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Meet Ms. Wafa AlObaidat, CEO of Obai and Hill

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The idea for Sketchbook was born out of a desire to build a platform to support emerging artists and designers. During the initial days, I had to spend a good 5-6 hours a day emailing illustrators, designers, and writers to get them to contribute their work to the magazine.

When I started out with Obai and Hill in Bahrain, as a creative person, I lacked discipline, mismanaged funds that I earned through services and even mixed them up with my personal accounts. Back then, I wish I had known that without any business or accounting experience, my first hire should have been an accountant!

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One of the toughest decisions I had to take was prioritizing the company needs before my own and for the first couple of years, I did not pay myself. Business has taught me to become that person I wish had mentored me when I was younger. I have been turned down by people and I wouldn’t wish that for anyone else.

We are raised in a culture where people are always ready to tell you that your ideas are not realistic, but I think you NEED to be unrealistic to pursue what you want.

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