Khairullah Hamdard, Director of brand Wakhjir, recently started his journey into entrepreneurship after noticing many Afghan consumers buy cheap, knock-off, and imported goods. After earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Karwan University, he went on to introduce Afghan-produced, original handmade products to the consumer market. Leveraging his entrepreneurial drive to improve lives in Afghanistan, he seized the opportunity to create a handmade business without hesitation, which is impressive considering he boldly launched the brand in 2020.
As the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world, Afghanistan, like most countries, was under lockdown during the early stages of the crisis. However, Hamdard did not lose hope that he could start and sustain Wakhjir. He initially set aside money for the shop and staff salaries by borrowing from relatives and friends. Excellence and the opportunity to help others remain central to Hamdard’s business vision.
Hamdard started his business with high standards. He hired professionals from Turkey to train the staff in Kabul to produce the finest handbags and shoes. From the beginning, he wanted to source materials from the Takhar province because it is known for producing items made from gand fabric. Hamdard persisted even though many products in the region were of lower quality than what was acceptable for his brand. Even though Takhar’s artisans do not make Wakhjir products, Hamdard has become a mentor giving them notes for improvement and supporting their handmade efforts. He pays homage to them through the Wakhjir signature: every product contains traces of gand fabric, putting Afghan culture at the forefront of the brand.
Wakhjir’s products are set apart from cheaply made imports because each product is thoughtfully crafted with meticulous detail. The brand also focuses on environmental sustainability by sourcing materials in the most responsible way possible and producing minimum waste throughout the manufacturing process. Additionally, each product is made with durability and longevity in mind so that customers can enjoy their Wakhjir products for a long time.
In the future, Hamdard hopes to start a men’s line adding clothing, bags, and shoes to current offerings. He hopes to continue showcasing Afghan culture and tradition through his products to new customers by partnering with Aseel. He plans on expanding the brand to become globally well-known for high-quality handmade products.