Well as much as I love blogging, I also like exploring other bloggers especially female bloggers in Pakistan. Blogging is a lot of hard work with very less surety of success, so people who are doing it for a long time inspire me a lot. A year back, I was tagged by one of my friends in a make up related Facebook group and from there I got to know this beautiful, ambitious girl. A girl who not only likes applying colors on faces but love coloring her life with her goals and supporting other women in achieving theirs. Before we ask her questions let’s see who she is:
Who is Maria?
Maria Kashif is the Head of PMO in Pakistan’s largest telecom provider, the CEO of her eCommerce business Pinkness and a mother of a pretty little daughter.
Maria always wanted to run her own company and for that she did MBA and many professional courses from LUMS and NUST.
She started blog as a hobby back in 2008. Her blog was a success and she beta launched her own e-commerce store in 2017 which was one of the few ventures highlighted by Express Tribune the same year.
She graduated from London College of Makeup in an Advanced makeup course in 2019 and has also launched her own line of 3D mink eyelashes called #Pinkness which is still in growing phase.
let’s see who she is as a person and read into her views:
1- define yourself in one sentence.
Life is tough but I m tougher
2- what are you most proud of in your life (apart from being a mother)?
I am proud of the fact that I am always trying to improve myself. I am a perfectionist so basically I am always striving for perfection and trying to achieve excellence at least.
3- what is your motivation in life ( apart from being a mother)?
my motivation is to be an example for others
4- what makes you sad?
Dishonesty, injustice, pretension, arrogance
5-How do you overcome sadness and disappointments?
I just let the phase pass just sulking about it like any human would :). Sometimes I replay the situation in my mind and see how I could have made it different, if there is a pointer in it which makes me think I could have prevented the sadness. Then i work on that aspect and try to avoid such situation in the future. OR sometimes I make myself very very busy so i can forget about things that are causing sadness.
6- How do you stay fit and healthy?
Lol, in spite of what everyone would be expecting in the answer, I don’t have a magical formula for that. I am blessed with a petite physique and to be honest i am by nature a very picky eater. And I stress a lot about everything so I think much of my energy goes to combat the stress in my head. I am a yoga lover so try to do it whenever I get some time (which is very rare after my daughter 😛 )
7- Can you tell us about your company (like what it makes and what range etc.)?
If you are asking about my e-commerce store “thegirlinpink21.com” and my brand #Pinkness, I would say both of these are still in very early phases of growth.
Currently I am making just enough to meet my costs with a very small margin of profit because I want my audience to have trust & faith in me first.
My Online store is mainly dealing in makeup tools which I import from different countries. I am planning to expand it and to add certain skincare & makeup brands to it in the future as well.
My eyelashes brand #Pinkness offers 4 different styles of 3D multi layer exotic full strip eyelashes for different occasions. The eyelashes are 100% Mink Fur and are handwoven so delicate yet durable. These are reusable for upto 20 times if taken well care of. The thickness ranges from 0.1 mm to 0.25mm which is closer to your natural eyelashes and does not give a thick plastic layered look on your eyes. Packed in a beautiful Acrylic box so your lashes stay safe from dirt & pollution. I have been receiving good response for the eyelashes and some of the styles are already out of stock Alhamdulillah!
8- when and how did you decide to become a business woman?
Ever since I was small 🙂 It was and it is my dream to run my own company one day. It can be anything, it can be a small office with very few people but it will be my own company. With my online store (thegirlinpink21.com) and the #Pinkness brand I have almost laid the foundation of the company already but there is a long long way to go. As I said I have a lot of plans, just need time to execute them one by one.
9-what are your tips for women who want to become financially independent?
First of all, choose something you really like to do. As soon as something becomes a liability, you start disliking it. So the thing you choose for yourself should be something you love to do.
Secondly, be consistent. It is natural to lose interest in things and even at times we all feel very demotivated due to so many factors and stop trying hard for our dreams. Don’t do that. Please be consistent. Always remember, hard work ALWAYS pays off. It may take time, but it will reward you in the end.
Thirdly – Self improvement: NEVER think that you are perfect at something, please be open to criticism and try finding positivity in negative comments as well. Look for areas of improvement in yourself and work on them. My friends and family really loved the way I used to do makeup even then I planned to take an advanced makeup course at the London College of Makeup.
10-what were the challenges you faced in your business and how you resolved them?
Challenges never end I guess, so I am still facing challenges. First challenge is of course from my own side, that is allocation of time to my business. I am a full time mother and everything else in the life comes secondary for me. So if my daughter needs me I will leave everything else and attend to her.
Another challenge that I am facing is to increase the reach of my products and my knowledge which of course requires a wider audience. I am trying to reach a wider audience by improving my content, my frequency of posting content and to keep myself available in case my followers have a question for me.My target is to increase organic audience
Another challenge which most of the struggling business woman will normally face is the attitude of people around them. Generally everyone around you says why are you putting yourself in all this trouble. Just sit and relax and let hubby do everything for you. It’s hard to understand for people that every human can have a desire to contribute in his/her own way to the society. And maybe not everyone likes to sit and relax all the time.
