Shining Stars who made their passion their profession.
August 26, 2016
And, when you want something in life, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.’ – Paulo Coelho. Read about these trailblazing men and women who open up to talk about following their passion, beating all odds, and working tirelessly every mile towards chasing their dreams.
Without giving in for the anxieties about the future, they followed their true calling and guess what today they make a living out of what they truly love doing! They are bold, confident and above all strongly believe in themselves. They are heroes of their own world and all they have tell us is that never stop dreaming and dare to follow your dreams.
The WOW Story! Swirling on the get up and go career tide , the hot shot souvenir of MBA Degree had put me into “Whirlpool, Designed to Delight” company. There my days were clogged in the planet of intense sales and marketing. Throwing open, the window of calendar, the only date of bliss befalls on 28th of every month with the bull of six lettered word with six digit figure – SALARY. It helped me in keeping the shore of my family and friends with a cherry smile and the neighborhood labeled me a successful scholar. With the years shimmering gently and present overtaking the past constantly, the snow of woods was tardily melting.
The road has cropped up from the table around SCMS, Cochin where my post graduation programme was plugged in. The ball of fire was hewed over there with Adorn, Nirmal, Vaishakh and Paul ,the nativity of Will On Woods. The story goes as it is told to the heats of Coimbatore where Jithu and Arun enter into the life of woods. For anything in life’ there is always a tipping point – that was the start’ – Resignations, backpacking and hunt for the locus of WOW has begun. This was also a time where nails and hammers were always around our lives, but WOW didn’t muddle. It believed in its mainspring, its core (To inspire a generation to believe in their dreams ,foster and flourish them and to help them to reach for those through activities, open literature and brick community formations ) and all believed that, it will only stand tall, if we put the pieces together and build our Lego house and set an example.
The bridge just stayed and the river just kept flowing and the months went on alarming, but everyone stayed, slept, ate and drove together. In this hour to the desert of woods came in Mahesh Nazare with Dipti, Teju just arrived and Arun has foot in with Shobie.
Summer is hitting its last leg in WOW preparations with the talent of Nirmal as an artist, Vaishakh as an upcoming writer, Teju as a crafts girl, Jithu as an aspiring photographer, Adorn as a young entrepreneur, Arun as a Professor, Mahesh as the motivator and Paul with ideas together has set the magic of Will on Woods ready to reach out to the world.
Lipsticks, eye shadows, nail polishes, colors, shades, palettes, they all caught my eye from a very young age. From the time I can remember I have a strong obsession towards makeup and beauty products. First job, first salary, first gift to myself had to be a MAC lipstick beyond doubt.
Post wedding I moved to the UK leaving my first job. With no friends around loneliness haunted me, and to get rid of it, I started watching makeup videos on YouTube. That is when the idea of starting a beauty blogging website crossed my mind. Being a software engineer, creating a website came in handy. Founded in 2012 Makeupholicworld is a beauty, skincare & lifestyle website that features my reviews on different beauty, skincare products, makeup looks, wardrobe choices, DIYs etc.
What started as a hobby, has now grown into one of the top 100 beauty & skincare blogs worldwide and one of the most influential blogs in health and beauty category. Today the website counts on its large number of returning readers who eagerly await for new launches, makeup & skincare reviews, haul posts, exclusive holiday collections, product recommendations etc. Tom Ford, Charlotte Tilbury, Urban Decay, Bobbi Brown, Guerlain, Loreal Paris, Zoeva, MAC, Estee Lauder, Kiehl’s, Sunday Riley, Trilogy are some of the brands that I work with.
Success Mantra: I’m very passionate about whatever I do, try to dedicate 100% towards it. I try to give a personal touch to the design, photographs, props and keep the content original and unique. Always try to be true to my readers with honest reviews and unbiased opinions. Working with Amazon has helped me gain in-depth knowledge about e-commerce industry especially lifestyle category. It helped me to work with multiple brands as a content strategist and creative stylist. I design the flat lays and headers, select themes, create marketing strategy and do PR for the brands that approach me.
Message to budding bloggers:
The journey towards serious blogging was not easy. Right from the beginning, my husband has been my biggest support and motivation. It is because of him that I’m able to manage work, blogging and family without any hurdles. One thing I have learned the hard way, when you are out there on social media, and grab lot of public attention, it’s a mini-celebrity status to enjoy. But one should not succumb to the negativities tagged along with it. Naysayers are always going to be there. Faster you learn to deal with it the better. Above all, just keep doing what you love doing.
You’re true calling? I started dancing from age 4. Thanks to my aunt, the dancing damsel, Smt. Kalamandalam Sumathi, who introduced me to this wonderful world of art. Since then dance has been my life, my soul, my passion, my profession. My parents were always supportive of me pursuing dancing as a career. I run a dance school in Bangalore with more than 400 students of all ages, training them in Bharatanatyam, Mohiniyattam and Kuchipudi.
As a part of my career, I have had the opportunity to be a part of the Malayalam film fraternity and got the chance to work with couple of leading directors and superstars. I have also been lucky to travel all over the world to give live stage shows. I feel honored to have won many awards and recognized in the field of dance and acting. My family, especially my husband has been most supportive all along this journey.
