The most magnificent to the simplest of people, events and happenings in life inspire me. I’m always intrigued and eager to learn about anything and everything. My keen sense of observation keeps me interested and inspired.
You are a working woman with a husband and children. How do you maintain a work-life balance?
My husband is a continuous source of appreciation, criticism and support, as are my children. They combine their efforts to facilitate my frequent travelling and long working hours and always take a keen interest in my professional growth. I must also mention the prayers of my parents and their unwavering confidence in my work. Family support, great organisational skills and a strong sense of determination allow me to manage quite well.
What’s the best way to deal with failure?
The best way to deal with failure is to learn from it and remember that nothing in life is a complete miss. You might not have achieved what you aimed for but something good must of come out if it. Everything happens for a reason.
If you could relive any one day of your life, it would be…?
At the risk of sounding boring, I must admit that there have been so many days that have borne beautiful memories, it would be unfair to just mention one. However if I must, it would be not one day, but four days: the birth days of my four daughters.
Tell us why you chose to be an entrepreneur?
I had a very business savvy and hardworking set of parents who made it a point to train and involve me in different aspects of their business. After teaching for seven years, I felt that I could achieve more freedom of expression and creativity working on a project that was solely my brainchild. Conceiving, executing and running the House of Aphrodite is exhilarating, despite the stress and demands entrepreneurship exerts.
What makes you different from your competitors?
I don’t consider any other brand in Lahore as a competitor as I am unique in what I have to offer. We are neither a high street franchise nor a departmental store but a boutique offering handpicked brands. Every item in the store has been purchased by me, keeping particular women in mind. I am offering personalised collections that are inspired by the beauty, style and tastes I see here.
How has the Pakistani fashion industry changed over the past years?
The Pakistani fashion industry has become much more demanding than before! It is now considered a serious career choice which has opened doors of opportunity for many talented people. In a world which is accessible for all, Pakistani fashion reached new heights. It is encouraging to see where the industry is headed. At the current pace, I truly believe Pakistan can achieve an esteemed place on the global fashion scene.
Who is your favourite designer and why?
My favourite designer is the classic Rano as she is innovative yet true to her roots. Her vision and workmanship are exemplary!
Any advice for aspiring female designers?
Be inspired, be motivated and not a Xerox copy of anyone else. You must be confident and the best version of yourself that you can be.
CEO at the House of Aphrodite
Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, February 22nd, 2015.