SOCIETY
Miss Iran 2015 Mina Jay speaks about her business in Georgia
03 July, 2018
Miss Iran 2015 and Miss Photogenic Asia 2015 Mina Jay has decided to start business in Georgia, Tbilisi. Her family and herself have own business in Dubai, but that is not an obstacle for Mina to manage business both in Tbilisi and Dubai. Keep in mind, she is a professional model as well.

What made her to start her own business in Georgia and what plans does she have for future? She speaks about herself in an exclusive interview with Georgian
Journal.

Could you tell us about yourself – who are you and why have you decided to come to Georgia?

I was born in Iran and I live in Dubai. I have bachelor’s degree in microbiology but I am a professional model. I participated in a beauty contest Miss Asia in 2015 in India. I won the title of Miss Photogenic Asia 2015. Right now I have a Hotel in Tbilisi – Crowns Hotel – and I am the manager.
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How did it happen that in a conservative country like Iran you still managed to participate in beauty contest?

I live in Emirates that is why it is easy to know and take part in competitions. Nevertheless, my country is an Islamic country and I respect my country’s rules. Miss Asia competition includes a part, when all contestants wear national clothes. I also wore it and it was fully Islamic. It shows my culture and religion as well. This is how I try to combine my country’s tradition and my career.

How did you end up in Georgia?

In the beginning I came here as a tourist for a week. Then I decided to start my business here. A week is not enough to find out everything fully about country, but something that keeps me to come here over and over again is Georgia’s reputation, that it is easy to make business in Georgia.

What about attitude of Iranians towards Georgians? Why do you love this country?

Well, there are many things our countries have in common. Look at our vocabulary. For example, both of us use word Qucha (Street in English). There are other words as well, like Sharvali (Trousers in English), Fuli (Money in English), Khurda (Change / Coins in English). I know these words from business.

When and why have you decided to become a model?

Firstly, I should say that I love this job. Once I was watching a Columbian movie about a lady, who was a model and had her pictures everywhere. I also really wanted to have my photos hanging on a wall. One day I went on a photo shooting in a nice dress, I took photo and this photo is still in my room on a wall. Next time I met my friend who is a good photographer. He said: “You are so photogenic”. That is how my career in modeling has begun.
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Where did you start your career in modeling – in Iran or in Emirates?

In Iran. I started to take part in photo shootings for my friends. I wore head covers and dresses. It was not easy at first, as far as it was something new for me, for my family and culture. But I decided to follow it, because I was strongly attracted to it. Then I moved to Dubai. Of course it is a better place for me, for modeling and to develop myself. It has been 6 years since I am in Emirates.

Why have you moved to Dubai?

I was five years old when my parents moved there and started business. But because I was very young I stayed in Iran to study. I used to travel to Dubai. As soon as I got my bachelor’s degree, I moved to Dubai.
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Apart from modeling, you have your own business. What made you to start your business?

My mother is a business woman. She has a real estate business, she has a textile manufacture that makes uniforms, so business is in my blood. I can combine both of my jobs – modeling and business. For me it is not a problem to be a microbiologist, business woman and model. The most important thing is to do a job you love. I also love other things to do, like gymnastics and parkour. It is hard to master this sport, as far as it is considered to be boys’ sport, but I loved to do it.

I have jewelry business in Dubai. I sell it online. I like it and I’ll keep doing it. There are no limits in this business, I like to meet different people and make business with them. I do not have jewelry shop in Tbilisi yet. It is available to buy them either in Dubai or online, but I have plans how to enlarge my business.
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Photo courtesy: Kristofer Gordon

What do you think about Georgian people?

I love Georgian people. They are very kind and have warm relations with each other, they are like a family. It is unique for me, when kids play outside. Not everywhere you can see families going out at night and kids playing outside. This is what I love so much – this family-kind relations.
Georgians are happy people. I love to be in a country, were people are celebrating everything. Sometimes, they organize some events outside, like New Year celebrations. Fireworks and decorations are beautiful.

Do you have friends in Georgia?

I have friends everywhere, but I would like make more friends in Georgia.
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How do you imagine your future?

I always try to do my best, in every situation and especially in my job. Now I manage to combine modeling and business and I’ll try to continue like this in the future. I will try to do both. However, I don’t have any plans for specific country or a specific business. I am open to new possibilities. I love both of my jobs and I’ll keep doing it. When you make business, you always study. It is not about what you do or where you do. You always can turn and choose different direction and start another way. If you are in a right place, your business will grow.

Do you have friendly relations with Georgian models, who take parts in beauty contests?

Yes, I do. Some of them live in Dubai.

The number of tourists increases in Georgia. Do you plan to have one more hotel in Tbilisi?
I would love to have a bigger hotel and to enlarge my business, but for me quality is more important. If my little hotel is successful and has good ratings, I will work more to develop it. If there is a chance to have a larger hotel, of course I will not miss it.
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What would you tell us about your personal life?

I have many admirers and I always try to be friendly with them. I am not married, I am single, nevertheless everybody have somebody in their life who makes them feel better.

During an interview, we met Mina’s nephew, Fazel, who takes care of family business in Georgia. At first, there were only Fazel and Mina’s mother making business in Georgia, then Mina joined them.

Fazel told us few words about himself and his attitude towards Georgians:

“I am 28 years old. Before coming to Georgia, I am petroleum engineer and I used to work in Petroleum business, but then we decided to move to Georgia. Georgians are very kind, they are well behaved and have warm attitude towards foreigners. The most important thing Georgians have is hospitality. It is great to do business here. When Mina is away, in Dubai, I take care of her business. I know few words in Georgian, like Hello, How are you, I also know how to count till ten in Georgian”.
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Fazel Barzegar. Photo courtesy: Kristofer Gordon

In the end of an interview, Mina made a statement for young girls and women:

“I want to tell girls who love fashion or who are designers or who are engaged in other professions, always do what you love. Do not give up and do what you really love in this life. Stay strong and follow your dreams. You cannot become successful if you do not do what you really love. I will help those girls who want to become models. I hope I will manage to start classes for girls who will choose the same career and who want to take part in beauty contests”.

Photo courtesy: Issa AlKindy issask.com (License for photos is not transferable)

Mina Jay on Instagram

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