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UNDER THE COVERS: With Saba Aqeel

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Saba Aqeel Ahmed has worked tirelessly to set up her home-based bedding business. She strives to deal as fairly and honestly as possible (with the help of her refund and exchange policies) and always makes sure to provide the best quality products so as not to disappoint her customers. She is the mother of four young daughters, a dedicated and honest businesswoman; and a loving wife all wrapped up into one person.

 

  • What pushed you to set up your own business?

I set up this business as a means to support my 4 daughters and husband. I realized that the extra income generated by my business could be put towards my daughters’ higher education and to improve our current standard of living. I also chose to start this business because of my inability to sit idle and my desire to become an economically productive member of society.

 

  • What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in setting up this home-based business?

There were many challenges that I came across while I was initially setting up my business. One of the main problems was transport. I didn’t have a car or driver! This made it quite difficult to commute and get things done. Moreover, my in laws weren’t very supportive of the idea of a working woman either. This became quite worrisome as I wasn’t receiving the kind of support I needed and it lowered my morale quite a bit. In addition to this, one of the hardest things to accomplish was building recognition for my brand.

 

  • There are so many different types of businesses out there. Why did you decide to take up bedding?

Originally I hadn’t decided that I wanted to produce and sell bedding. I had already been contemplating setting up a small home-based business and a close friend suggested that I should pursue bedding. Her husband already owned bedding store so I thought “why not?” I was inexperienced at the time so it was nice to be able to rely on someone who knew what they were doing. Through them I was able to learn a lot about how to grow my business and was able to expand my network of contacts too. Working in bedding textiles is also very unique as not many entrepreneurs have thought to enter this field yet.

 

  • Once you re-started your business for the second time how did you manage to expand it?

Initially, when my business launched I only circulated the news amongst my family and close friends through a Whatsapp message. Then orders started to come in, and as I sent out more products I began to receive positive feedback. From there I was recommended to potential customers outside my immediate family and circle of friends. However, I had to take a short hiatus to focus on a few family matters. Once I re-launched my business I explored new avenues of self-promotion such as online pages, Instagram, and Facebook and that is how I was able to expand my customer base.

 

  • What advice would you offer to someone looking to start their own business?

Give it your all! Don’t pay too much attention to what other people say about you, keep your head down and just keep going. Inshallah, all your efforts will be rewarded if you put in the maximum amount of effort into what you do and keep your intentions clear.

 

  • Was your family supportive of your ambition to run a home-based bedding business?

In all honesty, my family has always been quite supportive of everything I’ve ever wanted to do. I got married at quite a young age only having done my FSC at the time and was very financially vulnerable. It was a blessing to have a supportive husband that encouraged me to take up entrepreneurship and my daughters that pressed me to my get BA degree. However, my in-laws are more conservative and weren’t too keen on the idea of me setting up this business. In this case, I took the executive decisions to carry on and with the support of my husband and daughters I was able to set up a successful career.

 

  • What are some of the most important things you’ve learned as a result of managing this business?

Running this business has in fact been an invaluable learning experience. I had always led quite a sheltered life, but after starting this business my eyes were opened to some very harsh realities. I learned to observe people closely and realized the importance of being polite. People working as sales representatives or offering any goods or services are often wrongly criticized for things beyond their control. Even if they make a genuine yet minor mistake. On the other hand, I also learned how kind and considerate people can be and what the lengths people will go to support you if they care about you.

 

  • Being a working mother can be quite difficult. How do you manage all your responsibilities?

Being a working mother is quite hectic. My children are my number one priority and the whole reason that my entire business is set up at home. This way I am able to look after them while getting on with my work as well. I do all my designing first and only visit the bazaar on selected days to pick out the fabric so that my kids aren’t left alone for too long. It’s a huge responsibility to make sure your children and house aren’t neglected while you work. Especially for me, since I live in a joint family system, and need to be extra vigilant so as to avoid any criticism. At times the routine gets very tedious and work does pile up but at the end of the day, it’s also quite rewarding.

 

  • What is your main focus for the future at this point?

My main focus at this point is educating my 4 young daughters.

