The Joy of Letting Go: In Conversation with Priya Sharma

The Joy of Letting Go, In Conversation with Priya Sharma

During these unprecedented times, many people have archived what was once considered their ‘normal’ life. From unemployment to home offices, it appears that there has been many a life evaluation and what truly makes individuals happy. Taking the plunge out of our comfort zones is alien and scary to many, but Priya Sharma has made the decision to do just this.

With her occupational status changing from Engineer to Traveller, Priya and her boyfriend Sid decided to sell their belongings and purchase a van to travel Australia. With her social media reach and views equating to thousands of viewers, her introduction has fast become part of people’s for you page.

“Hi my name is Priya”

Priya has documented her van life, and has adopted the mantra of living to work not working to live. Born and raised in Sydney, Priya and Sid worked together in mining engineering in remote and central Australia – nowhere near their hometown. Working long days to then coming home and waking up to work the next day again, this pair used any spare time they had to travel and gave them insight into how they wanted to live their life.

 “We wanted to work to live not live to work”

The couple then made the epic decision to leave their jobs, sell their belongings and move out of their flat. Following which they bought a van, which only had a bed frame in at the time. It was then kitted out with a small kitchen, fridge and decor, a great first van for travellers. This vehicle would not only become Priya’s home, but the tool for her adventures and vlogs.

“Little things make it feel bigger and homely”

I had the pleasure of video calling Priya whilst the pair were in the Queensland leg of their travels, and the cosy nature of the van matched that of Priya’s social media videos. It was funny to see that they couldn’t quite stand up fully in the van, but for later travels would invest in a bigger one. In all honesty it made me excited for when I could travel again and to have an element of fearlessness.

“We just wanted this tiny van, our home, to be able to travel from this tiny town…it makes sense, it feels free”

Showcasing their travel life, Priya began using Tik Tok to make short videos about their travels and sharing her recipes. Building a quick fire following, Priya admitted she was shocked and began using her new found community to sell her Dad’s famous spice mix! This mix was an amalgamation of spice blends that saw Priya through her childhood and often uses it to flavour the amazing fruits and produce she whips up in the van kitchen.

Finding that her van life meant less consumption over all, made it a more sustainable way to travel and explore. Using less electricity, water and power, this way of living contributed to a more-free way of life.

The lockdown rules in Queensland were so relaxed, which is contrastingly not the case in the UK at the moment, so it was interesting to witness some sense of normalcy on the other side of the world.  So as my day on this side of the world began, Priya’s was ending so I bade her goodnight and went about my day with a sense of adventure.

Write Here, Write Now: Mehaa Seth Marwah

AmericanDesi – Mehaa Seth Marwah

Reaching out to blogger Mehaa Seth Marwah (owner of American Desi by MSM) was a no brainer for me. As a Californian who had chosen to move and settled in India, Mehaa set up her blog, American Desi by MSM as a way to document her transition as well as explore things that she loves. Looking to debunk the views that moving back to the East is often considered as ‘Reverse Migration’ and a disadvantage, she is shining a light on what India has offered her and why so many more people are choosing to settle there.

As a North American citizen, Mehaa was born and raised in California by an immigrant Punjabi Family. Having to flit between her Eastern and Western side, Mehaa had to adapt to her life in America and work with both sides of her culture. Being a studious young student, she was able to skip a school grade which meant that she was able to enrol into University at the age of 16.

Being drawn to Psychology and human behaviour, Mehaa pursued this in her study and gained two Bachelors Degrees in Marketing and Psychology. During this time is when Mehaa met her husband. They were introduced to each other through family and he was based in Delhi, she revealed that their first “international phone call that was 4 hours”- how romantic! From the get go they got on and since January 2013 took it in turns to visit each other.  Following her graduation with her Master’s, came the wedding in August 2014 and she had moved to Delhi to live with her husband in September 2014.

This blogger’s initial apprehensions abut moving to another country were eased by the knowledge that she knew her husband was right for her.

