their entrepreneurship dreams. Because he believes in the American dream. “And the great news is that resources and centers like IRC SBDC will be there to offer them with resources and help them open and expand their business free of charge.”