Debbie Farah, Founder and CEO
Debbie Farah is an entrepreneur, world-traveler and social change agent. She loves to cultivate beauty and develop people while impacting communities through business. Debbie got her start in the banking industry where she harnessed her interests before transitioning into advertising. From there, she found her place in the fashion industry and set out to unite her passions for business, social transformation, beauty and people. Debbie is the creative force behind Bajalia, working directly with artisans to design products to bring to market. In her hours outside of the office, she loves hosting family and friends, spending time with her two dogs, Jada and Stella and mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs.
Debbie is a first-generation Palestinian-American and was personally exposed to violence at a young age. Securing her first job at age 14, Debbie began to see how employment made it possible to create a new story and future. She saw opportunities which weren’t afforded to the preceding generations of women in her family, and this experience grew into a passion to give voice to women through job creation.
In 2003, Debbie founded Bajalia Trading Company, a non-profit focused on assisting global entrepreneurs in the development of goods for market. Her idea expanded into a for-profit, Bajalia International Group, a social enterprise with a focus on fashion in 2009. Her aim was to empower women through job creation in order to affect genuine change in their communities. Through the collaboration of the non-profit and for-profit, Bajalia has worked with artisans in 28 countries over the past 12 years, engaging closely with the production network to help artisans with product and skill development, manage their growing enterprises, hire more women, and focus on education for girls, economic development and long-term sustainability.