“He was the one thing I was sure about”

 Being used to an independent life in the USA, Mehaa was now getting accustomed to her new life in India. She found that “everyone underestimates me because I’m from the US”, and found ways to get around this. From tackling the roads in India, to indulging her hobbies, to working for her husband’s in laws. Bringing her marketing skills to the family business she began handling the business social media pages and found her love for writing.

After a few years, Mehaa decided to take a sabbatical to re group herself and get away from the hustle and bustle of the move for some time. During this time Mehaa began her blog and began documenting her experiences and transition time in India.

Living in Gurgaon, just outside of Delhi” Mehaa noted that there are a lot of international companies there so felt a sense of belonging here because of the diversity of people from different places. Speaking a mix of Hindi and English, comes a blend of “Hinglish” which was an apparency where Mehaa and her husband live.

“It’s a pretty young place and there’s lots going on”

Recognising her growth as a person whilst being in India, Mehaa has now taken her love for fashion and beauty and woven it into her blog -American Desi, by MSM. Using the surroundings around her, Delhi became a hub for beauty and fashion events which she attended. Still learning and adjusting to India, it is clear that she is very happy there. I loved hearing about her evolution and making the most of her environment, she made me consider a trip to India myself!

QUARANTINE CREATIVES: Hannah Austyn

With wellness being at the forefront of so many of our lives, Hannah Austyn has taken to her platform to share positivity and engage in conversations surrounding wellness. This young blogger sat down in conversation with me and shared her journey and goal to help others pursue their own journey into wellbeing. From the comfort of our homes in Quarantine it felt like we were catching up for a coffee in the sun.

22-year-old Austyn was born in London, then moved to Buckinghamshire and now Oxford where her journey into the blogging world blossomed. Having indulged in theatre and performance from a young age, attending Stagecoach ensured that Hannah was in London on a weekly basis and was a catalyst for her first full time job after school. Starting her part time job by running theatre clubs for children, Hannah also invested time in her own blog.

Fashion was the initial muse for Hannah’s writing and used her initiative to gain further experience. Completing a fashion retail course after leaving school at London Fashion Academy, Hannah wanted to go on to pursue fashion styling. Initially thinking this sector would be easier to break into than it was Hannah’s rejection is what fuelled her own blogging career.

“I did get quite a lot of rejection and I think that was a good thing now, because I was quite early in the process… it gave me the motivation and drive that I have now”

After a self-identified “organic” progression with her content platforms, a milestone in Hannah’s blogging journey was her attendance to her first London Fashion Week. Following a lot of “persistence” to designers and brands, she was able to attend shows and has been invited since then to write.

“So many opportunities…have come solely from sending a message on Instagram, we wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for Instagram!”

Whilst working her part time job, at the theatre, the young blogger approached the marketing team and asked if she could work for free in order to educate herself. Continuing her blog, Hannah’s voluntary work resulted in a paid assistant role on the marketing team. Coming to crossroads in her education and future, Hannah decided against university in order to continue in the marketing world.

“That was the best thing I did, doing the marketing for free”

After educating herself in a new skill set, Hannah advises anyone to try and pursue experience in any field they would like to grow in, and even if it means doing a few hours for free if you can. 

Hannah’s fashion blog continued to grow and she decided to finally move away from her job and focus solely on her content. During this time, Hannah has covered different fashion and brand events, as well as growing her network. Becoming a content creator meant that Hannah was able to create a YouTube channel and evolve her network.

Following a period of time of solely blogging, Hannah learnt her preferences lay in working and loved the routine of having full time job. Revealing that she enjoyed having something else outside of her blogging, she engaged herself back in the marketing world.

“I think that’s why I chose to do another job at the same time so that my blog could be purely authentic”

During lockdown Hannah has been organising Wellness Wednesday on her Instagram Live as well as working from home with her marketing job. Wellness Wednesday Live comes paired with conversations with wellness industry experts. From fitness to food and drink, Hannah gives further insight with her wellness led conversations.

