by Nabanita Dutt on 2019-06-03
The story of Belia Isza, my technology-backed fashion brand, is also the story of my coming of age as a female entrepreneur.
I began my business with nothing more than a vision in my head (of dressing women in Byzantine-inspired, East-West fusion wear) and a powerful desire in my heart (to financially support disempowered women around the world with proceeds from my sales).
My career was deeply invested in corporate finance at the time. I was making good money and a good life for myself, but in spite of all my successes in the world of Corporate America, I felt an empty space inside of me that refused to be filled.
The determined hand of the Universe was pushing me in a whole new direction, encouraging me to follow my heart, and I found myself standing at a crossroad, looking at two choices:
a) I could refuse to get out of my comfort zone because I was too scared of failure.
b) I could rise above my fears, shore up all my courage, and go after what I truly wanted.
I went with choice b).
October 2018 saw the fruition of the chance I took on myself the day I decided to go into business for myself. Belia Isza went live with the first collection of a unique style of global fashion wear I had always dreamed of designing.
The journey hadn’t been easy but I had reached my first milestone, and was excited to see what came next.
As an entrepreneur with a strong background in finance, I always looked for problems in the marketplace that I could find practical solutions for. And so it was with the Virtual Styling Room on the Belia Isza website. (You can try it by clicking HERE.)
The long-tail nature of online clothing inventories gave people more choices than ever before, but it came with a caveat: you couldn’t try on the clothes before you bought them. Not only did this frustrate customers, it also created high volumes of abandoned shopping carts, product returns, increased shipping/handling costs and so on for online businesses.
Instead of accepting this problem as just a downside of being a virtual store, I went after a solution that would make shopping at Belia Isza easy, effortless and fun. We tested a 2D version of our Virtual Styling Room, and encouraged by its success, we are designing a 3D version with more enhanced features. Today, when you shop for signature fashion wear at Belia Isza, you’ll find there is no `guesstimating’ involved anymore. Our Virtual Room will show you exactly how your choices will look on you before you even reach for your credit card.
Our newest collection for 2019 will be launched very soon. (Watch this space for the latest news on that.) We have plans for showcasing the brand in prestigious media content, press interviews, fashion shows and pop-up shops. There is so much happening around the Belia Isza brand right now. So much and so quickly (we’re only a few months old) -- and all because I was willing to put aside my fears and take the plunge, and refuse to lose sight of the big picture when faced with obstacles and challenges.
As a creative entrepreneur behind a women-first brand, I am passionate about helping other women achieve their goals and ambitions as well. It is my hope that my struggles to get where I am today will empower others to embark on a journey towards their own independence.
Which is why I am taking this opportunity to tell my story.
When asked by the media about what advice I have for other women, I always say this: if you are dedicated to whatever you desire and believe you deserve it, it will come true. It may not happen overnight, but it will be in the palm of your hands one day. And when you look back, you’ll know that every adversity you experienced along the way, was training you to be the best version of yourself. Changing you in the most miraculous ways you never dreamed possible.
So don’t give up or look for instant gratifications when you’ve set a goal for yourself. Let challenges mold you and empower you. Feel the wind under your wings every time you rise above your insecurities and fears. Never listen to de-motivating advise from people who caution you and discourage you because they are not in your shoes and therefore cannot possibly see your vision in all its potential.
And finally, when you have successfully reached your goals by dint of your own hard work, pass on some of that blessing to other women who need support and inspiration to battle their own circumstances and reach wherever it is they want to be.
I believe you can do it. I know you can do it.
Illustration by Chelsea Mclay
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