Hebba, a young woman entrepreneur who lives in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar, is one of the emerging names in the bridal fashion industry in the Kashmir Valley.
Hebba’s journey began on Instagram under her page called Makeup and Slay, where she’s received a lot of praise, and has now turned it into her own bridal fashion studio by the same name. She also maintains a similar page on Facebook.She shares pictures of all the brides she has styled and done the makeup for, along with the products she’s used to get the look. She also shares motivational quotes questioning patriarchy on the social media pages sometimes.
“I have always been interested in makeup and bridal fashion and used to practice on my cousins when we were younger. In my childhood also I used to draw faces and decorate them. I always knew that I wanted to do this. The concept of being a make-up artist was not in mainstream society and I was hesitant to pursue this because of a conservative nature. But in the last few years, the industry started to take shape with a lot of young women and I was inspired by them,” Hebba told ANI.
However, the pursuit of her dream did not come easy as Hebba was told that she was only wasting her time.
“Many people used to tell me that I was wasting my time and that this was not a good field. Even now people say that I should not be in this field and tell me that I have to study for the civil services. But I think my passion for makeup will always be within me. I hope that other women who have are passionate about fields that don’t have opportunities in Kashmir come forward and realise that their dreams can come true,” she said.
She added, “I have a big vision and want to be a blogger and build a successful YouTube channel. Right now I am still in the beginning stages but I hope that my time will come to be appreciated. Women should come forward with all their talents and not be afraid of what people will say. People will say what they have to say no matter what we do, so we should just pursue what makes us happy.”
Hebba also said that she was motivated to open her store after she saw that most bridal garments were designed and sold by men.
“In the bridal fashion industry, I noticed that all garments were designed and sold by only men. I thought that women would be more comfortable speaking to another woman, especially for fittings and other measurements. Most of the stores had only dark colours so I designed a lot of bridal wear in lighter colours like gold and cream,” she told ANI.Taiba Jan, a customer at Hebba’s studio said that Hebba was a big inspiration for girls in the valley.
“Women have been told since our childhood that there are certain things we can and cannot do. I am happy that Hebba has taken such a huge step and followed her dreams. I hope that other young girls will see Hebba and be inspired by her success story,” Jan told ANI.
The social media page started in 2017 and has since featured several brides who have been styled by Hebba.