“During self-isolation there’s been a lot of content around staying positive… and that resonates with me”

Speaking with Hannah was a prime example of how consistency is key and to pursue your passion.

“Now is the best time to do it!

Quaratine Creatives: Dr Anna Najran

Dr Anna Najran is definitely a dentist that I would not be terrified of going to see. As we sat for our conversation, it was clear that this personable doctor takes interest in her patients and not just their teeth. As gorgeous Anna indulged me in her schedule for the day, it was already lined with webinars and conference calls. The life of this busy woman was laced in her thirst to perfect her craft within dentistry and learn more, but my conversation with Anna lay outside the realms of her very successful career. Alongside her thriving dentistry journey Anna has worked on some major lifestyle changes to better not only her health, but her mindset too.

Having grown up in Birmingham, Anna was a top -class student and her hard work resulted in her pursuing her dreams of becoming a dentist. Having graduated from the University of Leeds in 2016 (with a distinction), Anna is now qualified and continually growing.

Following her success in Dentistry, a trip to the Doctors became the catalyst for her healthcare and fitness journey. With the danger of suffering with high cholesterol and having lost someone close to a heart attack, Anna was snapped into her wellness exploration. Admitting to having tried many diets and fads in the past, she revealed that people had gotten used to her fluctuating weight. In 2018 she took her fitness and health into her own hands. By first beginning to monitor her food intake and educating herself in nutrients, she was focused and ready.

“I couldn’t run from one side of the airport to the other!”

Seeing how passionate Dr Anna was about her work, I could see how this would transfer to her health pilgrimage. By investing in a personal trainer, Anna rationalised this as a good thing rather than a waste of money and encourages people to do the same.

“The money that I’m going to spend on food and takeaways and just crap, I will invest in a Personal Trainer”

Starting her gym journey in January 2019, Anna cheekily admitted she had never really given exercise a proper go. After a full health assessment from her gym, she began training twice a week with her trainer and working on a set plan outside of that. As a clear optimist, it surprised me when Anna admitted she would compare herself to others at the gym.

“I just want to get myself healthy”

After the first two months of her lifestyle change, Anna had already lost 1.5 stones and restored her BMI to healthy and her cholesterol began returning back to normal. With the goal not being vanity, but her health, Anna’s mindset and approach was more sustainable than any diet she’d ever done before. Tracking her macros and nutrients at the start of her journey gave her the education she needed to now be more conscious of what she’s putting in her and now her family’s body.

“I don’t track anything anymore, but the first thing I do is get my veggies out”

Since being at her heaviest Anna has lost 4.5 stone and has never felt better. From her motivational mindset to her actions, she is now looking healthy and more importantly has changed her attitude towards food and lifestyle. It has become habitual and makes her feel good, and spreading positivity is at the forefront of her living. Lush.

Quarantine Activity: Shower Ritual

With Quarantine being primary to so many of our lives, thousands of us have turned to face mask after face mask to instil self-care and fill up the time we are spending at home. But there’s only so much masking that our faces can take, before our stock runs short along with our patience. If any positive is to be drawn from lockdown, is the chance to inspire splendid habits for the rest of our body.

Our body, as much as we hate to admit, often gets neglected and in the pursuit to feel amazing and give us something to do, I have put together some tips and tricks for some head to toe pampering alongside your shower routine.

READY SET SHOWER

Pre-Shower: Dry Body Brushing

We don’t often think about much pre-shower, but a fabulous way to encourage blood flow to our skin, reduce the appearance of cellulite and gently exfoliate is dry brushing. By implementing this simple step, you can encourage healthy skin over your whole body and take that extra minute to yourselves.

Dry Brushing is an ancient technique that is still used to this day to promote excellent skill health. By using a dry bristle brush, you brush upwards in a circular motion. By starting on the legs in and upward motion, using light strokes, right up to chest and arms you are preparing your skin for the next steps of your routine. The Botanics Exfoliating Body Brush an affordable tool to help with the texture of your skin and blood flow.

