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Rising Stars: Meet Marina Mohan of Phoenix, AZ

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marina Mohan.

Hi Marina, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I think many people can say they knew what they wanted to be when they grew up, I always knew that what I wanted to do for the rest of my life was to never continue to do the same thing. To continue instead to learn new things and expand what is possible. I began my journey as a special education teacher. I taught for 6 years and also began taking business classes during this period. In the past two years my family has partnered with the Forgotten International Organization, a non profit organization whose focus is grantmaking foundation and operating foundations to reduce the number of people living in poverty. There the Dr. Eugene P. Mohan Angels Care Medical Centre was officially opened by the Hon. Robihah Nabanja, State Minister of Health and General Duties at the Kayaka II Refugee Settlement in Kyegegwa, Uganda on the 4th of July, 2020.
The clinic was funded by my family in honor of my late uncle, Dr. Eugene Mohan, who was Chief Surgeon at the Veterans Administration Medical Center of Northport, New York. This clinic serves the health needs of refugees from Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Eritrea, some 120,000 residents in all. The clinic is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and provides in and out-patient services,
During this time period I began working with one of my lifelong friends, Gresa Murati, We both have always shared a passion for business and creative arts. In the beginning of 2021 we began constructing our swimsuit brand, HypeKinis. We designed this brand specifically because we wanted people to feel like their hype man is in the room with them. Everyone deserves a hype man, right? Nothing beats hyping yourself up and getting ready to face anything that can come your way.
Along with the medical center my partner and I have also begun to partner with this non profit, with 10% of proceeds from Hypekinis sales set to go back into donating to the refugee camp.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
This path hasn’t been without it’s hurdles and discouragement. Learning something new especially when it comes to running a business can definitely be a tremendous learning curve. I think as we began our journey one of the focal points was nailing down what our brand stands for and bringing that message throughout the designs. I think one of our biggest challenges was finding a great manufacturer that was both reliable and willing to work with our creative ideas. I think it’s important to always weigh your options and cross examine what could and what does happen. Material quality is definitely something I keep at the forefront, with not only longevity as the goal but ethically sourced materials as well. I think it’s always important when you face challenges to use it as a learning experience. I like to tell myself that success is the only option as long as you continue taking action.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I have a large passion for drawing. It definitely sparked my desire to begin designing clothes. Its fun for me since work doesn’t quite feel like work all the time. Marketing campaigns are definitely a passion of mine in the realm of business. I think I have the most fun creating ways to grab people’s attention. Before I ever became interested in business or the fashion industry I have always had a huge passion for art. I would say I probably took an art class every year in high school, or at least tried to. I got very into creative arts, especially creative writing. I have a couple poems that have been published as well as creative short pieces that have won contests. I think writing is one of those many creative outlets and throughout the years it’s moved around through different mediums including music, and now design.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
I think having a mentor is important. There’s so much information out there but having a mentor can help you stay disciplined and you get access to first hand knowledge currently happening. I joined a lot of Facebook groups back when I first began getting interested in design and wanting to start a fashion brand. I was lucky that I found a great mentor who would do virtual meetings with me once a month. I gained a lot of knowledge and it was great to have someone there to help me through the paperwork and legalities of setting up your business. With networking I think you just have to get comfortable putting yourself out there. Check your local events, social media is a great tool for finding local fashion, music, and art shows. I attended and still do many local events to spread awareness and make connections within my community.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Forgotten International Marina Mohan Pastor Byaruhunga Godfrey

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