SAOR’s guest blogger for March: Marissa Humayun, Senior, Miami University’s Farmer School of Business

I met Marissa when launching SAOR perfume at a local boutique at Miami University, my alma mater, two years ago. While she “followed” SAOR, we followed Marissa. Over a recent dinner together, Marissa shared her life experiences, thoughts and aspirations with me. Her voice resonated the virtues Miami University emphasizes and SAOR applauds: a student of “critical thinking and independent thought, (having) an appreciation of diverse views, and a sense of responsibility to our global future.”

Thank you Marissa for sharing your story as we commemorate International Women’s Day and #WomensHistoryMonth


 

Travel and service have always been passions of mine, and I knew that when I first set foot on Miami’s campus, I needed to get involved with something that would fulfill both of those loves. I stumbled upon the Miami University chapter of Global Business Brigades at a student org fair my freshman year, and little did I know how this organization would shape me and the rest of my college career.

Global Business Brigades is an organization which sponsors week-long, student-led service trips to Panama, Honduras, and Ghana, in hopes of improving the economic welfare of third-world communities. Students arrive in these communities and aid in the foundation of a community bank through financial literacy workshops and small business consulting. The emphasis of the organization is on sustainability, and having your week-long impact on a community last far longer than just your stay.

I had the fortune to travel to Canglón, Panama in the summer of 2015 with a group of Miami University students in hopes of improving the economic state of a small community of about 10 families. As overwhelming as it was to be in a third-world country, what was most surprising to me was that upon meeting our community members was that all but one were women! I came to find that the men would work during the day and the women would stay in the community to care for their children. The women also mainly handled the finances, which was also extremely interesting to learn. The common theme amongst all of the women was that they wanted to learn how to better handle their finances for the futures of their children. Whether that was food on the table the next day, or eventually sending their children to a university, they were eager to learn how to handle their finances to best support their families and reach their goals.

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Through educating these amazing women, we were able to give them the tools to do just that. The gift of knowledge, confidence, and stability is intangible, yet, arguably one of the most valuable and wonderful gifts you can possibly give. The beauty about all of the women we worked with was that at the end of our stay, their beautiful smiles radiated with the hopes that their dreams for their families were finally attainable.

SAOR encompasses just that; giving women confidence and making them feel beautiful through a scent so unique and lovely. This product brings out each woman’s individuality and beauty, merely enhancing what was already so beautiful about them. Through partnering with Opportunity International, SAOR further empowers women entrepreneurs in developing countries with financial services and training. Learn more at opportunity.org

SAOR means “to be free” in Gaelic, and having the opportunity to give women the feeling of freedom and confidence is something I think we both have in common.

Wishing all of you lovely women a happy International Women’s Day. May your inner beauty shine bright on this day!

A special note: I’d like to thank Patty for the opportunity to write this blog! Having found a mentor in such an accomplished female entrepreneur is something I am extremely grateful for!

Marissa Humayun

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