The Expat Woman Entrepreneur: Meet Sara Mobarhanfard

the expat woman entrepreneur

I love how my website has become a platform for women entrepreneurs, leaders and content creators to tell you their stories. This is one part of my journey as a blogger/digital influencer that I so totally love!

Today, I tell you the story of Sara Mobarhanfard, Sara’s story resonated with me on so many levels; it also gives me hope that someday I might also be able to fully transition to a creative pursuit.

About Sara

Sara Mobarhanfard is the founder and director of Narosib, a fashion accessory brand inspired by the cultural heritage of various nations. Originally from Iran, Sara moved to Switzerland in 2008 for her corporate career in the construction industry. She eventually left the corporate world to start her own business, she now lives in the canton of St. Gallen.

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The Expat Woman Entrepreneur: Meet Sara Mobarhanfard

Her Business

She works full time on Narosib, this business was launched in 2018 and their main products are limited edition silk scarves made sustainably in Italy. All products are created from natural fabrics in small quantities using environmentally friendly methods.

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The Expat Woman Entrepreneur: Meet Sara Mobarhanfard

Her first collection was inspired by Middle eastern and Persian art, where her own heritage had a huge role to play.

“I try to draw inspirations from ancient but less commercially-known forms of art such as Persian miniatureMinakari enameling, Isfahan qalamkar block print, and tile art. I plan to cover a diverse range of cultures and traditions in future collections. 

To pay homage to her second home; Switzerland, she recently created a silk twill scarf with motifs inspired by the traditional alpine papercut art.

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The Expat Woman Entrepreneur: Meet Sara Mobarhanfard

“The ultimate aim of Narosib is to create more love and peace in the world by capturing art from different cultures in the form of high-quality wearable accessories,” she says.

It bothers me to see the world the way it is today, people fighting with each other for the most trivial reasons and I guess a lot of it is due to misunderstanding or lack of education. I truly believe that the more people travel or learn about each other through the beauty of their art, they tend to like each other more.

A good quality silk scarf is forever and for every occasion. 

Her Story

Sara was always passionate about art, culture, anthropology and traditions of different countries. The idea behind Narosib was shaped around these interests.

“I love to travel, visit museums, galleries, markets, and vintage shops and usually end up bringing something colorful and beautiful back with me.”

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The Expat Woman Entrepreneur: Meet Sara Mobarhanfard

Sara says that she doesn’t enjoy shopping in malls but could stay in an old bazaar or souq for forever. She describes her favorite childhood memory as, visiting the grand bazaar (vakil) in her mother’s home town, Shiraz.

I can talk about this forever but I think the magic and positive energy of these bazaars and all the stories from the ancient silk road always stayed with me.

Sara never went to a fashion school, but actually studied industrial engineering. Her previous career was completely unrelated to fashion, however, she developed skills in her corporate workplace which are of value to her even now. She took her time (almost 3 years) from when the idea Narosib had struck her till she eventually quit her job.

I spent a lot of time doing research, learning the ropes of a start-up and the kind of business model which would be the right choice for me. I knew I had a lot to learn, a lot to forget and needed to recreate myself all over again.

This was the most painful, humbling and necessary part of my journey!

A day in her shoes

No two days are the same for Sara. At times she is shuttling between a small village where she lives and has her atelier and big cities to meet work contacts. Her favorite days are the ones that have no meetings, these are the days she uses to research, read, create, write and plan.

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The Expat Woman Entrepreneur: Meet Sara Mobarhanfard

Sara always starts early, this has not changed for her in years. A large cup of coffee in the morning, followed by different teas throughout the day, Sara sends a bunch of emails, coordinates with freelancers and sticks to her pre-planned agenda. This routine gives her structure and discipline for a productive day.

“When it’s your own business, some weekends are not off and I do not mind that. Other times, we get away to somewhere nice, after all Switzerland is a beautiful country.”

Advice for other woman enterpreneurs

Sara agrees that finding the right balance between work and home is the number 1 challenge women in business face. She has a supportive husband and they share responsibility, but even then it isn’t easy – this balancing act.

But then Something I find wonderful about being a woman is the possibility of joining all kinds of professional women’s groups. There are so many of them in Switzerland. I have learned so much from the wonderful women I met in these groups and even ended up working with some of them. Women connect easily and when they do the support is amazing.

Sara says that it’s important, almost critical for women to develop their own network – a support community, a sounding board and a place to learn and grow.

If you’ve liked what you’ve seen and would like to support a woman-led business, you can place your orders directly on Sara’s website. You can also follow Narosib’s journey on Instagram and Facebook.

I love bringing you stories like these, did this story speak to you? Please leave a comment below.

Are you also a woman entrepreneur who’s story needs to be told, I am waiting to hear from you.

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