 

  • Is there anything you’d like to say to the audience that reads your interview?

Yes, I’d like to take this opportunity and use the Scary Ammi platform to say that every working mother has a lot of responsibilities to shoulder. So it’s important that we do our best to support the work that these mothers do because even the smallest bit of encouragement can do wonders for their morale.

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TECNO offers Exceptional Discounts on Daraz Gyara Gyara

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TECNO has collaborated with Daraz for their second edition of popular Gyara Gyara(11.11) sale. The sale will kick off at midnight on the 11th of November.

TECNO is also offering free gifts during the Countdown Gala starting from today 8th November on the biggest game show ARY Jeeto Pakistan. The show will be hosted by the famous celebrity of Pakistan, Urwa Hocaine. The show will have an exclusive game segment where the participants will be handed out free Spark 4 phones.

 

Commenting on the Daraz 11-11, General Manager of TECNO Mobile Pakistan, Mr. Creek Ma said,

TECNO has already established its furthermost presence in Pakistan. The brand believes in being the most pioneer for the customer and promises to offer smartphones with the best features and specs in the future. TECNO will achieve new milestones, by offering innovative products online on 11-11 Daraz sale with free and discounted products for their customers who purchase at the TECNO flagship store on Daraz.”

 

The most popular TECNO phones will be available on incredible discounts during the biggest sale of the year that will continue for five days. These include TECNO’s recently released POP 2F, Camon 12 Air and Spark 4. TECNO is also offering Camon iAce 2 at an incredible price of 9,999PKR.

The 11.11 sale is the biggest event for digital shoppers. Last year, Daraz offered 3 million products for online users. This year it is being speculated that Daraz will bring 10 million users on 11.11 sale.

 

TECNO is one of the brands that concentrates more on bringing new and exciting ideas to keep its users entertained. So, once again, TECNO is offering discounts to its users on the biggest online sale of Pakistan. This is purely for users of TECNO because they deserve it.

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Hello There!! Winter Makeup Trends are Here!!

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Although the shadi season keeps going the whole year; November to January are officially considered the wedding months with a great hassle of how to dress up and look the best. Not just the issue of what to wear, people are highly confused about the type of makeup and look they should carry. The scariest moment at the time of the wedding is for the bride. Who would like to ruin their most important days without having at least the basic idea of makeup trends that are going on at a particular time.

Not only this, we all are keen to know what lip shades are trending this winter. Is it again nude, glossy, matte or pearl and frosted?

To have an expert piece of advice; we asked our two most important questions from our gorgeous professional makeup artists related to trending makeup this winter wedding season and we got some amazing answers.

Fatima Nasir – The Pro Queen 

Perfect Wedding Look

Winter is notorious for drying out your skin, so make sure your skin is hydrated. A subtle smokey eye can look particularly gorgeous. Look as radiant as you feel on your special day with makeup that accentuates your happy glow. Add false lashes, play up the drama with shimmery eye makeup and highlighter that accentuates your cheekbones and will make you look lit from within.

Trending Lip Shades

Timeless and classic, a red lip has long been a favorite of the beauty world. A burgundy lip is foolproof in pulling off a beautiful wedding makeup look, and if you’re someone who has a bold, modern style, then this is a perfect option. In choosing the right shade, take into account your skin tone and whether you have cool or warm undertones – this will ensure you get the right color. Additionally, go for a long-lasting formula, so your pout is perfect all day.

Natasha J. – The Makeup Diva

Perfect Wedding Look

The perfect bride for me should be timeless. The barat look should have perfect harmony between old-world charm as well as modern glam. My go-to eye look for my barat brides is kohl-rimmed, smoked out gold glittery eyes with gleaming skin which looks lit from within. For a bolder look, I prefer a show-stopping red pout however for a more subtle look I lean towards a peachy nude lip. The hair should be minimal, styled in a bun to draw the maximum attention towards the makeup and the jewelry

Trending Lip Shades

1. Ruby woo by Mac cosmetics: Titled as one the best red lipsticks in the market. This bold red with an undertone of blue works beautifully on all complexions.

