Old were the days when a review was not a “thing” and it was extremely difficult to get information about anything be it travel, food, medical issues or any problem related to everyday life. It was not common to have a forum where people would share their experiences directly with the public. Reading first-hand experiences was rare and forums like Quora and Yahoo Answers were considered the only reliable sources.
Now, everything is available on the internet and is just a click away. But, should we rely on such sources to be authentic and true? It depends and varies from source to source. It also depends on who moderates the source and how.
When the trend of having groups on Facebook started, people only used it for fun, to gather at a place to talk and share jokes. At that time, a few were trying to utilize this source for a meaningful purpose and those people gave birth to some amazing groups that, now, have a huge following and are considered reliable sources for any information related to the subject matter of the group.
Now groups have become a popular and the safest space for like-minded people to congregate and discuss specific stuff- from hobbies to pets and celebrities.
If you are still living in the stone age or looking for answers to your riddles related to food, travel, pets, allergies, mental health, etc., these are the groups that are at your service with a meaningful purpose and a great initiative to help the masses through a direct communication and dissemination of information through various posts.
Foodies ‘R US
Created in 2013, now this group has over 95k followers. This is the place where you will find reviews about any restaurant. You name it and people will share their experiences. If you are a foodie, this is surely going to be your favorite group as it has all the solutions to deal with your appetite. Not only the masses, but this has also helped a lot of restaurateurs and home-based chefs with their businesses.
The founder of the group, Asad Sheikh says “I started this group 6 years ago for one reason only and that’s the passion for food. I just want to tell and guide people on what’s good out there to try and what’s good that our country has to offer. I don’t write bad reviews of any kind but that doesn’t mean that I have not had my share of bad food. Always try to highlight the good while telling owners of the restaurant about things that need improvement.
We all are ambassadors of our city or country and others who see our posts or reviews create an image of where we are from. Over the years Foodies ‘R Us has helped many people living out of city or out of country to pick the eateries when they visit Lahore Karachi or even Islamabad. The same passion was translated into encouraging home-based talent to post as much as they can and later encouraging them to turn this talent into a business.
Many small businesses have blossomed from this platform and we later encouraged them further to be part of our Coke Food Festival, giving them a face to face experience with their consumers.
We have never charged anyone to advertise on our platform and that’s the reason for the success of many small businesses.”
Soul Sisters Pakistan
This group is home to 212K women who interact and share their issues and experiences related to health, relationships, feminism, networking, their moments of happiness, moments of suffering or any piece of advice related to the ongoing discussion. Not only this, through the group, women were able to find their long lost friends, online jobs, solutions to their problems and a lot more. This has become a safe place for them to talk about stuff they do not normally share publicly or are afraid to talk about. Anonymous posts have become the new trend to send your message across.
“In a culture where women are often silenced and their issues trivialized, I felt that we needed a space and people to talk to, other than their immediate family and friends; a space where we could give unbiased advice as a third person, for each other’s problems and a space where we could come together to share our stories, experienced and inspire each other.
And so in August 2013, Soul Sisters Pakistan was formed, and within months we were getting scores of requests to join the group as the concept of a safe space like this wasn’t so common back then! From discussing taboos to breaking stereotypes to providing legal aid and emotional support – the community has really made a mark and become a household name. It is also one of the 115 most impactful communities in the world, recognized, supported and trained by Facebook itself!- Kanwal Ahmed (the Founder)
The Travel Diary
Earlier, it was extremely difficult to know about the experiences of people who travel. Now, you just have to post a query and hundreds will be there to assist you or guide you about a particular thing, food place, culture or about people of a certain country. All in all, this group is a complete package to know about anything related to a country. Founded in 2016 with more than 72K members, this group is a query-home for all travel enthusiasts.
Mishaal Hashmi, the founder of the group says, “Traveling is something that is an innate part of me. Ever since I was a child, I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to travel, be exposed to cultures and people. As an adult, I’m even more fortunate to be able to share my passion with like-minded individuals, who share a similar passion. The idea to create the Travel Diary arose from my desire to share my travel experiences as well as gain wisdom from the experiences of others. Never in my dreams had I imagined my passion to take on such a gigantic form and for a forum such as The Travel Diary to exist is a humbling experience and a dream come true.”
