Today we’d like to introduce you to Hussein Musa.
Hussein, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
PaliRoots is a clothing brand that shares Palestinian culture and traditions with the world in a non-political way. We started this brand because my sister, Aminah, who is a co-founder, and my father, Zach, who is the investor, realized that when people think of Palestine, all they think about is war. We believe that Palestine is more than that. We have a beautiful ancient culture and much of the things we do can inspire others. We’ve had much support from major influencers including Anwar Jibawi, FouseyTube and many more. Since our humble beginnings as a Palestinian brand, our inspiration derives from the courage and strength of the Palestinian people. We strive to stay true to our core values, which is to provide an exceptional customer experience with top-quality and out-of-the-box products to our PaliRooters.
We have built a massive following on all of our social media platforms, including snapchat (Username: PaliRooter), which gives us essential leverage to learn more about our community in order to create better experiences and better products. Each product we produce has a story. Free of restrictions, we are inspired by creativity and expressing a message through our art. We love the world that we live in and that’s why we give back to the people.
Our mission is to craft products that will empower our community and encourage them to reflect on the Palestinian origin. Our goal is to connect people, places, and ideas through media. Our vision is to preserve the Palestinian heritage through our products by providing our community with resources, information, and remembrance for future generations to come. In a year and a half, PaliRoots managed to raise over $82,000 for kids in Gaza, with the help of Zam Water and Middle Eastern Children’s Alliance. Pretty awesome for just a start-up company!
What’s beautiful about the PaliRoots community is that people come from different places all around the world. Our community is not just for Palestinians; we co-create with all kinds of people who are a part of the human family and are proud to represent Palestine in such a beautiful light.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t believe any business really goes through a smooth road since an entrepreneur’s journey is a like rollercoaster.
I believe that, with a great partner, things can run smoothly. My sister, Aminah, is more of a visionary, while I am more of an integrator. I feel that every company needs both of these aspects to succeed. We’ve motivated each other since the outset and we have worked extremely hard to get to where we are today. Some of the struggles we dealt with is traveling around the US with our inventory and doing many trade-shows. Although these shows played a huge role in our success today, they are extremely draining. You have to work from 10am – 11pm for 3 days straight and they are very quick pace, so you hardly even have time to eat!
We are very focused on creating the ultimate customer experience, so we did our best to design the most beautiful booths at each show. This was definitely something that drew many people to support us. We also dealt with making certain products that didn’t meet our expectations from our manufactures and that was a loss to our company. Yet over time, we started to get better at manufacturing, better at designing, and better at portraying our message. Although, as with all entrepreneurs, we still have a lot to learn.
Please tell us about PaliRoots.
What makes PaliRoots different than any other brand is our ability to create technical designs. We don’t just design a hat and put a logo on it and sell it. We go to malls, study trends, and ask our community about their opinions. We do a lot just to craft a single product. For example, our dad caps were designed by focusing on what is the “best” fit ever in a dad cap. Our goal is to get feedback saying “this is the greatest cap that I’ve ever worn.” And that’s how we know we’ve made something great. We’ve sold over 15,000+ dad caps in the past year-and-a-half and would say it’s one of our best-selling products. Each cap is 3D embroidered with a message in the back about Palestine.
We also recently dropped PaliRoots Air Fresheners with scents you’d smell from Palestine. This is a product that not very many people would expect, but once again, PaliRoots is all about the experience. When you purchase something from our online store, you get a lot of free stuff in the package including a sticker, discount code, and a card telling the world about our recent charity project. On top of that, you get a custom designed polybag that has our logo from top to bottom. It’s also see-through, so the customer’s products are visible before they even open the package. When you think outside the box, you create majestic experiences for your customers, and that’s how you win.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If we had to start over, I would say the only thing we’d do differently is just being more patient with our journey. My sister and I, after building our product line, got amazing sales when we first started. But then it dipped. That dip scared us and made us think, “HMM… what if this isn’t a sustainable business”, or, “is our niche is too small?” But over time, we stayed persistent, worked hard, and things just started to flow. I believe it’s the lack of experience and age. We are very young, I am only 24 and my sister is 23. Patience and persistence is the key for us, especially as millennials. I am glad that we were able to just believe in ourselves and see that this is actually sustainable and something our community really vibe with.
- Address: PaliRoots
San Diego, California 92169
- Website: www.paliroots.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org