Read How Sharmin Malik Turned Her Post-Pregnancy Depression Into An Inspiration To Become An Entrepreneur.
24 May 2017
Being an engineering graduate, having worked for four years in IT and having done MBA in HR and Marketing, Sharmin Malik runs her own NGO by the name ‘Friends For Care’(FFC). She started it when she was in the third year of engineering where, they work for underprivileged children, and are currently working on their “Pathshala” project.
When Sharmin became a mother three years back, she went into depression and started feeling clueless and helpless. Read how she turned her post-pregnancy depression into an inspiration and became a Mompreneur.
Being a child, Sharmin was inclined towards painting. With her innocent hands, during school days she would try to make the best landscapes and mountains and rivers, etc. But, all her efforts were rewarded with a lowest “C” grade. If ever she got a “B+” (which was nothing but a little higher than C grade), her happiness would know no bounds.
As she grew up, she started to paint cartoons which she thought were close to “good” range. At times she used to rate her capabilities herself to just satisfy her. However, her real journey into painting started only after she became a mother three years back.
Newly motherhood made her have sleepless days and nights. Sharmin started feeling lost, depressed, a sudden change in life was overwhelming, but at the same time very tiresome and stressful for her.
When her son, Kabir was six months old, she thought to keep herself engaged by pursuing something of her interest but sadly, she had no clue about what to start with. Every new mother experiences this sudden change in life where most of the mothers go through Post Pregnancy Depression. And they don’t even realize that.
Sharmin felt clueless, useless, helpless, and didn’t know what to do. This sudden change in her life was nice, but still, it made her depressed at many levels. Be it emotional, physical, mental, financial, and spiritual.
Her son would wake her up every two hours during the night and she would spend another half an hour making him sleep. As a result, her sleep went distorted and all gone. So, then she thought to hook up with YouTube where she coincidentally came across some tutorials on paintings.
She started watching those videos during nights between Kabir’s sleep intervals. Her curiosity to learn painting started to increase at a rapid speed, but she still didn’t know if she really wanted to paint. She was still in dilemma and at back of her head, she still questioned herself whether to invest in the paints and actually paint on canvas.
However, she thought to give it a try. With the canvas came colours, paints, brushes. Soon, more canvas, more paints and more brushes came in. She remembers the first painting that she sold. She was so scared about what feedback she might get, but the lovely lady loved it and that gave her a boost to engage herself more into it.
Having resided in Britain, which is a very expensive country, Sharmin had to be very calculative about her expenses and about her pursuing her passion. She soon realized that if she wants to pursue her passion then, she has to start selling her paintings and start working professionally in order to meet out all her needs.
She had to invest and reinvest in her passion, to buy more materials, more paints. She wanted to contribute and support her NGO, “Friends For Care” which was in Nagpur, India. She wished 20% of the proceeds from SALE could go to her NGO, FFC. So, she started painting and selling and it.
“USP of my paintings is that I love to capture human emotions and relationships on my canvas. My paintings are hand-painted but they are from my heart and soul and they hold lot of love and positive energies which is what makes each piece so soulful and special” Shares Sharmin.
Sharmin started her online ETSYshop, sell paintings via Facebook; she does exhibitions and a lot of commissioned work. She loves her work and enjoys every bit of it.
Sharmin did face challenges in her way. According to her, her biggest challenge was the society. She believes, however modern our society might look or portray, people still believe in the traditional theory and think in the traditional way that, if someone is doing a 9-5 job, and earning fixed salary, and is able to pay house loan and buy a car (be it on EMI), they are doing really great.
To such people she wants to say, “Any woman who is doing something on her own, any creative and innovative stuff, or just be a homemaker, or is an entrepreneur, it takes a lot of “COURAGE”, to actually be one, follow one’s passion, start a start-up and make a name in crowd.”
She wants people to understand that she has taken up painting, her NGO and healings as a profession by choice and not because she is a homemaker or she is not qualified for a 9-5 job. It’s because she wants to feed her soul, this is the call that excites her soul and she wouldn’t stop here, she will do all that would make her happy.
She says, “Everyone, especially women need to understand each other better, and be supportive, bring that Change in the mindsets as indeed it takes a lot of courage to step aside from the same routine of doing jobs and work on something which is creative, innovative and especially a start-up like me. I am a start-up at this age, but I know I am doing well and I have a long way to go, and so is for every woman who is so strong and courageous.”
She wants to convey a message to all the women.
“Motherhood is like a second birth of a woman. Not only is a child born but also a mother. Even if this change might look too overwhelming and taxing at times, try to explore this new person in you. Do not let go off yourself. Tap into your creative energy; make time to follow your interest and passion. Pursue at least one of your interests and “create” time for it”
Sharmin is a Woman of Courage because she believes that we can change the situation of the world by being the change, even if it would mean starting from a small change, but she does believe that we ourselves are the change makers.
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