During Shower:  Massage and Lather

Showers can be a restorative process and when relished can bring a moment of wellness as well as body benefit. Before getting in the shower, let the shower run to a warm temperature – too hot can be drying on the skin. Following your full body brushing, your skin will love the rejuvenation of a purposeful shower. Using a massage tool in the shower can cement the effects of dry brushing and add luxury to your daily habit.

By using your favourite shower gel lather all over your body and use your massage tool in a similar way to your dry brush, upwards and in circular motions. The ribbed surface of an in-shower massage tool will stimulate the skin and encourage lymphatic drainage. Use this time to absorb the sensations of the shower, the sounds, the scent and allow yourself to relax. A public favourite massage tool is the Champneys Massage Tool.

Post-Shower: Moisturise

 Turning off the shower and giving yourself a moment to exhale before exiting the shower is great way to bring an element of mindfulness to your experience. As the pores of your skin are open and you body is still wet, it is primed to absorb the benefits of skincare products following. Use a towel to pat to your skin, not rub, as the moisture on your skin is ideal for the next step.

Grab your favourite body moisturiser or body oil and massage from your legs in an upward motion. Use this time to coat your body and take your time. Allow the product to sit for a few moments and then pop on your favourite pyjamas or your outfit for the day. Lush’s Tharapy Massage Bar is a luxurious plastic free and began product to satiate your skin.

Quarantine Creatives: Kirx Diaz

Kirx Diaz

From the streets of LA to the urban sets of London, Kirx Diaz is no stranger to a busy schedule. This 27-year-old music video director has navigated the videos for the likes of Not3s and Mabel to establishing a space for upcoming creatives in the process. We conversed from our lockdown hangouts and was definitely a contrasting change of pace for Diaz.

With an international upbringing, young Kirx was born in Guildford and moved through Barcelona, Switzerland, and Valencia during his childhood, before he completed college in Portsmouth. During this time Kirx discovered that he was a much better match for the capital and decided to further educate himself in London. Studying Media and Communications at the London College of Communication, Kirx cheekily admitted that he chose this college in order to make the move to the city.

Kirx’s love for the London music scene and diversity, was a primary reason he decided it was good to settle in the city. “All of my friends are from everywhere…it’s nice to have a good mix of everyone”. Following graduation, Kirx worked a series of jobs, including shifts in a shoe shop, pizza delivery and then an estate agent.

“That was like the worst job ever, I hated that. I used to go and say I’m handing leaflets out and then go in my car to an estate where I knew none of the other estate agents would go and just watch movies in my car”

Whilst working at the estate agents, a friend of Kirx was running video projects in Antigua, during carnival, and invited Kirx to go along with him.  After spending two weeks of making video and promo material in the Caribbean, Kirx returned to the UK and quit his job that same day. He’d found his love for content creation.  Although still very amateur to the video industry at this time, he returned to Antigua to continue his video work. On his return Kirx was a set runner for brands such as Michael Kors and H&M and was taking every opportunity that came his way. “There was one time where I was holding a boat in place for like 4 hours, but I loved it” Kirx worked on the island for 3 months before finally returning back to London.

“I just need the sun man”

His nickname from friends (Kirx) soon evolved into his industry brand and is now seen across his music video credits. Kirx admitted that he added Diaz as his surname as a way to weave in his Latin and Argentinian heritage and thought this would be a organic way to do so. As Kirx’s exposure became increasingly more present in the music video world, he used his showreel from his work abroad to circulate to artists on social media platforms. From this he grew his portfolio breadth, created his own opportunities and honed his craft.

“You have access to the whole world on the internet”

The turning point in Diaz’s career was when he had the opportunity to direct Not3s’ music video for Addison Lee and work with GRM Daily. Following on from this he continued working with Not3s on one of the most viewed UK urban music videos of 2017. As Kirx’s profile continued to expand, more people were noticing him and requesting to work with him – including Mabel and Ramz. It was interesting to see what development can happen in just a few years, “as a creative, I came up from literally earning like £100 a video and people telling me they didn’t want me to do their videos”.

