We're in the process of moving this section to our new website. Check out the new SFU Beedie website

Shaheen Hirji – Alumni Profile

Nov 18, 2010

BA (Cmns) ’99, GDBA ’03
Founder, Organically Hatched

Many new or expecting mothers face a reality they hadn’t previously considered: “I’ve met many moms who feel that the workplace doesn’t allow for the flexibility needed in being a mom. At the same time these women are experts and professionals in their field and don’t want to give up their skills and education to be a stay at home mom.” Shaheen Hirji, BA ’99, GDBA ’03, found herself in this predicament three years ago when she returned to work after a one-year maternity leave with her first born: “I really struggled with the commute and an inflexible work environment. I wanted to spend more time with my son and do something from home.”

Well versed with her background in communication, and a specialization in online marketing, Hirji decided to take action, and a large risk, and created a solution that intersected with another challenge she was facing: locating a variety of organic baby products within Vancouver. In 2008, Hirji gave birth to Organically Hatched, an online organic baby store: “I didn’t have the luxury of time to go to several different stores looking for these products and thought that it would be great if there was one store that carried everything I was looking for, that I could go to at a time that suited me. Many of the products we sell online are eco-friendly and so I feel good about promoting these products and  many of the products are made by moms in Canada and so that makes me feel good as well.”

The online environment enables Hirji to use her knowledge, education and passion to make a living from home, while being a full-time mom. The successful business plan resulted from her communication expertise and skills gained from her education at SFU and various work experiences after graduation: “When I combined my undergrad degree in communication with the graduate diploma in business from SFU – and my various Co-op experiences – it helped me understand the basics of business and how communication fits into the business equation. I realized how important the role of communication is in business. At this point, I know that wherever I go in life, and whatever I do, my communication and business skills will always be used and applied.”

Hirji was selected as one of Canada’s Top 50 “Mompreneurs” in November 2010 – nin the greenproducts/services category – announced by the MOMpreneur Networking Group Inc – a step forward for Hirji who had been nominated in 2009. She says it was a huge honour and a great indication that she’s living the “Mompreneur” lifestyle and enjoying it. Read the full release here/

When asked what advice she would provide any SFU students and grads, Hirji enthusiastically comments: “Be confident in your skills that you’ve gained through completing your degree and take full advantage of getting a broad enough education so that you have a good foundation to spring from. Pursue what you enjoy, because if you are passionate about something, you will definitely succeed.”