We belong to a global sisterhood of women trying to get ahead in a world that too often wants to hold us back. In almost every field, in every country, women are underemployed, underpaid, and undervalued. I saw that firsthand, as the daughter of a social worker living in war-torn Iran. The women my mom worked with had often lost everything and struggled just to survive. Mom found a solution by teaching the women a skill and uniting them to bargain collectively for work. As seamstresses, they won government contracts and earned financial independence.
After moving to the U.S., I reimagined this story in the context of the American Dream. The Dream tells us we can all get ahead, even (or perhaps most especially) immigrant women like me. My parents moved to the States when I was six to give my sibling and me the opportunity for a better life, and I seized that opportunity with both hands.
The home healthcare company I founded was a perfect fit for my interests. It combined my passion for science and desire to help others with the affinity I felt for the elderly neighbors who’d first made me feel welcomed in America. After losing many of my childhood friends to old age, I wanted to make the process of aging easier.
The business boomed, but I still felt something was missing. My work was constrained by insurance rates that restricted the wages I could offer and the services I could provide. My 600+ staff were working long, hard hours and I had no way to give them the advancement I knew they deserved. Worse still, by the time clients entered my care their health had already declined with little hope of recovery.
To compensate for my disillusionment, I buried myself in business. I was convinced the next acronym would hold the answer; the next balance sheet would resolve the growing imbalance between my head and my heart. I sold the business to concentrate on my husband’s ecommerce venture, which quickly became a $20M+ enterprise with four international locations. I had more work than ever to keep me busy, but nothing seemed to make a difference.
Instead of enjoying watching the business thrive, I burned out.
It took a long time for me to understand what had gone wrong. Then I remembered the difference my mom had made to war widows years ago. How uniting with other women had enabled all of them to succeed. My healthcare business failed to fulfil me because I wasn’t ever able to truly empower the women who worked for me, and the ecommerce company didn’t offer any opportunity for wider impact. It was time for me to go back to my roots.
That’s why I founded Qyral. I poured my passion for helping others to age well into the highly personalized skincare products we produce, ensuring every ingredient is tailored to the individual user and backed by rigorous science. Through Qyral, I now have the opportunity to change how people age for the better — before it’s too late.
But that wasn’t enough. I envisioned an army of women working to support and uplift each other, with no limits or restraints on what we could achieve. Through encouraging entrepreneurship, and providing the means and training for women to get started, Qyral will become a force for greater good in the world. Rather than relying on SLAs, P&Ls, and Key Performance Indicators, I have a new motto, one that reminds me of the bigger picture and the reason why I’m in business to begin with. From now on, I intend to Keep Pursuing Impact with everything I do.
Learn more about Qyral and join my journey at Qyral.com.
Hanieh Sigari is an entrepreneur, biochemist, and anti-aging industry disruptor. Her holistic skincare brand, Qyral, is the culmination of a lifelong mission to improve lives and increase longevity. No stranger to entrepreneurship, Hanieh has the experience of driving 600% YoY growth with her healthcare startup and taking an e-commerce startup from zero to over $20M in revenue over five years. Combining her business acumen, bioscience knowledge, and passion for empowerment, Qyral delivers far more than skincare. In addition to individualized, science-based products, the brand offers an opportunity for entrepreneurship. Following in the footsteps of her mother, whose efforts lifted hundreds of wartime widows out of poverty, Hanieh sees Qyral as a pathway for women to change their skin, their incomes, and their lives for the better.