Never underestimate the power of a woman who knows what she wants. As Maya Engelou beautifully quotes â€œEach time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.â€ Such is the power of a woman and one such lady inspiring us is HurratulÂ MalekaÂ Taj. As her name suggests, she is indeed one â€œMallikaâ€or Queen of fashion and connection.
An Engineer and MBA by degree, this gorgeous 24 years old girl is out to steal our hearts not only with her beauty but also her brains. A bold and beautiful girl from Udaipur, Hurratul is a fashion consultant and lifestyle blogger. She is also the founder of Territory Of Fashion which is a fashion consultancy company and believes that every girl should pursue her dreams.
We were curious to know how did all this start. On replying back to our curiosity she said â€œAfter completing my graduation from NMIMS, I came back to my hometown Udaipur and chose to be associated with the Fashion industry instead of engineering and MBA, something that was totally against what my dad wanted me to do. Fashion was never an option but a passion for me and I made the choice of following my heart and pursuing it despite all hurdles. I started a firm called Territory Of Fashion along with my personal blog.
During my struggling days, I learnt an important lesson which was that it is not the ideas but the people associated with the ideas who make all the difference. The more we meet people, on both personal & professional level, the more opportunities show up. I was badly missing the presence of the right people in my life, even though they were all out there. I was confined to the four walls of the same room, the same me & the same people with no perspective updates. While looking for opportunities online, I came across men who helped me tremendously and men who proved to be total jackasses. People seem to be quite OK with this trend but one thing that irked me was that this tends to become one of the major reasons why parents in small towns hesitate in letting their girls move out to grow and live their dreams. I started wondering how wonderful it would be if there was a platform where all women could connect with each other and make things happen together on their own, professionally & on the personal level.
Women sometimes understand fellow women better than the men. This thought stuck in my mind & I started giving it serious thought thinking about the possibilities of making it happen. After constantly being in the same state of mind, I decided to do something about it. This is when my business partner at TOF, Vinav suggested: â€œTo bring about the change you have to BE the change.â€ This one statement kicked me in the brain and I decided to organize women meet-ups to get the taste of it first. I went on to my Facebook account the same day and updated a status saying â€œLet us all girls from fashion domain, staying in Udaipur meet at the restaurant this Sunday and have some good time together.â€ To my surprise, twelve girls turned up ending up having an amazing time together. All of them were not from the fashion industry, but they all shared the same hurdle which was that they were not able to connect with the right people. They felt isolated and stuck in their own world. They wanted to meet new people and hence, here they were ending up meeting each other. This first meet-up fuelled my ambition even better. I got a little perspective. I was motivated enough to organize the second meet-up and this time 18 girls showed up. This meet-up was a huge success. We all talked about our work & personal lives and out of these talks & discussions, came out many crazy life stories and resources. Many girls who attended the meet-up collaborated professionally and now are working together happily. After the successful second meet-up, I organized the third one which also ended up yielding good results. Each time, more new people & ideas came to the forefront and Chics Connect soon started becoming the talk of the town. Today everybody knows about Chics Connect & a closed Facebook group has been made especially for the girls who connect/connected via Chics Connect so as to provide all related updates.â€
Continuing further she says â€œOn 1stÂ May I hosted Chics Connect Meet-up 4 and it made me feel crazy awesome when Garima, now a Chics Connect Members came down all the way from Dariba, a small town 100 KM away from Udaipur just to get an experience of this meet-up. In Garimaâ€™s words,- â€œOffice and the usual life got so boring that I couldnâ€™t stop myself from attending this meet-up even after knowing that it would require me to travel 2 and a half hours on a local bus in this scorching heat.â€ Her energy moved me and I felt elated. My definition of happiness got a new meaning after listening to her and experiencing her energy and positivity.
Now, that is a woman with a vision. Hurratul says â€œMy vision is to empower girls by connecting them into a network where they can help each other in every possible way. My life mission is to help girls pursue their dreams.â€ Explaining further about Chics Connect, she affirms â€œImagine yourself travelling to another city for work and after work entering a restaurant for dinner all alone. You wish you had company, but because you know nobody in the city, here you are. All alone on the table. Oh but wait, you have a mobile app called CHICSCONNECT. You pick up your phone, log into the app and find out that there are five girls other than you in and around the same location that you are in. You can meet them & this boring evening can be turned into a fun evening, if only you dropped them messages. So you go ahead and take the chance and letâ€™s say three ends up being available for a meet-up and you all meet.â€
â€œChics Connect aims to break the patterns & help create a better world by letting women folk connect with each other like never before. Horizons of their mental & emotional perspectives grow wider & comfort zones shrink with every new connection. It is similar to connecting the dots & accessing the larger picture â€“ You let loose and let life surprise you with all the pros of connecting with fellow women. Every connection is a revolution in making. We want to let the girls fly out of the cage of their defined limits and find new companions to build some inspiring and lasting relationships.â€
On asking her about what made her start Chics Connect, she says â€œStaying in different cities for studies, Â I discovered that we always need people around wherever we are and that we all need friends and that sometimes we are not able to find those right people around even when they are all out there. Being in the glamour and business world I have always felt that girls face a lot of difficulties and they do not find right connections and sometimes even face exploitation which even I had to face sometimes. How great it would be if girls find other girls around them and they can connect, collaborate, care, share and never feel alone.Â This is the reason which made me startÂ Chics Connect. In a lifestyle where everything has gone online, we have lost the emotional connect and I aim at bringing girls closer so that they can share care and help each other in every possible way. It is not about just about women entrepreneurs but about women who are in jobs, housewives, in short all the girls/women. The app would help each and every girl connect to another with similar interests.â€
Chics Connect has had 12 meets so far with a lot of different activities like Business Networking, Pool Party, Fashion Workshop, Business Workshops and many more fun activities like girly discussions over coffee. The meet in Mumbai will be her 13th Meet for which she seems to be super excited.Â
Now, that sounds like a great partnership between women from different backgrounds, cultures and societies coming together for the sole purpose of sharing ideas and opportunities. Women are the real architects of the society and this Engineer is surely changing the lives of many. Kudos to Hurratul and Chics Connect.