Soul Brothers Pakistan
Even though most of the posts are light-heart humor and user-generated content; the group generally talks about various topics including networking, recruitment, and counseling. Similarly, it talks about issues that surround the men’s ecosystem i.e. relationship, health, masculinity, and mental state. Moreover, It discusses these issues in depth through live talk sessions also known as #SBPGuyTalk, where group members from all walks of life come and discuss issues varying from Depression, Suicide, legal affairs, and health-related topics. Their popular segment #AnonymousSoulBrother is also widely used by members who seek suggestions and valuable insights on a variety of topics.
“We identified a need where we could create a crowd-sourced platform for men which would offer a healthy support system for Pakistani brothers here and abroad.” – Danish Javed (Co-Founder)
Distinct from all; Kalash is a Beauty in itself
Those graceful divas dressed up in identical loose robes supported by adorned belts and head covered with heavy crown-like caps spilling their charm all around the valley are a real treat for the eys. This is not the fashion of Lahore, Karachi or Islamabad. This style narration is about one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan; the Kalash valley. They do not just adopt the unity in their lifestyle but also in their culture as well. Do you imagine wearing the same dresses with different colors yet not look boring or monotonous without giving an impression of a uniform? Yes, this is the place where fashion has its own sense and definition. You will see gorgeous people roaming around with a quirky-cool fashion statement, wearing no make-up yet looking radiant in those classic baggy dresses with heavy caps called “shushut” and a belt or “patti” wrapped around their waists. Who else can manage to look absolutely flawless in big slack cloaks but these women? Braids are never out of fashion in this part of the world because for these kalashi women, this is the ultimate and only hairstyle statement. Every hair is plaited in long braids both in front and back to support shushut on their heads and they are so much pro in making these braids that even a 5 years old kid knows how to transform you into a typical kalashi goddess in 2 minutes. How exceptionally distinct they look while wearing the same dresses and having a single fashion sense. Yes, that is where we see the beauty in harmony and oneness. Having a distinct culture, tradition, class and religion from ours, these people still win at living the best life full of love, kindness and hospitality.
Hira Waqar- Being a Superwoman
Dr. Hira Waqar of Dental Smiles clinic has set a gold standard for working mothers as she strives to achieve as much as she can. She started out as a dental practitioner alongside her husband and decided to take time off as she became the mother of three young children. Still practicing dentistry, Hira has now expanded her horizons to include a side business of making and selling scrumptious sweet treats at her online page: Hira’s kitchen and is avidly pursuing her true passion, makeup.
- You clearly play many roles in your life (mother, wife, entrepreneur). Do you ever feel that one role overshadows another and if so, how do you cope?
we play many roles in our daily routine. I never let any role overshadow another. I stick to a particular time table according to my kids’ biological clock. I am a mother before anything else. I fulfill all of my responsibilities without seeking any help. I feed my children, I bathe them myself, put them to sleep, play with them, make sure their socioeconomic requirements are fulfilled; at the same time, I’m responsible for their behavior and their upbringing. In the same way, I am a good wife. I take care of my husband and his needs; looking after his home in his absence. We run a private Dental practice together and I used to go there full time previously, but now only by appointment during afternoon hours when my kids are asleep. In the evenings I look after my children and complete my baking orders at the same time. So I’m a multi-tasker by nature. I can’t sit idle.
- What inspired you to pursue a side business in baking?
Well, my daughter inspired me the most in doing Baking as a side business!
I’m a keen learner and a good baker. I live in a joint family system so family bonding could never be better than it is at the dining table. My husband and daughter have always appreciated my baking and motivated me to pursue it as a side business.
- What has been the most challenging part of running your business from home?
Since I live in a joint family we have a joint kitchen. Ergo the main challenge I face at times is that my orders shouldn’t coincide with family timings; so no one gets disturbed by my work. I also have to do the tasks unrelated to baking myself: from buying boxes to getting stickers, and printing menus. At times it can become difficult to drive around with 3 kids. But the Almighty gives me the strength.
