Inspiring WOC Female Founders: Hanan Abdel-Khalek, Nike & Young Nevertiti

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself! What is your background and where are you from?

I am a half Irish half Egyptian Muslim writer and artist based in London, a lot of my work with my brand and otherwise examine this, I love to explore my multiple identities through art, design, and accessories.

    2. You designed a sneaker for Nike! How did the collab come about?

I was scrolling on Instagram mid pandemic, and I applied for this NIKE BY YOU WORKSHOP ad which at the time, I thought was about tangibly making a shoe with your hands in a workshop like Geppetto. So I kind of applied for fun, to learn more about the process of making sneakers. With everything in life I am always intrigued and curious about how things are made or done, and wanted to learn. Didn't for a second think I would get it. Once I did, myself and 19 other London creatives were invited into a zoom call and had like 9 days to come up with a unique design concept. It was in the midst of a pandemic, the Black Lives Matter protests were going strong it was a very tough time to be creative. Then we had to singlehandedly man our own marketing strategies and campaigns too. It was definitely a learning curve for me, that is for sure.

     3. You also are the founder of Young Nevertiti, a stunning jewellery brand.     Tell us a bit about it!

I founded Young Nevertiti Summer 2019, I was working two jobs at the time, it was a way for me to work on something completely my own, no one telling me how to create, which direction I should go in.  I started it at a time when I was sick of working for others and using my energy and time to build their dreams and not my own.  I used the curiosity of my own heritage since my late father was from Egypt, and I had a searing passion to learn more about him through learning more about Egypt's history. I grew fascinated with the strong identifiers, the iconography, artistry, and jewellery of the time. I always say historians can rule out certain key historical timelines due to the clothing of the people of that time, clothing to me, especially as a Muslim woman who wears hijab, it has always been political or politicised, so I found it interesting to be able to play with these concepts through my brand. I don't shy away from using the brand as a platform to express my views politically or religiously. I sell unique sterling silver; Necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets for men and women laced in precious gemstones mined in Turkeys mountains, handmade by artisans.
     4. Which of your own pieces from your brand Young Nevertiti is your    favourite and why?
My fav pieces are the fire Opal stones, and the Zultanite stones because they both have this beautiful play with light, the Fire Opal pieces showcase flecks of orange, red and glitter in the sun, whilst the Zultanite stones actually change colour from a pinky to a beautiful bright green, its really incredible to wear such stones, they really do make you feel regal.
       5. How do you define self-care? 
For me, self-care is about forcing myself to do activities in my spare time out of pure love for them, as I am a workaholic, and always feel the pressure or need to be doing something productive even if that means doing something I hate. This year I had to unlearn this productivity fallacy and teach myself to be kinder to me. I found especially since falling quite seriously ill recently, that I was doing more harm than good and romanticised working all the time. My baths are my sanctuary.  Self-care can mean painting with no need to post it online, or listening to something, sitting on a bench outside breathing in fresh air, a facemask, like really stripping back to basics. There is much beauty in the simple moments of mental and physical rest. 
       6. What’s your own skincare routine like? 
I am still on a journey when learning about skincare, it is holistic for me, so I know drinking more water, less coffee and sugary drinks will have a positive impact on my skin. For me good skin = good health it is the front of house that the world gets to see first, so I am working on that natural glow from inside out. I try to remove makeup thoroughly and moisturize when I can. Lately, less is more, so I am learning to use less on my skin as many brands sometimes create more problems when giving us too many combinations of products for the face. My skin is sensitive so still looking for my ultimate products. But Most of my friends swear by The Ordinary.  
Check out Hanan's brand Young Nevertiti here  and follow her at @hananithink

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