Hajra Javed, Founder and CEO, Hajra’s Crafteria, talks to KARVAN about her journey as an artisan.

1. Tell us about yourself and your career?
I am an ordinary person with big dreams and faith. I graduated in Commerce followed by completing my Masters in HR Management (MHRM) in 2017 from the Institute of Administrative Sciences (IAS), Punjab University.

During my last year at IAS, I started associating with various organizations and social initiatives including Rizq, LUMS HR Executive Club, The Career Buzz, Plan9 and others. I joined them as Core Team member, Brand Ambassador, Ambassadors’ Leader, Volunteer respectively.

After completing my education I started my internship at Maxfoster Global for three months which ended up with an immediate job at a software house ‘OneClout’ as an HR Executive. After working for a number of companies I stood by my decision to establish my business, ‘Hajra’s Crafteria’.

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2. Since when are you creating crafts?
I’ve been doing it since childhood. Making crafts was always there in my genes. It started with drawings; colors; cutting and collecting pictures from old books, newspapers, magazines, and making scrapbooks out of them. I also made handmade cards and gifts for my loved ones. No matter where I went, or what I did I am still connected with my passion for crafts and my dream of spreading smiles and happiness by making them.

3. What inspires you to make crafts?
The smiles I receive has been my biggest inspiration. Watching people happy, smiling and making them feel special has always worked as a fuel to my passion.  I just love these moments of happiness and togetherness that my loved ones and my customers (who’re more like friends to me) share about when dealing with Hajra’s Crafteria, especially when they send me lovely Duas.

4. Are there enough avenues in Pakistan’s metropolitan cities for women to learn crafts?
Well, the word ‘Craft’ is so vast in itself that it has made this question a bit difficult. Generally speaking, there are some institutes offering degrees and diplomas in handcrafts like jewelry, pottery, interior decor items etc, but they are just a few. When talking about the domain of crafts that I mainly deal in, there are no such institutes. However, the internet has been educating those who have the passion to learn new skills. We are lucky to be living in the age of information and if you have the will to learn, you can do so by watching videos and researching online.

5. What key factors do you think are important to lead a successful life?
The smallest of things in life make us a success. I will share three top factors from my definition of a successful life.

First is Tawaqul, which is to have a firm belief in God’s plans. We must realize that whatever happens to us has a purpose and it is a learning experience for us. Second, I think listening to and understanding our hearts is important.  Our hearts literally speak to us all the time, we just need to focus on its voice. I always follow my heart because I believe that it’s been directed by my God. When we stop listening to our hearts we allow our fears to take over our passions. Third, is to learn from the experiences (generally and mistakenly known as failures) and to develop and evolve ourselves based on these learnings. We just need to change our perspectives a little bit about these two terms, Failures and Weaknesses. What if we rename failures as learning experiences and weaknesses as areas of improvement? This will really change the game for us for the better, trust me!

6. Your advice to females who aspire to make crafts and earn from their skills?
If you’re an artisan and aspire to follow this skill, you can become a success. Crafting is one of those skills and professions that you can do at the comfort of your home and can earn from it too. Start with a website, if you can, otherwise a Facebook page and an Instagram business profile is the best option. Give your business a unique name and a simple Logo. Be creative with your crafts and put their pictures with all details on your Facebook and Instagram accounts. Before starting, it does look really hard and scary, but trust me with the blessings of Allah and with your planning and research, you can ace your dreams. So, Go Girls, the stage is yours, take it over and shine the brightest like never before.

7. Your message for the youth of Pakistan?
Your future is in your hands. You have a beautiful mind and heart, all you need to do is work on your dream! Dream something creative, something positive and then, just follow it. Mark my words: no dream is impossible to achieve. If a caterpillar can turn into a butterfly; if the sun can rise every morning after setting into darkness; if a moon can shine even with all the darkness around it; if all the planets can keep revolving around the one sun; if the leaves once fallen in autumn can bloom again in spring; then how cannot you turn your dreams into a reality? Of course, you can. All you need is faith and the intentions to do hard work. Keep dreaming! No matter how big or impossible a task looks like, keep following your dreams.

To know more about Hajra’s Crafteria, visit its Facebook page.

KARVAN envision to showcase the best and the brightest talent from Pakistan. If you have achieved an academic, personal or a professional milestone, or know someone who did, do send us a brief profile at [email protected].

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