“I was born in the grand city of London.”

Almost, that is. 

That could have been how my story started. 

However, at the tender age of 21 my mother had a different plan in mind for my arrival. She chose Istanbul, the enchanting city bridging two continents, as the birthplace of her first child – yours truly. 

And thus, my exotic journey began.

I was only three months old when we embarked on a new chapter and settled in London. 

My father, a PhD student at King’s College, supported our small family on his modest stipend. So let’s say I wasn’t quite born with a silver spoon in my mouth; if such a spoon had existed, it surely disappeared during our flight from Istanbul to London.

Growing up, my mother recounted her endeavors to make ends meet during our days in London. Cleaning the staircases of the building we lived in was her means to make a few pennies and purchase milk for her baby – me. 

It was a source of pride for her to tell this story, and it also became a source of immense pride for me. Her story instilled in me that I can do anything as long as it is honest work. Truly. 

With its enchanting allure, London served as an idyllic backdrop for my childhood. Joyful memories filled my days, from feeding pigeons and jumping into puddles in Hyde Park, riding atop the iconic double-decker buses, or indulging in the luxury of a London cab on rare occasions. Hand in hand with my father, I would go to his school to delve into a microscopic realm and delight in the captivating shapes and forms hidden within slices of rocks. Yet, my fondest memories revolved around the Ladybird Easy Reading Books my parents would buy for me each weekend. No matter how scarce money was, they always made sure to allocate funds for this cherished literary escape. Thus, the love for books, stories, and learning was deeply ingrained in my heart and mind.

When my father completed his education and was awarded the title “Dr.,” my young mind was convinced he had become a medical doctor. It took some explanation to make me understand that his doctorate was in petroleum. Nonetheless, a dream took root within me – to one day add the “Dr.” title before my name. It’s a secret for now, but I may take my first step toward that dream in the upcoming school season!

Accompanied by my newly minted “doctor” father, my mother, and my brand new three-month-old brother, we returned to Türkiye. My father’s dream was to contribute to the betterment of his country. However, after surviving on a meager salary for a few years, he finally had to accept a job offer from Saudi Arabia. It was a decision to pursue a brighter future for his family.

Off we went to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a place that would become our cherished home for several decades. As my fingers dance across the keyboard, a gentle smile dances upon my lips and my heart. Memories sparkle in the depths of my mind, reminding me of the extraordinary experiences that unfolded beneath the Arabian sun. The tapestry of Saudi Arabia unfolds in my memories, vibrant and diverse, painting a portrait of awe-inspiring landscapes and rich cultural heritage. 

My middle school years were spent in Saudi Arabia and were nothing short of wondrous. From the art of frog dissection, to transforming ordinary moments into captured treasures with our handcrafted cameras, I enjoyed many whimsical adventures. 

English teaching schools did not exist in Saudi Arabia at the time, therefore I was granted the opportunity to embark on a new chapter of my education in England’s esteemed institutions for high school. From international school trips to my first culinary classes, to pub hopping in London, the tapestry of rich experiences are forever etched in my heart and soul. 

Upon graduation from high school, I found myself standing at the threshold of a new chapter. Fueled by my mother’s desire for me to marry a Turkish husband, preferably a doctor, I found myself in Ankara, Türkiye. I ended up studying English Language and Literature, as it was the only program available to me through the central examination system at the time. It felt like a defeat for someone who excelled in math, but I console myself now with the thought that it provided me with the opportunity to immerse myself in the works of Shakespeare and develop a deep appreciation for them. 

Guided by a passion to ignite change on a grand scale, I ventured forth to pursue a master’s degree in International Relations upon graduation. My dream was to become a United Nations (UN) diplomat and thus become a catalyst for meaningful dialogues, and spend my life bridging divides and fostering harmony in the world. And for that, I needed a Ph.D. 

Yet the stars refused to align in my favor on that fateful day of the Ph.D. exam. My dreams of becoming a UN diplomat slipped through my fingers like grains of sand. 

In my disappointment, I leapt from one job to the other, yearning for a sense of fulfillment that eluded me. And then, one day amidst this chaos, I landed in the captivating realm of the trade show industry. I fell in love with the tangible buzz that electrified the very essence of each event. It was a world where boundaries blurred and possibilities expanded. As I reflect upon my journey, I am so very grateful for the winding road that led me to this extraordinary industry. 