As our conversation progressed, it became increasingly apparent that Diaz often thought outside of the box as he revealed he wanted to explore different ways to use his skills. He often questioned the materialism that stereotypically came hand in hand with grime music videos and revealed it can sometimes become normalised, “but it’s not normal”. This isn’t to say he doesn’t love working on these types of videos, but is now looking to evolve and his expand the types of project he works on. This is cemented with his entrepreneurial endeavours. Currently setting up a studio space aimed at creatives and the founder of his agency, Block Shots (a house of videographers and creatives) he is contributing to buliding platforms for upcoming creatives alongside his video projects.

It’s apparent we still have even bigger things to see from Mr Diaz, and with his goal to one day live in LA, I believe the world is yet to see more of Kirx, his active mindset and work ethic.

Quarantine Creatives: Callum Smith

Callum Smith

Always having a foot in the door with hospitality, Callum Smith is no stranger to how a good manager operates. From starting work in his early teens, Callum has an engrained work ethic which has transferred through to his whole working journey and into his own catering business. Early work in pubs in the north sparked Callum’s dream to one day owning and running his own pub or business.

From his cosy abode in Tooting, Callum’s northern charm was not a miss throughout our conversation. Born in York and raised in Leeds, Callum was educated in local schools and went to study Health, Exercise and Nutritional Biochemistry at Leeds University. With healthcare and sport tunnelling through his education choices, his modules on nutrition sparked his desire to be involved in food and even had thoughts of becoming a dietician.

Being 1 of 6 growing up, Callum admitted he was quite a shy and not the “greatest waiter” in the world whilst working at his first pub job at The Whitehouse in Leeds. Following more and more exposure to different types of people and a chef who “looked after me”, Callum’s confidence continued to grow.

 “I was scared of the chefs!”

Indeed, Callum flipped his situation around and became an exemplary staff member, to the point where he recognised things weren’t quite right. As a young teen, Callum was only paid £3.48 an hour and was pretty much running the floor. He had his first taste of training other people and realised other staff members were being paid more than he was for doing less.  He decided to take it up with his managers and “made it so everyone was being paid the same”.

Following graduation at Leeds, Callum continued to keep his foot in the door within hospitality and fell in love with the industry. He became a supervisor of a restaurant in Towton and continued to move up the ranks as manger at The Beehive and then The Rockingham Arms. Gathering the skills and learning the ins and outs of hospitality by the age of 23 put Callum in good stead to eventually run his own business.

“I learnt from horrible managers how I don’t want to treat people”

After the umbrella company of the Beehive closed down, Callum was faced with an opportunity to work within that same pub, however, was bought by his partner’s family. Together (with his partner being a chef) they helped get the business off the ground and successful again and restored it with a new plan. From here Callum and his partner went travelling to the other side of the globe in New Zealand and Australia where he worked overseas within hospitality from September 2014- July 2015 when he returned to the UK.

During his time in New Zealand the conception of his brand, Fantail Catering and Management was inspired by the wildlife he’d encountered out there. On his return he went for a site operations job with Fortnum and Masons where he began his establishment as Fantail. Although it was one of the toughest jobs, he successfully ran one of the busiest lodges in Sommerset House in London. After his move to South London, Callum was inundated with jobs and has managed and catered for the Brits, Glastonbury and Wimbledon (just to name a few).

With sourcing his staff, Callum believes in his team getting full wages and being paid fairly for their time, which is why he doesn’t use agencies. Instead Callum looks out for staff when he visits his favourite coffee and food spots around London. Recognition of Callum’s success was what opened up a position or him at Levy UK, one of the biggest culinary champions in the UK.

