Dalab Jewelry: A Shining Example of Success
Born and raised in Somalia, Barlin Aden chose to flee the country she loved as civil war began to tear it apart. As if the decision to leave her home for a life unknown wasn’t difficult enough, while escaping from this war war out of Somalia, Barlin and her family members were involved in a sever car accident. On January 13th, 1991, her three brothers, sister, and pregnant sister-in-law perished in this accident. Barlin was extremely fortunate to survive with only a broken arm. With unwavering perseverance and determination, she eventually managed to escape to a refugee camp in Kenya.
In 1999, Barlin found the opportunity to move to the US. She landed in Seattle, Washington to seek treatment for severe arthritis in her hand. At that time, she was told the only option was amputation – but she refused to go through the procedure. In September of 2002, Barlin moved to Minnesota to join the growing Somali community here, and seek assistance from some of her relatives in dealing with her illness. Eventually, she found relief through an amazing physical therapy treatment, and was able to pursue her dreams of becoming a business woman.
Although she did not have experience owning a business in the U.S. or Somalia, she comes from a family of entrepreneurs. One specific area of inspiration is her uncle, whom she visited in China in 2004. Through this visit and conversations, Barlin was convinced to start a small business in the United States. This endeavor began with her uncle supplying her with some products sent from China, including gold jewelry. Using a store owned by her cousin, Barlin sold her uncle’s gold items. But again, her perseverance and determination showed, as she worked diligently to establish her own business. Eventually, her cousin sold her the store in 2010. One of her first moves was to travel to Dubai to upgrade her jewlery inventory to a new and graded style, which turned out to be a brilliant idea.
Now importing gold from the Middle East and India, her jewelry is attractive to the new American community in Minnesota for not only it’s quality (21 carats), but also its relatively affordable pricing. Additionally, Barlin possesses great customer care and marketing skills. She understands the importance of establishing a good relationship with her neighbors in the community, and acting in a business-friendly manner.
As her store grew in popularity, she made plans to expand. So began a search for financing organizations to assist her with this growth. Recommended by a friend, Barlin sought help from the African Development Center to take her to the next level. “I am very grateful of all the help I have received from ADC. The business training class was very helpful, and it guided me to the road for success.” She goes on to say, “ADC also helped me to build my credit. I had no credit when I came to ADC, and now I have a good credit and I plan to take more loans in the nearer future to expand my business.”
ADC is extremely proud of Barlin and her store, Dalab Jewelry & Fashion, LLC – located at west Bank area on Cedar Mall, 415 Cedar Ave S, Suite 5, Minneapolis, MN 55454. In the next 5 to 10 years she envisions to expand her business beyond just jewelry, but to offer furniture, beauty products, and clothing items as well.
While a shining example with an inspiring story, there are many others with similar backgrounds and experiences to Barlin. For them, she has simple yet effective advice: with all of the challenges finding the necessary resources, it is absolutely crucial to be persistence and stay focused on one’s goals. ADC is excited for the future Dalab Jewelry, and the coming successes of Barlin, and even more excited for the inspired new entrepreneurs to come.