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LIFESTYLE 2 years ago

Girl Boss Spotlight: Stella Simona

As I said in this post here, having such an incredible platform to speak to so many people from all over the world is something that I never thought I’d be able to have. So today, I wanted to talk to you all about something that’s very near and dear to my heart: female empowerment. I can honestly say that everything I am as a woman I have learned from the incredible females I surrounded by: my mother, my sister, my mother-in-law, my best friends, my team, and the truly amazing women I’ve met through work. I’m constantly in awe and inspired by the girl-bosses I meet, and today I wanted to introduce you to one of them! Everyone, meet the lovely Stella:

I was introduced to Stella a few months ago and instantly fell in love with her spirit. We bonded over running a business, being mothers, and being women. I was able to ask her a few questions about what she does, how she started and what female empowerment means to her:

What’s your official title?
I am creative director and Co-owner at Amarilo and Haati Chai

What’s the meaning of ‘Haati Chai’?
I am Bengali, and in my native tongue “Haati” means elephant and “Chai” means tea — I have a serious obsession with
elephants and all things tea. If you come to my home or office you will find tea and elephant related trinkets sprinkled
throughout the decor. The line pays homage to jewelry and other elements of my unique upbringing which is reflected in
the unique name.

How / Why did you get into jewelry?
I come from a culture that is defined by its jewels. Growing up, my grandmother Annie would go back home every year and bring me back unique pieces from India and Bangladesh. As I got older, I became more and more infatuated especially with the jewels she brought me back from her trips. When I was around 12, my grandmother began asking me to draw the jewelry I wanted and she would have our family jewelry smith bring my designs to life. I did not realize it back then but this was Haati Chai’s humble beginnings.

When you were a child, what did you want to grow up to be? What was your dream career?
I loved so many things. Oftentimes, it was animal related. I wanted to be a Vet, but even early on I always walked through life with a bigger vision. Oftentimes I spoke on being involved in charities or fighting world issues.

What does female empowerment look like for you?
Female empowerment starts with yourself. Whether you are a man or a woman, you have to believe in your core values and that energy will naturally illuminate others. By being the best you, someone out there will learn they too can be the best version of themselves.

How is female empowerment important to your business?
Female empowerment is a big theme in our company. Our core team consists of all women and we have some very young under 25-year-olds as well. We believe in supporting one another, we especially believe in the power of women when they come together. My partner Ali and I hope that we especially are setting an example for other similar businesses – to show them it can be done.

Name 1 – 3 females who inspire you.
I don’t have a specific person in particular. Every mother is my inspiration. From raising children to operating a household, and for some even shuffling a business – everyone is so lucky to be around mothers. In the last two years, I’ve viewed every mother I know with more respect than ever. They are incredible beings.

What philanthropic causes have you worked with / currently working with to help?
We have partnered with different organizations throughout the years from giving to world disaster funds, to battered women in need, and a variety of animal causes. Currently, we have partnered with Big Life Foundation, based in Africa, on all our animal themed designs. 10% of proceeds from each design sold will go towards protecting the animals.

You love animals, you advocate for animal safety and adoption of pets, do you use your brand to speak out about passions like this? If so, how?
Yes, we do. Aside from highlighting products, our newsletters cover a lot of information about Haati Chai as a lifestyle. Those who have been following us for some time now are aware of causes we are invested in as well as how they can be involved. For example, we shared a video on our YouTube channel of our visit to Burbank Animal Shelter where we worked with the shelter to share a day in the life at the shelter and how we can all be involved to help animals at the Burbank Animal Shelter or any shelter

What’s your son’s name and how old is? Any meaning behind his name?
Noah is a year and a half. Noah means comfort, calm. I had been in love with the name before I even knew we were having him and once we were pregnant I knew it was his name after learning the meaning. His little soul has brought and spread so much peace and meaning throughout our lives in just the small time he has been in this world.

How has motherhood changed you?
Sacrifice and patience have a new meaning now. You honestly don’t know what those two things are truly until you have a child. Prior to having Noah,  I was always on the go and engrossed in my business, taking no time to breathe or calculate my steps. Since becoming a mother I have learned to slow down, take things in as I go and be more patient and thorough in all my steps life and business related.

How has motherhood changed how you work?
In everything I do I know what drives me, I have constant inspiration from my new life as a mom and my passion keeps me driven.

What advice can you give to future working mothers?
Always remember why you are doing it. Stay inspired. Have a goal. And always remain true to yourself. The rest will take care of itself.

This is the first of hopefully many spotlights on the amazing women I have in my life. To me, the base of female empowerment is support. Support the women in your life, support female entrepreneurs, support female small business owners, support support support! It’s all about girl power and it all starts with you.

How many women in your life do you have that you look up to? Let me know in the comments below. Have a fantastic day, everyone!


Photography by Niel Sharum (@neilsharumphoto)

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