11- Why did you decide to start an fb group/Page?
Well as i mentioned that I actually started a blog in 2008 as my friends and cousins normally came to me for advice regarding self grooming and I thought it would be a good idea to share my knowledge and experiences with other people. So I linked my blog with a facebook page as well. I was working on the blog on and off but 3-4 years back I decided to take my blog seriously and that’s when i thought that this blog can help me reach people and can be the first step towards ultimately running my dream company one day.
12- How marriage effects one’s, especially girl’s, ambitions?
Marriage is a huge change in both a man and woman’s life and it affects ambitions of both the people in a way. However, generally in our society it affects the woman’s dreams and ambitions a bit more than a man’s. This is because of the social norm of considering that a girl usually doesn’t have any ambitions and would be happier if she is provided everything at home.
However, with time it is being realized that like a man, a woman can also have a dream and an ambition and she would like to contribute to the society in her own way even if she does not have any financial crisis or issue going on. There is still a very very long way to go as even I face questions like -> why are u working? Don’t you want some peace in life. Why are u working? Don’t u have enough money already, isn’t your husband earning enough for you. I answer them with just a smile as the thinking disappoints me that if you have everything available you don’t need to keep yourself active and busy and to contribute to the society.
Majority of the girls have to forego their dreams after getting married and in some way they always resent getting married because it made them leave the dreams which motivated them. If anyone wants a girl to be happy in marriage, both the partners should work together to make each other’s dreams come true. There would be a bit of compromise required at both ends.
13- How after marriage a girl can sustain her personal identity, especially in a Pakistani set up?
There are few points which I think are necessary for this. First of all, the basic ground rules need to be set even before marriage. There is a need to ensure that the person who you are getting married to understands your personal space, identity, ambitions and dreams.
Secondly, you have to be consistent with raising your points (I don’t mean that you have to FIGHT for things) but just remind yourself again and again that you want a certain thing and how you will be able to achieve that in a certain situation. At times you will have to ignore your personal choice and go with the flow, which is totally OK.
Thirdly, prioritization -> You have to be clear in your mind about what you want, and how you want it. You need to see that your family should be your first priority, and everything else needs to circle around that. Even if you are busy (in housework or even in official work), you need to ensure you take out time for family, even if it requires extra efforts. Once you have settled the terms with your family and realize that everything else comes after the family, you can organize things accordingly.
Fourth, please ensure you have some personal time, even if its 30 minutes a day. It should be just your time, where you think about your whole day. You judge yourself where you went wrong and how you could have made the day better. You can exercise, read a novel, meditate, pray, watch a movie or just sit free. If you are constantly busy from the morning to night, you will always be in a hustle and your mind will stay stressed.
14-Can a woman be a successful wife, mother along with being a successful career woman? Does one not effect the other?
It is a very tricky question, and a very good one as well. But I want to bring a different perspective here. “Successful” is a subjective term, maybe according to you I am not successful, and according to another person I am successful.
So who will decide if a woman is successful or not. Let me answer this for you. The woman herself! No ABC or XYZ person can know if I am a successful mother or not, but only me and my child would know my struggles. No ABC or XYZ person will know if I am a successful wife or not, but only me and my partner would.
Every woman, in the world needs to think herself as successful first, the world will recognize it only if you yourself feel successful. Please do not expect others to make you feel wanted, loved or successful. If you don’t love yourself, no one else ever will. If you don’t think that you are a successful mother, everything the people will say make you even more demotivated. If you are trying your best, and you are trying to get better and improve yourself; NO ONE in the world should make you feel less successful.
So coming to the question now, every woman in the world has her own share of highs and lows. We are no one to judge if a woman is a successful mother or not. A woman can be successful in every field she wants, and can be a successful career woman as well as a successful mother but there will be times when she will lag behind in maybe one field momentarily, just because she is a human. Like every human being, no one can be 100% perfect in everything all the time. So let’s give women a bit of leverage here and dont expect her to give her 100% all the time. If you give her confidence and space, she will outshine herself again and again. I can go on and on about this topic but I will close it here 🙂
15-what are your future goals?
I have a lot of goals, won’t be able to mention all of them here. However, contributing to the society in a positive way is one of them. I strongly believe in empowerment of people and really appreciate everyone who is trying to follow his/her dreams. One of my goals is to help other women learn from me in what they are lacking and to learn a lot from all of them in the areas I am lacking myself. I want to build a community through my group where women will not judge other women, will not make fun of them. Everyone will support others and their dreams/goals without any pretense, arrogance or judgment. Someday I want to conduct my own makeup master class and I am working hard to achieve that level of acknowledgment and affiliation with my audience 🙂
You can order Eye lashes from Maria’s own E-store http://thegirlinpink21.com or if you are a member of her facebook group “The Pink Lounge” you can directly inbox her to order (and you get a discount there as well)
Her social accounts to follow are as follows:
fb group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/516628768677554