Behind Her Empire

Behind Her Empire: AptDeco Co-Founder Reham Fagiri on Being Scrappy and Resourceful

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

On this episode of Behind Her Empire, Reham Fagiri talks about why she left Goldman Sachs to become the CEO and co-founder of AptDeco.

Fagiri said she was inspired by her family. At a very young age, she wanted to build something for herself.

"My entire family, essentially, are entrepreneurs — whether women or men. A lot of my aunts have their own businesses, from architecture firms to... university professors," she said.

The idea for AptDeco came out of an experience Fagiri had moving from Philadelphia, where she attended business school at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, to New York. She turned to Craigslist to sell off her furniture, and found herself having to negotiate every aspect of a transaction and deal with no-shows. One particularly bad incident stuck with her.

"I think a turning point was when I had this gentleman come into my apartment, came to buy my TV, and he let me know that the TV I listed was actually the wrong model. And he got really upset," said Fagiri. "It was just an honest mistake. But, you know, he essentially told me that he's just gonna take it and he's gonna pay what he feels is fair."

Fagiri lived by herself at the time, and felt she didn't have any options. When she told her classmates the story, many said they'd dealt with similar problems when selling to strangers.

"I wanted to do something about it, so that it never happens again to anyone," she said. "And that's [what] really helped me and inspired me to start AptDeco. I wanted to create a solution, not just for me, but for every really every woman out there."

In the rest of the episode, Fagiri talks about growing up in a family of entrepreneurs and offers advice on connecting with your customers and raising money in difficult circumstances.

dot.LA Audience Engagement Intern Joshua Letona contributed to this post.

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Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Image courtesy of Folio

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Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

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Do you know something we should know about L.A. tech or venture capital? Reach out securely via Signal: +1 917 434 4978.

Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to

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