“There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice.” – Michelle Obama
With this objective in mind, Women Who Win gave an opportunity to women to celebrate their unique stories through our campaign ‘WWW WONDER WOMANIYA 2021’.
This campaign was conceptualised to support women in realising their dreams. We aimed to empower women to embrace their journey of identity, independence, setbacks and achievements.
The event was graced with the presence of our esteemed jury members, some special guests of honour and all our sponsors who very graciously agreed to sponsor amazing goodies for our participants. The winners were: Chanchal Gaur, Pooja Bawa, Abha Mehta and Anupama Sharma from Delhi, Rachna Narang, Sunita Krishna, Nipa Thaker and Avani Bhayani from Mumbai, Rumpa Biswas from Pune and Neelima Thakur from Pondicherry. Deepali Gocke won the ‘Best Travel Story” prize whereas Meena Baid bagged a special recognition.
All the winners’ stories are being published here.
My name is Pooja Bawa. I am 43 years old, married, and a mother of three.
I am the founder of Isham Shawls- a clothing brand. We have an exclusive collection of pure wool and cotton suits and stoles. What’s special about this collection is that everything is woven.
I felt that there’s a need for a brand that is authentic and true to its values. In my opinion, the strongest pillar of my brand is honesty: what we promise, we deliver!
I was only 18 when I got married, 19 when I had my first child. I come from a business class family that has patriarchal values. At an age when I had to discover myself, I had a newborn in my arms. There was a voice inside me that kept saying “I don’t want to limit myself to this”. It was this ‘voice’ that gave me the courage to become the first daughter-in-law in my family who’s working.
My biggest strength is that ‘voice’ and my husband and children. They have always pushed me to follow my heart.
My greatest obstacle was to unleash myself from patriarchal chains, the ones that prevented me from discovering myself and expanding my horizons. I had forgotten how to talk to people as a professional. I spoke in front of a huge crowd after two decades when I launched Isham Shawls. I learned how to handle a business page on social media.
My biggest milestone was when I earned my first income from Isham Shawls. After that, it was when I saw my mother-in-law proudly boasting about my business and very happily wearing Isham apparel.
In the future, I plan to expand my horizons, bring a wider variety of woven pieces not just in suits and stoles but also sarees and beddings. I want to take Isham Shawls to an international level!
Walter B. Pitkins has rightly said, “life begins at 40”.
Brand Name and Link: Isham Shawls