Entrepreneur Spotlight #1, Strawberries & Co.

Strawberries & Co founder/owner Jamila Houchar was in town to conduct her first international class at Sweetness Cakes on her signature strawberry towers. She was kind enough to accept our invite to share her business and motherhood journey. Her sharing about what got her started and what it took for her to be here was heartfelt and left the audience inspired.

The event was organized by Oumiworks, supported by YEN and took place at the spectacular Fika Swedish Café (folks are still raving about their amazing cakes!)

In this three-part series, here’s some of the lessons that resonated with me from the Entrepreneur Spotlight on March 23 :

Determination & Drive

The road ahead when you are just beginning is not going to be a walk in the park. You need 100% determination and another 100% drive to push through the slow days. It might be one year (as in her case) or more, but you have to strive through.

Your first instinct will be to give up and throw in the towel. Maybe it’s inbred in us females to raise the white flag as soon as things get rough; maybe its our cultural upbringing that stops us from persevering. But this is where we should change the narrative for ourselves. Push through. Strive through. Do not give up. Do not give in to the negativity. Often times, it’s our own insecurities that stop us from realizing our through potential.


“Deriving the strength to do something through one’s own thoughts andbased on the belief that one knows what is best for oneself”

Armed with sheer determination, step outside your comfort zone and do something for yourself, without any judgement or self-doubt.


As with any kind of business, you need to sacrifice your time. You can’t be at every single family function/wedding. You need time to hone your craft and fulfill your commitments and obligations to your clients.

This will also encroach on your family time. You might have feelings of guilt that you are not spending enough time with your children/family. However, you are teaching your children an invaluable lesson first hand; something that they will never learn in the classroom or text books.

Commitment in that you are in this 100% and won’t back away from any obligation.

Hard work in everything you do pays off in heaps and bounds.

Ability to harness your inner strength to strive through hard times.

And especially for daughters, she will learn first hand from her mother that she can be all of that and be confident without any self doubt. She will see that she can carve her own identity, She can see that she can become someone other than just a daughter, wife or mother.

Hobby vs Passion

With all these talk about being driven and committed, you need to ask yourself this question. Am I doing this as a hobby? Or do I want to pursue this wholeheartedly?

It’s okay if is just a hobby. It is something that’s uniquely yours and you can call your own. If you want it to be bigger than yourself, you need to roll up your sleeves and be prepared to immerse yourself into it.


Surround yourself with an awesome team of people that you trust and can help you. When you loosen the reigns, the work will be more manageable ad you will be able to breathe better.


Adapted from the blog Macarons by Farha, by Farha Bamadhaj. 


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