A philanthropist at heart, Founder of Magic Touch, Mother of two beautiful daughters, 18 and 11, the Vice President of the Businesswomen Association, Özlem Özbekoğlu is a happy, successful woman, who often finds herself being part of many socially engaging projects, both locally and internationally, to support creative people.
Who is Özlem Özbekoğlu?
I am a businesswoman from Cyprus and I have a happy life. After graduated in International Relations, I went for further education and postgraduate in Globalisation and Culture. Back then, I was working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then in a private bank, but in 1997, I decided to open my own business. Little I knew that my whole life was about to change.
What was the most challenging step you had to take while building your business?
Taking the first step is always the hardest and building my business wasn’t easy. I had to unlearn what I knew and learn from scratch, all about photocopying and tee-shirt printing. Stepping into an industry which wasn’t associated with women’s creativity at that time, it was a challenge. My parents helped me, and I worked 13 hours a day, to build up a successful business called Magic Touch, working closely with my customers to understand their needs and expectations. ‘Test, learn and improve’ has always been my motto.
Being a Pathfinder and a woman at the same time, don’t come easy. You created a profitable business locally. What made your success possible?
In 2013 I was very surprised and thrilled to be named Business Woman of the year in North Cyprus. That award inspired me greatly, and at present, I have 65 employees and three branches in Kyrenia. It has all been down to teamwork and I am grateful to everyone who has worked with me to fulfill my dreams. I am especially thankful to my husband, who has always been hugely supportive and my friend, to my parents, and my right-hand and CEO of the company, Emine Seyitoglu, who has been with me from the beginning and still has the same energy and commitment.
You are an inspiration for the local business community. Being successful involves constant work and commitment. What drives you, what motivates you?
What I have learned from life is that excuses won’t get results. I never complained, even in the worst situations. I don’t have limits in my mind. Love is everything! I love myself, my husband, my daughters, my family, my friends, my little dog, the trees in my garden, the flowers, the rain and the sunshine, and everything in my life. Everything I do and everyone I know, shape me into the person I am today. Money has never been my motivation. In many ways, I am my own inspiration and always encourage my daughters to practice self- motivation. I believe I am the only person who could develop my own abilities and master my vision.
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