After a couple of years in the industry, my entrepreneurial spirit urged me to venture forth and create something uniquely my own. I didn’t have the funds to do so but, The Universe conspired to present an unexpected ally – a Saudi businessman fueled by vision. He provided the financial wings that would lift my dreams off the ground. To this day, I think of him with gratitude in my heart. 

When my trade show company was still a baby, I met my husband, a Turkish doctor. I think it was my mom who fell in love with him first. Within four short months of meeting, we were happily married. 

For about a decade, I organized countless trade shows, most of which were in Saudi Arabia, a land that I believed held the promise of fruitful partnerships for Turkish exporters. Keep in mind that this was a time when women were not even allowed to drive, let alone work or run trade shows in Saudi Arabia! But when one is raised with the conviction that your gender doesn’t define your potential, you find a way to make things happen. From an external perspective, these endeavors may have seemed impossible or even crazy, but internally, they were my norm.

I eventually halted my trade show activities in Saudi Arabia, as something even more incredible unfolded in my life – I became pregnant with twins, a girl and a boy. Upon gazing into their precious little faces, I knew it was time to embrace my role as a mother.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, but you’ve been so patient and deserve to know – this was my childhood dream. It all began in first grade in London, where I had girl-boy twin classmates, and I would daydream about having girl-boy twins of my own one day. Those years in Saudi Arabia, immersed in the pages of Sweet Valley High, painted a vision of giving birth to my twins in the United States and raising them by the ocean.

My dear late mother raised me with the belief that “There is an abundance in God’s treasure box, just keep your heart pure and ask.” 

Even if it feels a little vulnerable to shout out to the world that my babies were conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and that they only arrived after multiple failures, I look at this as an opportunity to inspire an IVF mom with the belief that she too can take her embryo home as a baby. 

Shortly after my babies were born, I won the Greencard Lottery; yes, that is actually a thing. 

When my babies were five and a half years old, we gathered our belongings into a few suitcases and embarked on a journey across the globe to start a new life in magical Miami. As I bid farewell to my husband at the airport, an overwhelming realization washed over me – I was alone in a foreign land. I did not know a single person, not in the entire State of Florida, and certainly not in Miami.

Fast forward a decade, and I stand before you now with a thriving circle of friends in Miami, a successful career in real estate, and one and a half completed master’s degrees (I hold a completed MSIRE and am currently pursuing an MSRED). Moreover, I have become a new business owner, and this project just might have been a catalyst for that! 

And why, you may ask? Why She.Work?

Imagine a community where the power of your voice and experiences can ignite the flame of inspiration within other women, propelling them to reach their next level of potential. As someone who had a brief experience as a mommy blogger and experienced the thrill of inspiring others, I understand the profound impact that sharing stories can have on another woman’s life. This is why when Pinar, a woman who created an incredible career before, told me she was working on a social project which dedicated to helping women to reach their next levels, my heart jumped with joy! Aysin, Pinar, and I, for me, like it was a team made in Heaven! 

I believe with all my heart that In this dynamic and supportive space, we will bring together kindred spirits who believe that changing the world doesn’t require lofty titles or grandiose positions or even being a UN diplomat. Instead, the world can be changed, one woman, one story at a time. The ability to inspire another woman to unlock her true potential is a remarkable gift – one that ripples outwards, creating a wave of transformation and empowerment. 

Together, we will celebrate the journeys, triumphs, and resilience of women from all walks of life. We will uplift each other and provide encouragement and guidance as we overcome obstacles. This will be our community, where we belong, our avenue to connecting with like-minded women who share our passion for inspiring others. 

Each woman’s story will be a vital thread that weaves into the fabric of our community, creating a rich tapestry of inspiration, strength, and resilience. 

Changing the world isn’t confined to the corridors of political power. It happens in everyday moments through the genuine connections we create and the support we offer one another. By inspiring women to tap into their limitless potential, we will create a ripple effect that permeates families, communities, and societies. 

And why me?

Because the journey begins with me.

The journey begins with Pinar.

The journey begins with Aysin.

The journey begins with you.

By sharing your story, you can inspire countless others to embrace their next level of potential.

Here’s to changing the world, one story at a time!