While they may be only 16 years of age, IB students Zaid Amer Rahhal and Mazen Rid Hashem are no strangers to the entrepreneurial itch. Motivated by Rahhal’s affinity to sell items to friends and family, the teenage duo decided to launch WristGame Jo in July last year, an accessories line designed for anyone to wear, made of beads, leather, silicon and electroplated metals at affordable prices. It’s interesting to note that driven by Rahhal’s concern for his homeland and its youth’s future, the startup donates a portion of its sales to Al Monasara Islamic Zakat Committee for Palestinian People, an initiative based in Jordan to provide assistance to Palestinians in Gaza and Jerusalem.
Don’t underestimate the young pair though, as even prior to launching WristGame Jo’s website, with a mere US$200 funding from their parents during the soft opening, they already had nearly 70 customers and sold nearly 120 bracelets. Following the website’s launch, Rahhal estimates that they had around 160 customers and sold around 400 bracelets, with nearly nine out 10 customers providing positive feedback.
To assess their market opportunity, the duo utilized Instagram to figure out whether the products were worth selling. WristGame Jo’s bracelet collections are themed: the Lion Head bracelet represents power and strength, the Hamsa bracelet signifies peace, and the Hook and Anchor bracelet denotes persistency.
Rahhal admits that as an entrepreneur, losing motivation is not uncommon, and that he gets back on track by setting his priorities straight: “It’s -without a doubt- not an easy task to take on, but every time I remember the smiles and excitement people have when receiving a bracelet, it drives me to keep developing my collection.”
Watch out, world, for while the duo may still be in Jordan, they do have the rest of the MENA (and eventually the world) on their agenda. And just for the record, one of Rahhal’s reasons for launching his enterprise is “financial independence”- an admirable entrepreneurial goal at any age, if I do say so myself.
ZAID RAHHAL'S TIPS FOR ASPIRING JUNIOR ENTREPRENEURS
1. “Have passion in what you do. It will never work out if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing. Sometimes it gets difficult, but you should always aim high and love what you do.”
2. “Be persistent and don’t give up. This is a very important tip that helped me in building my business. Sometimes the market starts dying slowly, but you should always stay persistent in keeping it alive.”
3. “Social media is your best friend- this is where the marketing and advertising all starts. At a young age, most people are always interested in going through different social media networks. This can be helpful in many ways, such as advertising your product or website, and building a customer base for your business.”