The work of Ayesha Mustafa is not something you can just pass by. Having lived in many different cities across the world such as: Karachi, Lahore, Cairo, New York & Dubai, she has been exposed to a variety of different cultures which have provided a plethora of inspiration proving fundamental to the launch of her company ‘Fashion ComPassion’.
During her time spent working at the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, she witnessed first-hand how creating jobs and providing a sustainable solution for the poorest in the world had a monumental impact on families and communities. The idea of establishing an ethical fashion house which focused on social development and empowering women in developing countries had interested Ayesha for a few years as it combined her two interests: Fashion and Philanthropy. It wasn’t until August 2010 however, after extensive research and traveling, that she left her job to turn her dream into reality.
Prior to launching Fashion ComPassion, Ayesha worked as a marketing professional at Pepsi Co UK, where she looked after retail & online retail accounts like Waitrose and Ocado in addition to marketing the Pepsi Co brand portfolio to key retailers. Before that, she worked in PR and Communications and had a short stint of working at a New York law firm.
Not only has she been a successful business woman, she is also extremely academic with a BA in Politics & Economics from Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts U.S.A and Masters in Media & Communications from City University, London. When asked what the biggest challenge of her career so far has been she didn’t mention a specific event but went on to say: ‘I have always wanted to be the BEST in whatever I do and set very high standards for myself. This work ethic has caused an imbalance with my work and life and I have missed out on a few personal occasions due to work.’ This search for excellence and consistent high standards has enabled her to succeed in everything she has put her mind to.
The Maggie Semple team have been lucky enough to interview Ayesha Mustafa to find out more about her life and her work.
What is your interest in Maggie Semple Limited?
Firstly I find Maggie to be a great inspiration to all women and MSL is a superb and innovative business. The idea of connecting women through fashion and stories is brilliant. I feel women everywhere are the same and we all want to look good, feel good and be appreciated! MSL events and talks inspire women, bring them together and make them fall in love with fashion and themselves.
What’s a normal day for you?
A normal day for me is to get up at 6:30am, shower, have breakfast, read the paper & get ready for yoga. I check my emails on Blackberry on my way there. I am back at the office by 8:45 and start work by 9am. I am on Skype most days as the brands i work with are all abroad. I usually have meetings in various parts of London and return to the office by 5pm where i catch up on other bits of work before I finish at 6:30pm.
What is your most treasured piece of clothing/accessory?
My white gold Piaget Dancer Watch!
What is the story behind this and how do you feel when you wear it?
I got the Piaget as a gift from my parents at my college graduation! I had just turned 21 and getting the Piaget Dancer was a dream come true. As my parents live in Dubai, wearing this watch makes me feel that they are just right with me. It also takes me down memory lane, I remember the day I graduated, the feeling of nervousness and excitement, the faces of my closest friends, the speech Queen Noor delivered, my name being announced and my parents and friends cheering for me! Wearing it makes me feel 21 again and I remember one of the best time of my life!
Which women have inspired you?
Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan First Women Prime Minister and Queen Rania of Jordan
If you could turn back time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Talk Less & Listen More!
If you are interested in Fashion ComPassion and want to learn more then please visit the website www.fashioncompassion.co.uk
by Grace Molan