Meet this week's Friend Feature Friday Iman Kandil from Virginia!
Iman and I basically know each other through six degrees of separation - or maybe even 4! We have a few mutual friends and her bro is married to my dearest friend. Iman is no stranger to my blog! She was one of my fabulous models in the Style Panelist segment I did back in October for Fashion with Compassion. Iman is truly unique and full of life! She is a major sports fan, SCUBA dives, is insanely smart (she is an MIT grad), grounded, and full of love. She has a big heart which is evident to her commitment to Project REACH. She is always smiling, making jokes, and full of positivity. Her smile and laughter is precious and always the life of the party. Iman also happens to have stellar taste in music and incredible video making skills which she showcases along with The KG Krew.
Keep reading and get to know Iman!
1) Educational Background?
Bachelors of Science in Management Science with a Minor in Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2009
2) Current Job Title?
I wear a few different hats – I am a full time Management Consultant where I help clients manage change in order to realize as much value as possible from a new tool or an improved process, for example. In addition, my dad and I created a new all-natural cosmetic skincare brand called Nigella Therapy. For Nigella Therapy, I handle Marketing, but also take care of a bunch of things across the board (gotta love a small business!). Finally, I’m a co founder and on the leadership team for Project REACH, a DC-based community development non-profit organization with a focus on youth engagement. For Project REACH, in addition to determining strategic direction and supporting operational priorities, I’m a program coordinator for our “Real Talk” youth mentorship program.
3) Zodiac Sign? Age?
4) Ethnic Background?
5) Why did you choose or why do you love your profession/field of study? What is the most rewarding thing about your profession/field of study?
I love consulting because it allows you to dive into a business, learn the ins and outs of that business and the industry it’s in, identify areas of improvement, pinpoint where the root causes might be that are causing some performance problems, develop a creative plan with solutions, and with those solutions, help the client improve performance results. Then, when that’s over for one client, you get to jump right in to a completely different company and do it all over again. Being in consulting switches things up and allows for challenging situations that require problem solving. Not to mention racking up those frequent flyer miles!
For Nigella Therapy, it is amazing how much we can learn from different cultures both ancient and current – if we just listen. Nigella sativa seeds (i.e. black seeds) have been used for thousands of years. Black seeds have been used in cooking, as medicinal treatment for various ailments, and its oil for skin care. According to the Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, Nigella sativa seeds were found in Egyptian Pharaoh, King Tut’s Tomb, which reflects the degree of significance the seeds had during the Ancient Egyptian Era. Egyptian Queens Nefertiti and Cleopatra were also known to have used Nigella sativa seeds and the oil extracted from the seeds to keep their skin healthy and beautiful. One of the reasons that I’m truly excited about Nigella Therapy is the idea of introducing the power of the black seed, and more particularly our unique black seed oil called Nigenol®, to health-conscious communities in America. So many of the beauty and health products we find in the market today are either somewhat effective but contain harsh chemicals or contain all natural ingredients but are not effective – this false compromise is not necessary. With Nigella Therapy, we are committed to creating effective products using the highest quality natural ingredients backed by science. You don’t have to choose between effective and natural anymore – with Nigella Therapy, you can enjoy both!
When my father and I started Nigella Therapy, we wanted to tie an element of socially conscious community development directly to the company. We are both deeply committed to supporting our communities both in the Washington, D.C. area where we are based and in Egypt where we source our foundational key ingredient, the black seed. We whole heartedly believe in the individual and corporate responsibility to do good. Nigella Therapy offers effective products made with the highest quality ingredients to meet the needs of our customers and, in the process, we support community development projects that contribute to creating a better tomorrow for all. The Nigella sativa seeds we use are sourced from an independently owned and operated organic farm along the Western bank of the Nile River in Minya, Egypt. Instead of working with corporate farms, we believe in the importance of supporting independent farmers and small businesses as a means to sustainable economic and community development. Additionally, for every item sold in the U.S., we donate $1 to a local community development organization in the U.S. To start, we have decided to support Project REACH, a local community development organization in Washington, D.C. that is rooted in youth engagement and mentorship. I am actually, personally, very passionate about inner-city community development through youth leadership development and engagement. For the past 5 years, I have enthusiastically supported Project REACH, as a volunteer leader, donor, and mentor. I could go on for hours about my experiences with the inspiring young people of D.C. and about what we can do to help eliminate some of the social and economic injustices faced by some communities, but I’ll save that for another time…
8) What are your hobbies or interests outside of your profession/work?
I love SCUBA diving and basketball. I enjoy attending live sporting events! Go Celtics! Go Wizards! In addition I love making fun music videos with the KG Krew. [Check out The KG Krew on Youtube and Twitter]
9) Favorite Website?
A Day In The Lalz - thanks Iman ;)
10) Favorite TV Show?
NBA games, Pardon the Interruption, Seinfeld, Law & Order, and Empire
11) Next travel destination?
My next travel destination is to the exotic getaway destination called Minneapolis, Minnesota (for work)!! I’d love to visit Jamaica, Brazil, and Tanzania.
12) Who is your style icon?
I don't have a style icon - I would consider my style eclectic so I'm inspired by a variety of sources - no one look or icon
13) What are 3 wardrobe staples you can’t live without?
Black jeans, big watch, and a blazer that fits right.
14) Three words that describe your style or personality?
Eclectic, comfortable, and social.
15) What would you tell your 20 year old self?
My 20 year old self was passionate, energetic, and social - I'd probably tell my 20 year old self to exercise more regularly and study more (even though I was at MIT and studied A LOT - I also spent a lot of time on extra-curricular activities and projects which were also certainly integral to my growth into who I am today), but I have a feeling my 20 year old wouldn't listen to my 28 year old self :-P.
Social Media | Nigella Therapy [Instagram // Facebook // Twitter] Project REACH [Instagram // Facebook // Twitter]
"Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love." - Rumi