With the current climate with Covid -19 it is no secret that extreme measures have been taken, including the Excel centre in London being turned into a hospital for over 4000 patients. Callum is on the team who now helps run site operation here and ensuring that NHS staff as well as patients are getting their food. With services like Callum’s being vital to not just weddings and monumental events, but to the running of operations with healthcare, it goes to show that with hard work and skill development you can be a part of something big.

“I’m experiencing things at a level that I never thought I would”

Quarantine Creatives: Jamie Oliphant

Jamie Oliphant

Jamie Oliphant joined me from the comfort of his home in South London with a beaming smile and a special guest, Odin. Odin the cat saturated my conversation with Jamie with much entertainment and magnified the wholesome energy that was felt through the screen, in what felt like a chat with an old friend. As Odin sashayed past Jamie’s camera, it was interesting to see this young comedian off stage and in the contentment of his bed surrounded by his well-kept house plants.

Born and raised in West London, Jamie always had a creative flair. From his school productions and acting to his first stand up experience, Jamie always put his creativity at the forefront. Before life as a comedian, Jamie initially went on to pursue his career path in acting. Going on to study drama at the University of Exeter, Jamie excelled during his time there and revealed that a memorable moment was his involvement in the play Trainspotting. “Like 1000 people auditioned for that and I got into that and that was probably the biggest bug for me, the acting bug in moving forwards and feeling like yeah I can do this”.

“I’ve always wanted to do drama”

Having graduated from the university with his drama degree in hand, Jamie went on to work in a bike shop to earn money whilst working in his first paid outdoor theatre project for a show called Child’s Play, at the same time.   This was a learning curve, as he quickly learnt that his input wasn’t as valued here as his work on productions during his time in his Exeter “bubble”. Jamie admitted that after a series of rejections and little input here, from not only himself but his team, he left with a feeling of “what’s the point”. After two or three months of working on Child’s Play, Jamie moved on to his next steps after recognizing that he was “enjoying the bike shop more than the acting”.

After revealing that his initial first step after graduating was sending “about 150 letters to agents in London”, and “hoped for the best. One agent “wrote back to me and said “let’s set up a meeting”. This was great for commercial work for Jamie, but still kept his foot in the door at the bike shop.

With theatre work not fulfilling Jamie in the way he thought it would, he decided to brave an open mic night and try stand up. What began as a dabble, then became addictive for this comedian and got him thinking “how can I get better at this and write better jokes and I was really determined to get better”. Jamie divulged that this was the first time he felt this strongly about something.

Jamie built up a series of comedy shows under his belt, learning to perfect his craft and even went onto win a New Act competition for comedy. He was then “roped into the sales team” for a credit card company. This made his regular input on the comedy scene reduce significantly and he saw that the comedians who he started with “were gigging like machines” and progressing fast whilst Jamie’s stagnation was prominent. Recognising that working in the credit company was stunting his creativity and his ability to get better as a comedian, he left after two years of service.

 “I really enjoyed it, but I definitely knew this isn’t something I wanted to do forever”

Sandwich deliveries is what was next on the cards for Jamie Oliphant, this ensured that his evenings freed up for his pursuit in the comedy world. Of course, financially he took a toll, but this accelerated his skill set and gave him more platforms as a comic.

From doing 5-minute open mic nights and working small stages and audiences, Jamie has now graced Edinburgh Fringe and sold out comedy clubs in London, with his storytelling style. Fuelled by his experiences working in the variety of jobs, including that of a Teaching Assistant. I personally went to see him in Waterloo and loved his animation and almost childlike blanketing of his set and performance.

Being in a creative space doesn’t often pair with the notion and idea of stability and this was something that Jamie had to fight the grain with, especially with his parents. “Edinburgh Fringe was a way to show my progression with this, there was a room full of people who weren’t my friends”. It’s apparent that as a comedian, the harder you work the better you get. Jamie was absolute about putting the time in for anything you love and have a passion for. An inspiration for all creatives.