- What were some of the obstacles you faced in setting up your business and how did you overcome them?
To be very honest I didn’t face any obstacles. I was thinking of starting my own business one day and I asked my husband to make me an online page. He did so and immediately I got my 1st order of cupcakes and a Brownie pizza. The next day I prepared my order but I didn’t have any boxes or logo stickers so I rushed to the market and bought boxes from a friend and got the stickers of my logo printed. I successfully delivered my 1st order. The very next day and Alhamdulilah the series of orders started. It was so quick that I didn’t even get any time to rethink, the response to my items turned out to be unexpectedly good.
- As a mother of three, what are some of your tips for other working women?
Hard work, consistency, patience and most of all faith in Allah. Believing in your capabilities is a key feature in running any successful business. Don’t ever underestimate yourself! You have power over your mind.
- Having a hectic schedule can be tough. What are some of the ways you cope with having too much work on your plate?
Don’t ever get panicked or think of your duties as a burden. Just love yourself and love your work. That way you will find joy in everything you do, despite being tired.
- What is your favorite item off of your own menu?
My daughter, her friends and most of my clients like my Brownie pizza. However, I personally enjoy my fudge brownies more, especially with a cup of coffee.
- Who do you feel serves as a role model in your life and why do you look up to them?
The One and only role model in my life is my Mom!
She is a true example of selflessness and untiring struggle and above all, she is a good human being.
- There are so many businesses out there. What motivates you to stick to baking and will you be expanding into other things?
Life needs changes and experiments and so do I. Since I couldn’t limit my spectrum to dentistry, I branched out into baking which relaxes me and gives me peace of mind. However, makeup is my true passion. I have taken many courses and I am thinking of starting it as a new venture early next year Inshallah.
- According to you what is one skill an entrepreneur must have?
An entrepreneur must believe in herself, your confidence and will power can do wonders for you.
5 Top Trends that keep popping on our fashion-gram
Every time we check our social media, we get to know about a new trend that goes viral around the globe and to keep ourselves fashionably literate and aware, we have to go with that fashion parade no matter how absurd that trend is. But some fashions and patterns keep repeating and showing that they are here to stay forever and that too with different variations and intensities.
We got our hands on these 5 fashion fads that everyone is going loco over.
No matter what you bring in fashion every season, pantsuits will always have their dapper vibes on. Not just the formal events, these pantsuits have started trending on fashion shows, red carpets and casual events depending on how you carry your look. Wearing pantsuits does not take a lot of effort as only minimal accessories are needed along with a lavish pair of court shoes. Boom!!! you are good to ace.
Animal prints have a love-hate relationship when it comes to trending. Some days, you will hate the excess of these prints and some days you would love to keep adding these prints in your wardrobe. Lately, these prints are making their way into bags, shoes, jewelry and literally every wearable item. We love how people around the world are pairing animal printed pants, shoes, shirts, necklaces and bringing out the best looks on our newsfeed.
Embrace a spectrum of shades this time when you got a manicure. While you go for this tonal nails trend, keep in mind to choose shades from the same color family. Whether muted tones or vibrant hues, do not go for pick and mix formula. We got this done and found it to be the chicest trend in nails for this season.
Black, brown or dark blue liner is so 2018. This also does not work for those who do not like to apply liner. Pastel eyeliners are the new in-thing in fashion town. Not Vivaciously hyper colors, but light and soothing colors are recommended for best results. The soft-toned hues are a wardrobe staple but feel daring and bold on the eye. If you are scared of taking a risk you can apply black liner first and can use an outline from any pastel palette or can just highlight the corners of your eyes. Whatever route you take, this one trend should be the must in your makeup list.
Either Pull them on over skinny jeans or leggings or style them with a mid-length skirt that is right above the top of the boots. To keep them look prominent, always go for a contrasting color; If your boots are a darker shade, go for a lighter tone outfit and vice verse. Ditch those Chelsia boots and go for thigh-high boots to flaunt this winter season.
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