2. Uncensored stunna lip paint by Fenty Beauty is also known as the red which universally flatters everyone. Not only it looks good it feels super comfortable and doesn’t wear off easily.

3. Famous by Huda beauty: A gorgeous dark vampy red perfect for winter evenings or a night out

4. Cheerleader by Huda beauty: A perfect classic muted red, making it perfect for a day time look !!

5. Chilli by Mac cosmetics

One of my personal favorites by Mac is rusty orange-red that looks great on desi skin complexions and can be worn many ways !!

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Fashion Extravaganza Experienced At FPW Winter/Festive 2019

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The most grandeur fashion event of Pakistan ‘Fashion Pakistan Week’ showcased its second instalment of the current year ‘FPW Winter/Festive 2019’ last week in Karachi. The three-day fashion affair featured the top most cutting edge designers from Pakistan and abroad, who showcased their formal, semi-formal and bridal collections, highlighting the latest trends of the season.

From the array of 20 designers with their diverse collection, five came on the runway on day one, seven on day two and the rest eight on day three.

Prior to the event, Alkaram Studio hosted an exclusive sundowner in association with the Fashion Pakistan Council. The sundowner was a first look at the collection ‘La Vie En Rose’ with hints of pinks, blushes and corals in the chic and luxurious décor. The event also collaborated with Pink Ribbon Pakistan for Pinktober, in solidarity with the patients and survivors of breast cancer.

The three-day event was all about glamour and style. Outside the ramp area, the evenings began with the presence of renowned personalities from the world of Pakistani fashion and entertainment at the purple carpet in dazzling dresses and dapper attire. A  Physiogel booth was also buzzing with celebrities, media, stars and fashionistas as the stylish and light-hearted actor, Ali Safina engaged the comers in conversations revolving around trends and their personal style. Many also experienced the glamorously decked up Chocolatto booth, ultimately walking away with picture perfect moments, decadent desserts and giveaways.

Day one was opened by Alkaram Studio who displayed inclusivity and diversity of cultures in an extravagant hour-long showcase of their Luxury Pret collection titled ‘La Vie En Rose’ using feminine blush tones, pink roses and an array of different techniques, which was followed by ‘Gul-e-Nar’ by Boheme, in which prints in the form of bandhani dupattas, traditional Sindhi fashion with a mix of modern techniques in prominent striking colours. Third show of the night was ‘Lost in my French Garden’ by Gogi Hasan Riaz, where sharp silhouettes, vibrant colours, and classic couture to flamboyant looks in silk, organza and old french embellishment techniques were seen on the runway. Tirana’ by Yasmin Zaman was a collection of deep colours and rich fabrics of Pakistani formal wear with loose jackets and elaborated sleeve details. The grand closing of day one was with ‘Mahnoor’ by Ayesha Farook, which featured flat braid work with a strong emphasis on gold and geometric designs.

Celebrity showstoppers started off with the Muneeb Butt and Ayeza Khan for Alkaram Studio, Saboor Aly for Boheme, Nimra Khan for Gogi by Hasan Riaz, Sarwat Gilani for Yasmin Zaman and Fauzia Aman for Ayesha Farook’s opulent closing.

Many prominent personalities attended day one, including Hajra Yamin, Azekah Daniyel, Alishay Adnan, Maheen Khan, Aamna Aqeel and key media personnel amongst others.

The evening of Day two of the event opened with Stella Jean, a Haitian-Italian designer who works in Rome and is considered to be Giorgio Armani’s protégé, unveiled her collection ‘Laboratorio Delle Nazioni’ meaning an Italian-Pakistan bridge which was a multicultural collaboration with the local artisans of Chitral, Gilgit and Hunza. Following that was an energetic fashion display by Humayun Alamgir with his collection, ‘Style Mara Tou Darna Kya’ that highlighted the bold, flamboyant designs needed in fashion. The Pink Tree Company showcased, ‘Color in Technicolor’ homage to old movies and the nostalgia that comes with it. Zuria Dor continued the bold take on fashion with ‘Centre of Gravity’, a mix of craftsmanship and the artistry of couture on rich, pure fabrics. Fifth designer of the night, Zellbury brought to the ramp their collection ‘Shahi Rendezvous’ which was a 21st century take on the bright flora and fauna of Mughal Art, with an emphasis on inclusivity and independent women. Splash showcased a global ‘Streetwear’ trend with their vibrant, funky, young designs perfect for the trend-following fashionistas. Fashion maestro, Maheen Khan closed the evening with a breathtaking collection titled ‘Something old, something new, something borrowed, something not so blue’ showcasing the intricacy of designs and bold colours perfect for the Winter season.

