You may know her from her glamorous red-carpet appearances with her husband, the famous actor Asser Yassin, or perhaps you are familiar with her new business, the children’s underwear line, TriMoon. Indeed, Kenzy Abdallah is both a celebrity by marriage as well as a super-mum and a savvy businesswoman. As such, she is an inspiration to young women seeking to strike out on their own, while also focusing on being great mums and supportive wives. eniGma’s Hager Alazab sat down with the normally private Kenzy Abdallah to learn more about how she manages to be a hands-on mother of three little boisterous boys and taking care of her thriving business.
With two little boys frantically running around her and a crying baby in her arms, Kenzy Abdallah comes through as a regular young mum in the middle of a typical day at home. She has three boys, Taher who is seven, Amin who is five and little Zein, who is only nine months old. In the middle of the commotion created by the Yassin boys, this super-mum absorbs the chaos with utter calmness, dealing with all of it ever so patiently until peace is restored.
In her spacious living room adorned with pictures of her family, Abdallah recalls how her beloved late mother, Soha Ibrahim, taught her how to deal with the chaos that sometimes surrounds her. Ibrahim was one of the first female real estate agents in Egypt, and was a force to be reckoned with in her field. Abdallah worked with her since a very young age and they were very close. She emotionally recounts that her mother had a strong influence on the way she raises her children. “She told me to listen to myself and to not let anyone tell me that what I’m doing is wrong or that I should be doing something in a different way,” she recalls. “I want to raise my children to be hard workers the same way my mother taught me to be, ever since I started working by her side when I was 12 years old,” she adds. While continuing to help her mother with her real estate business, Abdallah went on to study at the American University in Cairo, earning two master’s degrees. After graduation, she worked for some time in the development field, until she decided to start her own exercise studio.
“Aerobics, pilates, and a million other things, that field has always been my passion,” says Abdallah. Partnering with a friend, she launched a gym called FitStop, in Swan Lake, New Cairo, overcoming her reluctance to turn her hobby into something commercial.
Today, Abdallah is happy with her new business, TriMoon, the children’s underwear line she started a year ago. She excitedly recalls the inspiration behind her brand, “TriMoon was actually inspired by my kids. Every time I would try to change my children’s clothes, and seeing the joy in their eyes when they wore something they actually liked.”
The TriMoon brand has three mascots, Tri, Moon and Leila, that convey its message. According to Abdallah, Tri and Moon were inspired by her two eldest children, whose nicknames are “Tiro” and “Mooni.” As for Leila it is a fictitious character although it is partly based on the daughter of one of Abdallah’s friends. Abdallah reveals that, “TriMoon” also means “goddess” or “mother,” in celebration of motherhood. “It took us quite some time to play around with the name before we came up with ‘TriMoon,’” she exclaims.
Abdallah has high hopes of revolutionising children’s idea of beauty, through the marketing of the TriMoon brand. She explains that the brand’s Princess Leila mascot, was deliberately created with curly hair, to strengthen the bond between children and the way they look. “I didn’t want to do the typical princess with blonde hair and blue eyes, since we live in a part of the world where we mostly have curly hair. I honestly think that perpetuating the typical blonde princess image gives our young children a wrong impression of beauty. I want to inspire our young girls to feel beautiful about themselves,” says Abdallah.
Abdallah is also proud of her brand’s focus on the use of sustainable Egyptian materials. She is convinced that Egyptian materials are very special and are a key factor in the brand’s success. Another important element behind her business’ success, according to Abdallah, is her own perseverance. “I believe that perseverance is what differentiates a good entrepreneur from someone with a mere idea,” says Abdallah, who is already planning to transform TriMoon into a full sleepwear brand in the near future. She is also looking forward to exporting TriMoon products soon.
Turning to the discussion of motherhood isn’t easy for Abdallah, due to the recent passing of her own beloved mother. When she opens up, she stresses that she has a unique bond with each of her children and has observed a dynamic change in each of them with the arrival of a new child into their lives. She admits that things can be chaotic at times, especially with the two older boys so close in age. “It took me some time to get used to having them all over the place, but it hasn’t been that bad, to be honest,” she admits.
When the topic of online schooling due to the pandemic is brought up, Abdallah shares her concerns about how the responsibility for teaching the children has fallen on mothers. She worries that this comes with the risk of inadvertently misinforming the children academically. Nevertheless, she predicts that the future of schooling is going to be influenced by the changes made due to the pandemic.
Abdallah confesses that the real challenge for Abdallah as a mother came during those first few months after having her first child. She recalled constantly struggling with the idea of having to do everything herself and dealing with the unsolicited advice she received from everyone around her. ‘‘In the beginning, I felt like I was listening to so many opinions and I didn’t know what to do,’’ she recalls. As time passed, however, everything eventually fell into place for her and it became easier. ‘‘It’s nice to create your own bond with your children. My husband and I make the decisions together for our family,’’ she adds.
Before the end of our meeting, the discussion inevitably turns to what it’s like for her kids to have a celebrity like Asser Yassin as a father; and how she feels about having her little boys in the spotlight. Abdallah explains that while she looks back fondly at the precious moment when her two older boys walked the red carpet with Yassin and her at the Gouna Film Festival, she does worry about the kids receiving that kind of attention at a young age. “I don’t want them to think they are famous, because they are not. It is Asser who is,” she stresses. Recalling the values and work ethic her beloved mother taught her, she adds, “I teach them that they should earn what they get. I don’t want the kids to walk in their father’s shadow and Asser’s astounding success.”