Any challenges you faced? Coming from a modest middle-class family in Kerala, I was not exposed to life outside my own village and that was my first challenge as to how I will cope up with different people with different cultural backgrounds during my training in Kalamandalam. Being a very shy person, it took a lot of time for me to settle down with my class mates. Being in the protection of my parents all this while and suddenly having to go to such an institution, itself was a great challenge for me to come to terms with
Success Mantra: Talent is a gift from God. Once you recognize what you are good at, you need to put the best you can to achieve what you want. There is no replacement for hard work and persistence. Remember the rule of 10,000 hrs. It’s very humbling to be recognized in public as a Malayalam movie/ serial actress, dance teacher, performer and choreographer. I owe all of this to nothing but my passion for dance. It has opened up avenues for me at a very young age, things I couldn’t even dream about. I’ve been teaching dance for the past 12 years. Never stopped learning new styles, new forms of dance. There is no stopping to learning. The mantra is to be true to yourself and enjoy what you love doing.
I’m a lifestyle blogger by night and fashion marketing professional by day. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always had an affinity towards fashion. I was a teenager who could tell you the pantone colour of the year or which designer dressed an actress at the award function without batting an eyelid. The rush I got when a new collection hit the stores was unparalleled even by caffeine! I’ve always known that fashion was my calling and thanks to the fact that I’ve usually had my way with words, lifestyle blogging was more like second nature to me. After a lot of trial and error, my first real blogging opportunity came when I was working with Myntra.com. I would regularly do guest posts for the blog and that is when I truly found my voice and developed my writing style.
What keeps you going?
According to me, the biggest challenge one faces as a blogger is penetrating a saturated market. Making your voice heard in your niche, being consistent and actually making money while doing it can be quite a daunting task to begin with. You have to be constantly inspired and motivated to keep doing what you do and nothing inspires me more than my love for writing about things I’m passionate about. The sheer joy you get when you push the publish button every time you’ve created your masterpiece and seeing how your audience has reacted to your piece is really what pushes me to keep doing what I do.
Sahala Salim: Software Engineer Turned Mom-prenuer, Owner and Founder of Sugar Beans
The journey: My baby was born in 2013, and that is when I had to go on a yearlong sabbatical from work. I wanted to bake a fresh cream cake for my daughter’s first birthday. Incidentally, there was a baking and cake designing workshop happening in Cochin, which my friend and I decided to attend. At the same time around, in November we had another birthday party which my relatives and couple of hubby’s friends happened to attend. To my surprise, got a lot of positive feedback for the cake. Managed to get a couple of requests to bake Christmas and New Year cakes too. Alhamdulillah! the cakes came out really well, more and more orders pouring in. I love baking, designing, experimenting with new designs, patterns, trying out new flavors.
Success Mantra: There has been no marketing strategy other than the Facebook page I created to receive orders. It has just been word of mouth. I try to give my customers fresh and best quality cakes only. Never compromise on quality. Thanks to my customers who don’t mind paying little extra for quality and taste. Although learning to bake happened accidently, today I’m glad that it happened. I can time my day the way I want, spent time with my kid and family and still do what I love doing- bake delicious cakes. I’m a happy as a mom and feel contented as an entrepreneur. I have recently rented out a small space in Panampalli Nagar, inside a cafe called Walk in. Looking forward to many orders, happy smiles and satisfied customers.
I’m a professional classic dancer running a dance school with over 100 students catering to all ages, I teach Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Mohiniyattam. I perform for dance festivals and stage shows. Also choreograph for reality shows and Malayam movies. Although I started learning dance at 4, it was at age 12, when I seriously started devoting time for it. Sooner or later, I realized this was my true calling. In my college days, I used to take dance classes for kids, for fun. Slowly the class grew bigger and formal.
Convincing my father to buy in for pursuing dance as a career was a bit of a hurdle. Since then, there has been no turning back. I feel lucky and blessed to have trained under some of the most renowned gurus in classical dance. My gurus continue to be my biggest source of inspiration. They have given their 100% in imparting knowledge, and I try to do the same for my students. There is nothing greater than the joy of learning and teaching others what you learned. It makes you better as a student, a teacher and as a person.
It was my mom who introduced me to classical music when I was 3. Since then I have had a strong liking for singing. Luckily my college gave me a lot of opportunities to sing and perform. That is when couple of like-minded came together for regular jamming sessions. Soon we became an informal music band. College was fun with frequent program bookings and rehearsals until the band split up during the final year and everyone parted ways. By that time I was so used to the band and the camaraderie we all shared that I started missing it badly.
And that is when why not a new band-Pepper? crossed my mind. The band kicked off with just the 2 of us. My friend, the drummer and me, vocalist. It’s been over 5 years now, with a team of 5 who will die for music, we have released 7 original music albums and performed for more than 50 shows. Glad to see that today Pepper is recognized and followed by many. There were many crunch situations in which we had to wind up everything and part ways. Music is life and none of us can live without it. I think that is what kept us going in spite of all the difficult situations we had been through.
My dad has been my strongest support system, my greatest inspiration. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t know if Pepper would have happened in the first place. My dream is to see Pepper topping the international playlists, someday. It looks extremely challenging right now, but someday definitely yes. I strongly believe “And, when you want something in life, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
Do you have a similar inspiring story to share with us? Please comment below!