Celebrity showstoppers ramped up the style quotient, starting off with Karishma Ali for Stella Jean followed by the dapper boys; Shehzad Sheikh, Agha Ali, Fahad Mirza, Ali Safina and Asad Siddiqui for Humayun Alamgir, Navin Waqar for Pink Tree Company, Hina Altaf for Zellbury and Areeba Habib for Maheen Khan’s sumptuous closing.

Many prominent personalities were present on day two, including Momal Sheikh, Khalid Malik, Zara Noor Abbas, Sarwat Gilani and many Embassy Consulates including The US CG Robert Silberstein, German Consul General Eugen Wollfarth, Italian Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvoste with his wife Lidia Pontecorvoste, Mike Nithavarnkis from the UK Embassy, key TDAP members and Zahir Rahimtoola amongst others.

The third and final day of Fashion Pakistan Week Winter/Festive 2019 concluded in a rather extravagantly ritzy manner where the last eight of the 20 designers marked the latest trends and must haves for the Winter Festive season.

Zainab Chottani commenced with an opulent collection titled ‘Khwahish’ which was a visit to an inexorable classical feminine personification of a majestic look with contemporary silhouettes. This was followed by ‘Darwaish’ by Huma Adnan who took inspiration from the pattern, prints, embroidery, vibrant colours that she sees every day. ‘Uraan’ by Nauman Arfeen illustrated the story of a man learning to let go of his son as he grows into an adult and gets married. ‘Limitless’ by Saba Asad unveiled the glamour of the new generation and ‘Talea’ by Shiza Hasan weaved in a myriad nuance of femininity, recreating a magical tale in fabric and bridal wear. Sixth designer of the night, Sadaf Fawad Khan showcased her latest bridal collection ‘Adam & Eve’ which comprised of an assortment of pastels as well as traditional colours that are forever classics. ‘Ishq-e-Raag’ by Ayesha Ibrahim juxtaposed the traditions of the Mughal with dainty details, soft feminine colours and a blend of traditional craft and modern sensibility. A head-turning closing show by Deepak Perwani’s latest bridal range ‘Shalimar’ ended the night on a high note.

Celebrity showstoppers further elevated the glamour on the ramp starting off with Mawra Hocane and Fahad Mustafa who walked for Zainab Chottani, Deputy Counsel General of USA Darian Arky and Noor Khan for Huma Adnan, Wasim Abbas and Ali Abbas, the father-son duo for Nauman Arfeen, Shaneira Akram for Saba Asad, Wasim Akram for Shiza Hasan, Hania Amir and Feroze Khan for Sadaf Fawad Khan, Sumbul Iqbal for Ayesha Ibrahim and Wahaj Ali and Sarah Khan for Deepak Perwani’s opulent closing.

Amongst the lit lighting and décor were famous faces with the likes of Fawad Khan who came out support his wife Sadaf, Physiogel brand ambassador Ayesha Omer, Asim Azhar, Nina Kashif, Sharmeela Farooqui and Sarwat Gilani amongst others.

The make-up maestro Nabila from N-Pro and N-Gents, styled the models and showstoppers with her signature finesse and style throughout the event.

Prior to his showcase, Chairperson of Fashion Pakistan Council (FPC), Deepak Perwani said a few words, “This is my last term as Chairperson of FPC and I’d like to thank everyone who supported me throughout my tenure and also the Pakistani fashion industry which is only growing by the day. I encourage all designers to participate in our elections next month.”

Fashion Pakistan Week Winter/Festive 2019 had many other names at the back like Nubain Ali as the show director, Production 021 as the official event management partner, Faisal Farooqui as the official photographer, and Talking Point as the official PR and Digital partner.

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