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Meet The Founder of oogiebear

Meet The Founder of oogiebear

Dr. Nina Farzin, PharmD, is the CEO and founder of oogiebear, a brilliant pharmacist, and a mother of three. She began developing a gentle solution for clearing babies’ sensitive noses and ears and has carved her path as a successful entrepreneur in baby health with her creation of the company, oogiebear. Her journey, marked by innovation and dedication, sheds light on the importance of balancing motherhood, career aspirations, and personal well-being.

Here, Nina delves into her entrepreneurial odyssey and shares her insights on nurturing a thriving business for aspiring entrepreneurs and working mothers alike. This is her story.

I am so proud of the business I have built, particularly because of the community that has grown around it. But I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize, this Women’s History Month, the trail-blazing women who helped make my journey possible. 

Savvy businesswomen have undoubtedly left their mark on the world, and on me. I am of course a personal fan of Barbara Corcoran, who took a $1,000 loan and turned it into a billion dollar real estate empire. And I’m wildly impressed daily by my team, filled with smart, capable women with a passion for bringing innovative baby products to all of you.

Today I want to share a bit about my own story, which begins, as a lot of girls’ stories do, with my mom. 

The Foundation My Mother Laid

I was born in Tehran, Iran. In 1977, my parents decided to bring our family to the United States so that their eldest daughters could attend school there for the summer. My mother couldn't leave her kids alone and made the difficult decision to stay with them, along with my grandmother whom she was taking care of. 

Initially, it was decided that my father, the chief import-export minister, would travel back and forth between Iran and the US to support our family financially. However, this short trip turned out to be a life-changing moment for us. Amid the political turmoil and uncertainty after the revolution began in 1979, things changed very quickly. Iran became home for my father. My mother was left to take care of her children and my grandmother with no financial support, no community, or family to help.

That is a lot for any one person to handle, and my mom could have chosen to lash out or give up. Instead, she used her nursing experience to secure a job and put food on the table. She guided all of us through this huge transition in our lives, learning a new language and navigating a foreign culture. 

I often think about what my mother really did for my family. She did so much more than keep us alive––she taught me to be strong. She showed me what resilience looks like, and how to persevere even when life isn’t fair. Through my mom, I came to believe that hard work and sacrifice are the keys to achieving big dreams. That has served me well throughout my whole life.

I use my mom’s example of bravery and resourcefulness often when I am making decisions. When I had the idea for oogiebear and realized it could turn into something amazing, serving the needs of millions of families, I knew I needed to take that leap. As the business grew, I knew I should save and reinvest the money I made back into the business to help it grow, much like my mother invested everything in her children. 

When I had the opportunity to help other immigrants find success here in the U.S., I knew it was time to pay it forward. This year I was invited to participate in the NNIA (New Neighbors Interfaith Alliance) Women’s Circle, a group for the support of Afghani refugees in February.  It was such a fulfilling experience––we were connected by a common language and similar experiences coming to this country with nothing. I felt like I was able to pass on all of the knowledge I have gained from the women who came before me. 

Refugees, particularly women, often encounter significant barriers to education, employment, and social integration. By providing support, resources, and opportunities for these individuals, we can help them rebuild their lives and contribute positively to their communities. 

I was attracted to working with middle east refugees because I know they often come from male-dominated countries. It is so important to show them that women can achieve success in the business world.

Building More Than a Business

Success doesn’t always come easy, especially for women. When it was time to start oogiebear, I knew it was a huge opportunity. 

I understood that the impact I wanted to make extended far beyond the walls of our company. It was about more than creating innovative products; it was about nurturing a sense of belonging, about lifting others as we climbed. This commitment to building communities has always been at the core of our mission. 

Our efforts to support those around us have taken many forms, from offering advice and mentorship to young entrepreneurs, especially women who are just starting their journeys, to providing tangible support through donations to organizations like the D.C. Diaper Bank. These contributions aim to ease the burden on young moms in need, offering them a little more breathing room in their day-to-day challenges. 

I want to create the kind of company that serves the needs of parents through our products, but also helps women in need of employment in a supportive atmosphere. That’s why I have made sure we hire moms who need income but can only work part time, and why I make a huge effort to ensure that our factories provide a fair living wage and safe working conditions. 

Just like my mother’s example inspired me, I hope I can be an example of how businesses can and should operate in the world—a model of growth intertwined with giving back, of success measured not just by profit margins, but by the positive impact we can make on the lives of others.

A Vision for Female Entrepreneurs

As I reflect on my journey from a young girl in Tehran, Iran, to the CEO of oogiebear, I'm often filled with a sense of wonder and gratitude. It's a path marked by challenges, learning, and, most importantly, resilience. Looking to the future, I see nothing but boundless possibilities for other female entrepreneurs, with more doors open today than ever before.

There will always be challenges, some unique to women, some that just come with the territory of being in business. But facing down these hurdles can help each of us build up strength, and eventually, redefine the entrepreneurial world. 

I often get asked questions by women who are just starting out in business, and here is my advice to them: remember that every great journey begins with a single step. Take that leap of faith in yourself and your vision. It won't always be easy, and yes, you will face setbacks. Embrace every setback as a lesson, and don't shy away from course correcting when necessary. The key is to remain patient, humble, and disciplined––just like my mother taught me.

I would love to see a global community of female entrepreneurs, connected by our shared experiences and our collective ambition to drive change. We are not just business owners; we are innovators, leaders, and pioneers shaping a more inclusive and equitable world for the next generation. So, to every woman at the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey, know this: your potential is limitless, your impact immeasurable, and your time is now. 

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