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.
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.
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.
What does Body Positivity actually Mean?
No body is the same, but every body deserves love, respect, and acceptance. The term Body Positivity means to cherish every inch, curve, and speck of your body and the changes it will endure as you age. Body positivity was made in the hopes of “reducing potential disordered eating and distorted body image triggers, while reducing the oppressive language that excludes fat people from access to resources.”
Many oppose the movement declaring body positivity is ignoring nutritional and medical facts as those overweight aren’t by typical standards “healthy,” but that is between them and their doctor, not me or you or anyone else. We are all made uniquely and what is healthy for you may not be what’s beneficial for another human being. The phrase ‘healthy at every size’ isn’t, unlike popular opinion, praising obesity. Instead, the campaign hopes to generate “positive changes made for the sake of being healthier” by getting rid of the guilt, humiliation, and misery that comes with not having a so-called “perfect” body.
Everyone has their off days like many others; I too have struggled with body image growing up. I’ve also been one of those who do face a plethora of body-judgment–both from themselves and others. But I have learnt it the very hard way that there is no need for fat-shaming. It doesn’t help people get to a better, more beneficial place in their life and in fact in reality, the stress and pressure results in greatly reduced chances of weight loss and instead, a tendency to gain weight and become obese by creating eating disorders and unhealthy lifestyle habits.
As a fitness enthusiast, I’m happy to say that the goal of exercising for me is not to get skinny anymore. Having a healthy lifestyle is about being confident, eating foods that make you feel good, and doing activities that help your body achieve what you never thought it could achieve, it’s about having a healthy relationship with your own body, where you listen to your body and your body listens and responds to you. These are all individualized subjects that do not require anyone’s outside judgment.
Moreover, attaching the statement “body positivity” to workout videos and articles promising to make you miraculously have a modelesque body or lose all that extra fat is not, in fact, body positive. The way you are is beautiful and taking different actions is not to become beautiful or happy or confident, you already are. Instead, fitness is a way to learn more about your body and the challenges it can endure.
Body positivity has become a safe space for people who have struggled with their body image, allowing them the space to accept their bodies as they are and work on loving themselves even if they have rolls or cellulite. I think this is a necessary cushion and community of people that celebrate all types of bodies in order for us to feel confident and truly ourselves. Body positivity has helped many people with eating disorders go into recovery, as well as exposing the vast amount of photoshopping that goes into ad campaigns that present women as stick thin with perfect skin. Jameela Jamil, along with many other famous women like Ashley Graham, Chrissy Teigen, Selena Gomez, has used her platform and fame to spread the message of body positivity.
While the west is slowly growing sensitised to issues like fat shaming, it’s obvious that Pakistan has a lot of progress left to make. According to Noor Bukhari, the preference in Pakistan has shifted from curvier bodies to leaner bodies over the years due to foreign influence.
A fat girl isn’t considered good wife material in Pakistani society, says stand-up comedian Faiza Saleem. According to Faiza Saleem, a fat girl doesn’t stand up to the conventional standards of beauty in Pakistan and also because it is believed her health might affect her having a family later. She thinks that health concerns may be valid but women of all sizes struggle with conceiving children.
In Pakistan, ten years ago it would have been very difficult to find a plus-size model in a magazines or anywhere, plus size models such as Zehra Husayn, Bihamaal, Sabah Bano Malik, Faiza Saleem among others have expanded what it means to be curvy and owning it like a boss. I think this change is extraordinary and this diversity needs to be incorporated in all aspects of social media as well, where women in Pakistan start embracing their curves and are willing to be the change we needed.
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