Interviewing Jamie Oliphant was a pleasure and during this uncertain time, he upheld his optimistic outlook which I have to say left me feeling encouraged myself. Also, the fact he still uses the same headshots from 10 years ago may be proof that laughter really is the best cure for ageing.

Quarantine Creatives: Pallika Sood

Pallika Sood

From the comfort of our Quarantine spots, I got into conversation with the gorgeous Pallika Sood. This young and upcoming fashion consultant has privileged London Fashion weeks with her garments as well as her following with the written word. Creating her own catwalk debut, under her own brand Narhari Quorum, Pallika went from a budding intern to being essential to the Qasimi team. It is apparent that her work ethos is encompassed by creating your own opportunities and working your arse off.

As we both sip our tea from our humble abodes, our virtual interaction almost made me forget this young entrepreneur was perched in Liverpool whilst I was braced in our beloved capital.  I dove straight in with the interview and this creative powerhouse was more than delighted to oblige.

Born and raised in the suburbs of Liverpool, Pallika was educated at Tower College, Rainhill before then making the transition into studying at Carmel college, St Helens. With fine art and textiles being primary to Pallika’s education choices, it was clear from a young age she wasn’t messing around when it came to doing what she wanted. Although her Indian Mother indulged in the textile world, her style was considered more “traditional” by Pallika. Pallika revealed that she sought a lot of inspiration from “nature and creating concepts around her works”.

“I like telling a story behind my work and always create a muse with that story”. For my own fashion show, I imagined a gangster who wasn’t about that life and wrote poetry”. Although Liverpudlian in background, Pallika’s time in London has laced her voice with a South London twang, which seems to make her magnetism even more appealing. It was clear to me that her conceptual approach when it came to fashion leaked into her own poetry that she kept private until this year when she decided to share her work online and “people are loving it”!

“I write a poem for every collection I work on”

It was almost animated when Pallika spoke about her poetry and talks of her future brand. It was clear she sought muse from the notion of working for herself. Using this lockdown as a way to cement and establish her own brand, she informed me of its inception.She sprinkled the brand name with her Indian heritage – Narhari meaning ‘man lion’ and Quorum referring to an important meeting. Quroum is a meeting that cannot happen unless all relevant parties are present, the brand is a collective of these strong minded ‘lion like’ characters”. I was rendered speechless by this concept and knew immediately this brand will definitely be a force to be reckoned with. The conception of her brand came whilst she interning in Copenhagen at the age of 20. “This was a turning point for me because it gave me a sense of independence and adventure”.

Following Pallika’s graduation from the University for the Creative Arts in Kent, she zipped straight to London where she worked in retail for the good part of a year and then began work as a Copywriter for Net-A-Porter. During this time, she knew this wasn’t what she wanted to do. “I wanted to be in a design house working with a brand”. Rejection after rejection because of lack of experience is something that so many young creatives face so Pallika decided to create her own experience and hosted her own fashion show in East London in the summer of 2017. “I’m still paying that off now, but it was worth it”.

“I’m gonna do a fashion show”

After showcasing a collection of her own, Pallika began her journey as a pattern cutter (the blueprint creator of clothing as it were) and garment technician at Qasimi. Seeing her work being used on London Fashion Week’s runways was a peak in Sood’s career and got the wheels turning for her to venture on her own and continue to establish Narhari Quorum. This was until tragedy struck the fashion house of Qasimi, when the founder and creative director Khalid Al Qasimi passed away. “I felt like I was staying there for him, I didn’t want to miss working on the last collection he was a part of”. Pallika worked on her final season at Qasimi this year and became an official freelancer about a month ago before the hit of Covid-19.

I tentatively asked where she saw herself in five years, and she told me “Narhari Quorum will be off the ground as a fully functioning e-commerce business, I will be working on my poetry, and writing a book about my Mum”. This affirmative response simply upholds her strength and self- belief.

I, for one, am looking forward the powerful anthology and ventures to come from Miss Sood. I am well aware that this is just the beginning for her.