Interviewed by Shaima Al Tamimi
Hala Kazim, a lady that is passionate about showing people the path into untangling their lives, through de-cluttering, and getting in touch with all that nature can provide. From her passion she started her business “Journey Through Change”.
- Tell us more about yourself and your decision to start “Journey Through Change”?
I am a mother, a wife, an artist, a life organizer and a traveler. My recent decision to become a life organizer came about as a push from my friends, who have witnessed my meticulous skill and habit of being extremely organized in my day-to-day life. I have always been very organized in everything. If you come to my house anytime and open any drawers or cupboards and see the way my children live, you will notice that there is a system in the house.
I am very good in de-cluttering and sitting with people to tackle aspects of their lives that they feel stuck with.
- So when did you start as a business?
Just recently! I started a few months ago even though it was something I did for my friends and other people who seek my help. That is when I realized there was a market for such a service. I am still fine-tuning certain aspects of the business, but I am already blessed with satisfied clients who recommend me to their friends and family through word of mouth and that has been the strongest marketing tool so far.
- What is the process of service from A to Z that you provide your clients?
It all depends on what I am being hired for and it starts with a free consultation that allows me, along with my prospective client, to assess what they need. The clients have to be present throughout the service, because it is not about me cleaning their wardrobe and getting paid for it. It is about showing them the steps and the system they need to follow in order for them to benefit and feel confident to continue alone onwards.
- As a start up, how do you measure the success of what you do?
I love helping people and I enjoy talking to them. When I see that someone is doing well after seeking my help that is my high. That is where I feel a sense of fulfillment.
- What about your travels, how does that fit into your life?
I use traveling as a means to explore myself through nature. My way of traveling is very different from the way most Khaleejis (GCC citizens) travel. I do not shop and spend most of my time abroad at glitzy shopping malls and commercialized tourist areas. I like to see a country for what it is, and explore it through walking. Walking is my passion and when I do it in the right place, it helps me connect with myself and the nature surrounding me. Sometimes, I join groups or walk by myself across countries like Spain, Italy, India, Thailand, Yemen and Austria. I walk for hours, from village to villages, over mountains and forests and lakes. The experience is extremely invigorating and refreshing.
- When did you start exploring and traveling around the world?
I started few years ago. I felt like I wanted to experience life in a different way and go for walking trips around the world, hike my way up to mountains, learn about people and cultures, and just take in the beauty of what we call life. Watching people is something that fascinates me. I can sit in a café for hours and just observe how people behave. We are after all, the most complicated creatures.
- How often do you travel?
Wow, I actually go whenever I get the chance; so a few times a year. If I have the time and money, I make it a point to get away from routine. Take this advice from me as a woman, you will be a spouse, a parent, a friend, a housewife or a career person and within all these roles, you also need to be you and do things that make you happy as an individual, aside from the other roles in your life. Never compromise yourself to people at your own expense; it will lead to nothing but depression and ungratefulness.
- Do you find that some of your Arabs friends criticize your need to travel just to walk?
The mixed reactions are always there. There are some who are surprised at what I do and would like to know more. Then, there are some who encourage me. However I do get the occasional “walking? Seriously? Why do you not just walk around the neighborhood instead of travel across the continent just to do that?” They do not understand the point of it and I just laugh. You need to keep an open mind about it and only then will you understand the magnitude of what it can do.
- What kind of services do you provide within “Journey through Change”?
Oh plenty, my areas of expertise are in the following:
– General De-cluttering
– Wardrobe reorganization
– One on One cooking lessons
– Decorating advice
– Image consultation
– Shopping guidance
One of the services that I will soon start offering is self-exploration through travel. I am taking a group of ladies with me to Austria next month and I guarantee that this trip will make “ a new you”. It is not easy to believe me until you go and experience it for what it is. It will blow you away; walking through nature, lying down on the green grass, screaming from the top of your lungs and not feeling caged because of the culture or people staring. It is just about letting go and feeling free.
People take the feeling of freedom for granted when it is the most important thing that anybody and everybody looks for. You look for it in your room, in your work place, with friends and with yourself as well. It is the start of being you and feeling “I can be me and I do not have to put a mask”. Sadly this caged feeling is very prevalent in our Arabic society and it saddens me that even though we travel extensively around the world, we do not do it properly, nor make the most out of the beauty that has been created for us by Allah to enjoy.
- Finally, What message do you want to give to the Arab community?
I want to say this, we Arabs have so much money and spend it all on material things. There is so much more to life than the Champs Elysees and Oxford Street and Harrods. Get yourself a backpack and go explore the world. I just wish if people would do that. This is really my message. It will teach you how to be flexible, much tolerant and cleanse yourself instead of spending aimless hours in the mall or in front of the TV wasting time and not achieving anything. I am not saying you have to camp outside You can still sleep in proper hotels or B&B’s (Breakfast & Bed) and take up activities like cooking, painting, hiking, or anything. Learn to explore and satisfy yourself through the nature that was created for us.
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