085, Nur-E Farhana Rahman, Knotty Gal | Authentic Startup Life

Startup life is not for the faint of heart. When Nur-E Farhana Rahman tells you about startup life, she is authentic, transparent and genuine. There are worries about cash flow. There are struggles with hiring the right people and picking the right suppliers. She tells a painful story of falling short on a Kickstarter campaign. In her stories, there is nothing glamorous about startup life.

That is not to say that her jewelry startup, Knotty Gal, has not been successful. On the contrary, they have been able to grow the company while bootstrapping. Customers stop them on the street to comment on their products. They have been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, Daily Candy, Conscious Magazine, MSNBC and other news outlets. As their revenues rise, so does their impact.

Through Knotty Gal, Nur-E is able to support girls attending Bhandari Girls’ School, one of the first all girls’ school in Bogra, Bangladesh. The school has special meaning to Nur-E. Her great grandfather started the school. Her mother graduated from there. It’s a cause big enough to help her meet every challenge startup life sends her way.

Startup Life Quotes from Nur-E Farhana Rahman

[spp-tweet tweet=”‘We had the cause first. We had no product.’ Nur-E Farhana Rahman of @KnottyGal”]

“People started sending me stories. ‘On the subway today, someone asked me about my necklace.’”

[spp-tweet tweet=”‘Scalability is key.’ Nur-E Farhana Rahman of @KnottyGal”]

“I read an article that one in three founders suffers from depression.”

“You’re constantly thinking about running out of money.”

[spp-tweet tweet=”‘You need a support system.’ Nur-E Farhana Rahman of @KnottyGal”]

[spp-tweet tweet=”‘We’re constantly comparing our behind the scenes to everyone’s highlight reel.’ Nur-E Farhana Rahman of @KnottyGal“]

“We’ve been bootstrapping the entire time.”

[spp-tweet tweet=”‘You will fail. It’s guaranteed. It’s just a matter of how you bounce back.’ Nur-E Farhana Rahman of @KnottyGal“]

[spp-tweet tweet=”‘Perseverance is the one key trait that all successful entrepreneurs have.’ Nur-E Farhana Rahman of @KnottyGal“]

[spp-tweet tweet=”‘Do one thing that scares you’ Nur-E Farhana Rahman of @KnottyGal“]

Social Entrepreneurship Resources:

Culture Shift Learning Academy

We’re moving closer to the launch of Culture Shift Learning Academy, a comprehensive system to help you flesh out your social impact idea and start achieving it.

Enrollment isn’t open yet, but you can join the waiting list with other changemakers. Just go to and enter your email address. As a thank you, I’ll send you the Social Entrepreneur Startup Readiness Assessment. This useful tool is designed to help you to determine where you are on your startup journey and to successfully focus your development efforts.

Grab The Assessment

085, Nur-E Farhana Rahman, Knotty Gal | Authentic Startup Life

Giveaway Announcement!

Tweet Your Favorite Quote from the Fair Anita Interview and Enter to Win These Amazing Earrings

Fair Anita Bullet Casing Earrings


Have you heard the episode of Social Entrepreneur featuring Joy McBrien of Fair Anita? Joy is amazing and the work that Fair Anita does is changing lives. What was your favorite quote from the interview? If you share it, you have a chance to win a pair of earrings. Read the details below.

The Story Behind the Tigist Tribal Earrings

The Tigist Tribal Earrings are one of the more popular designs in the Fair Anita store. The beads are made from recycled bullet casings. A group of around 120 women in Ethiopia are unable to work because of health issues. To make a living, they pick up old bullet casings from the Ethiopian/Eritrean war and melt them down to make beads and awesome jewelry. These women, who had previously been shunned, now have some of the better jobs in the community.

How to Enter the Giveaway

If you’d like a chance to receive the Tigist Tribal Earrings, you need to take two actions:

  1. Send a tweet with your favorite quote from the interview using the hashtag #LoveFairAnita. Keep in mind that Twitter limits you to 140 characters.
    • If the quote that you want to send is longer than 140 characters (including the hashtag), one way you can do that is to create a picture with the quote using a tool like Canva, Recite or Pablo and share that.
    • Retweeting someone else’s tweet counts too.
    • Be sure to use the hashtag #LoveFairAnita.
  2. When you’re done, fill in your name and email address below.

By entering the contest, you acknowledge that you have read and understand the rules. All entries must be received by the end of the day, February 16, 2016.


I look forward to reading what you share.

Giveaway Announcement!

041, Joy McBrien, Fair Anita | Beautiful Products with a Powerful Purpose

After experiencing sexual violence in high school, Joy McBrien decided that she wanted to prevent this tragedy from happening to other women. When she read about the high incidence of violence against women in Peru, she decided to travel there. As an 18 year-old, she started a non-profit.

Working with local women, she raised funds and built a women’s shelter. Over the next six years, Joy visited 18 countries, listening closely to the needs of women. Through these conversations, Joy began to deeply understand the relationship between poverty and violence against women. She understood that the best path to empowerment was through economic development. In other words, jobs.

Today, Joy is the founder of Fair Anita, a social enterprise that empowers women around the world through dignified jobs and fair trade relationships. Fair Anita currently works with 8,000 women in 16 countries.

Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Joy McBrien:

“I wanted to create a systems-changing solution that would attack sexual violence at its source.”

“I don’t want to have to ever sell something based off of pity. That’s not creating an empathetic relationship between artisan and consumer.”

“We’re creating products that millennials in the US want, at a price point that they’re willing to pay. Therefore we’ve created jobs for thousands of women around the world. And because they have this job, they can leave an abusive partner, or they are seen as having more worth in their own home. They are empowered.”

“With millennials, you have to be authentic and transparent and engage them in the process.”

Fair Anita Quote Giveaway Announcement!

If you love what you hear from Joy McBrien and want to support Fair Anita, you can join our giveaway. Click here for details.

Social Entrepreneurship Resources:

041, Joy McBrien, Fair Anita | Beautiful Products with a Powerful Purpose