In August 2018, Lema Rasool established her business, Jelwa Design, after studying Public Health at Kabul Medical University. She launched the clothing brand, focusing first on women’s fashion before incorporating menswear. Recently, Rasool began designing handbags and jewelry, which have been in high demand. Despite ever-changing challenges, Rasool continues to be successful in growing the brand.
From the start, Rasool’s primary entrepreneurial goal has been serving Afghans via job creation. Rasool started Jelwa Design with only one tailor and an assistant designer. Still, the business multiplied into a small franchise with two shops in central locations in Kabul’s premier market districts. Just a few years after opening, she now employs 25 staff members, 40% of whom are women.
Rasool looks forward to further expansion and finds a great sense of pride in producing handmade goods. Currently, Jelwa Design offers classic Afghan dresses, both formal and informal, with ornate details. While Jelwa Design had immense marketing potential, it was not until partnering with Aseel that the young company found a path to distribute handmade products abroad. By partnering with Aseel, Jelwa Design hopes to grow an international customer base by sharing well-made clothing, accessories, and jewelry with a global audience.