Please introduce yourself; your name, where you live and what you do?
My name is Najwa Harfouch, I live in Paris and I am the founder of Wumi, an intimate care brand.
What does being a woman in 2022 mean to you?
I don’t know if it was 2022 or if it is the natural stage of life I am at but being a woman in 2022 for me is about the bravery in difference and the unity in taking time to connect. I personally feel on a quest for these highly sensitive connections with other women. MeToo definitely had an impact on how we see each other but we need to carry on working to dig deeper and demand not just our own worth but that of all women as well. I also feel very strongly that strength that can be found in even the softest of places, you don’t need to be tough on impact to be empowered. Maybe that was my way of saying that being a woman in 2022 is a work in progress but I’m enjoying the journey.
How did the idea for your business come to life?
Wumi was an answer to my own questions around how I needed to be taking care of my body and why my gynaecologist supported the idea I knew I had to roll with it. Intimate care should be as easy as buying toothpaste but we go to the shelves and see products and brands unaligned with the vision we have for ourselves. I grew up with my mom homemaking these products for me but on a trip abroad I had run out of my own supply and a trip to the chemist left me particularly disheartened. It was at this point that Wumi was born, and now we have well-educated customers all over the world!
Do you have any memories of print?/What does print mean to you?
Being both Moroccan and Lebanese, I would say that print has been omnipresent in my life. Predominantly in the homes of my mother, father and grandparents and it has become a real sign of comfort for me. I associated mosaics and tapestry and blurs of different colours very much with feeling safe. I see print as something to live beside, watching it evolve and change alongside your life.
What are some of your sources of inspiration?
For me it is and has always been people. By nature I am a creature of discovery but equally if I don’t think I have something to discover I am very content at home. It’s conversations that challenge me, that add and inform to my vision of the world that fuel my own thoughts.
How does Borgo de Nor make you feel?
When wearing Borgo the first thing that comes to my mind is how free I feel. I can’t work out if it is the cuts, the prints or the feel of the fabrics but I felt able to move in my body, completely.
What are you reading, listening and even watching at the moment?
I have just finished ‘In the name of identity by Amin Maalouf’ and I loved it. It explores why immigrants and the children of immigrants constantly feel the need to select an identity that is either completely or not attached to that of their parents, and their struggle to accept the halves of themselves. I’ve also really been listening to On Purpose with Jay Shetty, it’s definitely acting as a compass whilst I navigate parts of my own journey.
What are your upcoming plans?
I’m heading to Dubai to hopefully find a home for Wumi in the Middle East and then to a wedding in Egypt.
A message you would like to share
Run with your feelings, they are guiding you.