When I first met this slender figured woman with dark sparkly eyes, she illuminated gentle, powerful, determined human-being. With a lot of warmth, love, and care.
Before I knew it, she opened up her heart and soul of who she was, and what it took to get where she dwells today.
Jobless after giving up her top management position to save someone else’s job spot.
Raising two small kids alone for a while.
Supporting her ailing parents after one of them went through a cancer bout.
Life with pesticides, organic residues, waxes and a zillion of other chemicals poured into the earth’s crops and then consumed via fresh and frozen produce, poultry, and fish got Mareya Ibrahim moving like a greased lightening… towards putting an end to self-contamination via supposedly healthy things like fruit and veggies, and creating a huge business out of this powerful idea.
After being in a “suspended” state of mind with no job or support from the outside, Mareya enlisted all her passion, experience, and her dad’s enthusiastic support to embark onto her own journey of independence.
Eat Cleaner concept was born, a solution to food contaminated with pesticides.. Here’s her STORY that has already become part and parcel of the history of women in business for health.
CelebrateWoman (CW) Mareya, what got you started on the path of developing of Eat Cleaner products?
Mareya Ibrahim (Mareya) I loved my corporate life with managing a lot of people and having a sense of security. Not until all the economy started collapsing on us and taking away all the security of the existing jobs.
With drastic layoffs, personal challenges in the family, trying to support my small children, I was forced out of my comfort “security” zone to start my own business. On a shoestring.
With my personal passion for food industry and a lot of media coverage of pesticides being linked to ADHD, Autism, and Parkinson’s diseases, and encouragement of people to eat more of fresh produce at the same time, I thought the time for real and true Clean Foods had come.
With my father’s background in Environmental Health Science, we developed the product that empowers people to eat fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and poultry without ingesting any pesticides, waxes, or any chemical residues with foods they consume.
CW. Mareya, who are those remarkable people in your life that influenced you in your creative, professional, personal life that lead you to starting and sustaining this company?
Mareya. My true and beautiful inspiration comes from my children. Their health and wellness is of my utmost concern. They love their fruit and veggies. But without my new Eat Cleaner product, they would consume contaminated food supply. Even if we washed all of the produce with water, toxic residue remains on the surface and can wreak havoc on anybody’s health, especially when it comes to children.
My rock and my enthusiastic supporters are my parents. They came to this country from Egypt to live a different life and materialize their dreams and aspirations. They’ve been my inspirational example and driving force in all of my achievements.
Joan Boykin who is the Executive Director of the Organic Center has been an incredible force that encouraged me to proceed with fast pace and new ideas for my business. My huge bow goes to her.
Sylvia Tawse is my other personal inspiration for life’s simplicity and satisfaction. Running a small farm, Sylvia lives a balanced life, celebrating her daily achievements and reflecting on them with her loved ones.
All these people teach me, inspire me, provide a deep well of strength for me to grunt through any difficulties to reap bigger rewards.
Mareya. In order to start a business, you have to have a high self-esteem and confidence to proceed with quick decision-making and results.
But like in any life’s situation, you need to remain humble and not to be afraid to ask for help from those who know more and have more experience. Don’t confuse “being confident” with pride. That’s how I was building my professional self-confidence as I was consulting with others and building my own business at the same time.
As for my relationships, yes, running a startup does create a strain on them. In the beginning, I was a blackberry hog. I would answer any call, any ring, any request immediately no matter where I was or what I was doing.
Now it has changed. I learned to segment my time, my workouts, my promised time with my children and loved ones. I wouldn’t like my children to resent me for not giving them personal time with me. Everything I do is because of them. For them. Sharing our live’s experiences together is the ultimate gift a mother can give to her children and herself.
If you had to do it all over again, would you? And why?
Mareya. Yes, I would. Hindsight is always 20/20. There are things I’d do better or differently. But starting a new business is always more painful than having the birth pains. So many things to think about before anything starts happening.
Simple answer is “Yes.” To help people to stay healthy with the help of a very effective, lab-tested, non-toxic, natural Eat Cleaner is the most gratifying thing to know.
What’s Next? The #1 biggest difficulty Mareya had to overcome to be successful in her mission to end contaminants spread into our food supply.
PS: If you know have any questions to Mareya, please leave them in the comments below. She will definitely read and answer them.