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Mother-daughter duo looks to take their business to the next level

Mother-daughter duo looks to take their business to the next level
WATCH ABOVE: A local 'jewel' is looking to go global.

Hard work is two words Khadijeh Ahmed, 40, lives by.

She moved from her home of Baghdad, Iraq, to Saskatoon two decades ago for a chance of a better life.

“I came here with nothing, no cash, no money,” she said.

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“The community is amazing. I had lots of support from my assistant programs and started my own business.”

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Her business is Santorini Design in the Midtown Plaza mall.

She’s helped by her 16-year-old daughter Hanna Erci, who designs a portion of the jewelry.

“How can I help her? How will this benefit our company in the future? I really wanted to get involved in the business,” said Erci. “Since I saw how good it was doing for her, I wanted to jump at that opportunity.”

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Hanna hopes to follow in her mother’s footsteps. She wants to study business at university.

“She had … like 13 siblings,” she said. “To see her be one of the only ones really make a name for herself on her own without any help or background, it’s pretty inspiring to see that.”

So many years after leaving Iraq, Ahmed says she’s grateful Saskatoon became her new home.

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“It’s a great country and Saskatchewan is one of the good provinces because the people are really humble and nice and really caring,” Ahmed said.

“When they know you work hard they come and support you.”

The duo is working to grow the company beyond its one location in Saskatoon. They hope to eventually open stores around the world, perhaps, even in Ahmed’s home in Iraq.