From Mariam's Desk
Hello! Thank you for visiting and taking the time to get to know more about who I am, and how Eleven Stars & Company came to be.
Let's start from the "beginning".
I was incredibly blessed to be taught by passionate educators & mentors during every stage of my education. When I look back on elementary, junior high, high school and university, I'm convinced I had some of the best experiences. I was taught by people who love what they do. I kept in touch with many of my teachers & professors over the years—as they had such a huge impact on my development and my perception of the world.
I've learned many important lessons as a result of these relationships, but there is one that I want to share. Life doesn't happen in a straight line. Our growth, accomplishments and successes do not exist on a timeline. We are free to grow, to fail, to accomplish, to cry, and to succeed—all on our own timelines. We sometimes end up in unexpected places, and we discover unexpected talents. It's important to give yourself a chance at these secret talents—even when they deviate from your "life plans". This is, perhaps, a segway into the story of how this hidden talent of mine turned into a business.
More About Me
I am a University of Calgary Alumni. I graduated in June of 2019, in Community Rehabilitation & Disability Studies, from the Faculty of Medicine. It was, in so many ways, a labour of love.
I worked with children with autism for nearly 10 years, and specialized as an aide in best practices—related to applied behaviour analysis, psychology, occupational therapy and speech pathology. I started young, worked through university, and I continued on after graduation. I had focused my energy in the same place for so long that a creative outlet became necessary.
I picked up pyrography in January of 2019. I focused every second of spare time and energy on creating handmade pieces—often Arabic poetry, Quranic verses and religious prayers. I have always had an intense love for poetry and language, as well as finding ways to explore my roots and learn more about my family history.
The demand for handmade pieces increased over 2019, and as 2020 introduced itself, I realized I couldn't keep up. Pyrography—the art of hand burning into wood—is an art form that is slow in nature. There is only so much you can with two hands and a hot pen.
The support I've received from my family, my friends, as well as the Calgary & Instagram community has been overwhelming—in the best way possible. The support is what got me to finally take the *leap*. I made an executive decision to invest in my tiny business—and I purchased a laser engraver and cutter. As a result, Eleven Stars & Co. naturally evolved into a company that could offer more. I wanted to be able to maximize the designs I was creating, the languages I was offering, and ultimately find ways to become more accessible.
It's been a learning curve in so many ways. I feel so blessed to be able to create items that have forever homes with you and the people you love. Thank you for reading this and thank you for supporting me—old friends, and new.
Love & Light,