Who Is Am?
Just a vessel in this world that’s here to teach, serve and help others become the best version of themselves so they can continue to teach and inspire our next future generations.
What are your hobbies?
Well, I love learning, without knowledge how can one evolve, so I’m a total sucker for a good book, workshops or a course. And I love music, travelling, taking breaks away and being by the sea, hiking, meeting like-minded people, seeing friends and being in the present moment.
Who are your role models?
My first role model has to be my father, he showed myself and my brother what hard work is whilst growing up as well as setting us on the path of independence and freedom from a really young age stating our lives were our journey and it was our paths to make mistakes if we were and to learn from them. But as a racing driver, he also taught us the balance of enjoying life and doing what we loved.
And I absolutely adore and love Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffett, Maya Angelou, Richard Branson everything they have achieved, stand for and so many more.
What is your favourite book and song?
I have so many favourites. I love the alchemist, rich dad poor dad and my favourite tune right now that just makes me happy even when I’m having a challenging day is Koffee – Toast!
What is your day job?
I don’t think I’ve ever been asked what my actual day job is, each day for me is never the same. It can vary from me waking up early and overseeing what each member of my team is doing or meeting them, to travelling to see a client for a meeting, delivering a mentoring session, workshop, sitting in on a board meeting, doing a talk, or even radio to checking in on one of our client events or attend an event.
You attended the prestigious art school Central Saint Martins. How was that and how did that come about?
Looking back I would say it was one of my greatest achievements, getting into the top art school in the world, but it was hard work, it was literally like the x-factor going through so many rounds and interviews.
I have always been a creative and a visionary from the day I can remember, I took art A levels where my tutor saw something in me and encouraged me to apply and the funny thing is I didn’t realise how big CSM’s reputation was until I actually told people I got in which was also a great achievement for my school at the time as I was the first student to have secured a place.
How did you get into the fashion world?
Fashion was my life from such a young age, I thought I wanted to be a fashion designer growing up, where I then ended up at art school specialising in Knitwear.
After graduating I worked as a freelance knitwear designer for JW Anderson and Alexander Mcqueen for London Fashion Week on the Man Show. From then I ended up meeting an elderly respected man who was in his late 70’s at the time called John Michael Ingram, who was an established name in the fashion manufacturing industry, who had several stores and had launched the first fashion forecasting publication around the world.
John was one of my first mentors who taught me the game of Fashion Manufacturing from the consulting process, designing, sampling, production and shipment.
You launched your own manufacturing consultancy at the young age of 22. How did this happen?
It wasn’t something I had planned, but something which had just happened as a lot of my friends who I graduated with or who I worked with in the past were launching brands or either working with brands and wanted to consult on production for samples and small stock, so on the side, I was helping them which essentially then became a Business.
I then set up a studio a year later of the king’s road, we took on more clients and worked with them on their brand and vision to designing and consulting their seasonal collections, to producing samples in our factories to then bringing shipment into the UK and stocking them all across stores from the Arcadia Group (Topshop), Harrods, Ted Baker, ASOS, TK Maxx to name a few.
Looking back now I think it was the hardest business I had founded especially being so young, but it was the best learning and experience I could have received of being a global manufacturing business.
You were the first Female British Asian to design an exclusive men’s wear collection for ASOS and this was featured in Vogue and other media publications. How inspiring. Looking back at this now how does it make you feel?
I was very blessed with the opportunity to design and launch my brand on the biggest online fashion platform which was the first exclusive menswear brand called ‘Am Golhar’ where the collection consisted of these crazy big hand-knitted jumpers to knitted jogging bottoms. I wanted to create a collection which was fun, but also commercial at the same time.
Looking back it is kind of crazy to see what I achieved at such a young age, at the time I was on this crazy roller coaster. I was running a global manufacturing business and then launching a brand all in my early 20’s, at the time I don’t feel I really had embraced my achievements and it’s only when you look back, you fully appreciate it. And I can say I did it, I achieved what I wanted to all by the age of 25 and my biggest value to give to others through this journey is to hope I can inspire them to know if you want to create a brand, if you want to be a designer, keep focused and make it happen.
You faced personal illness; can you tell me more about this?
I had a burn out by the age of 28, where I could not even get out of bed for weeks.
I was exhausted, I thought I was some sort of robot that never ran out of batteries. I was running a global manufacturing business, had a brand, also had just finished consulting Burberry for 7 months to help them build their childrenswear business all at the same time. I had also just come back to London from spending a few months in a factory in east china. Mentally and physically my body just couldn’t take it anymore, I stopped enjoying life including the manufacturing side of the business. I had no balance in my life, I was married to my work and that’s when I had to learn to put my health first and decided not to continue the manufacturing side of the business which was no longer serving me but continued consulting.
You also founded Abstract PR what is that about and what were your reasons for making this into a business?
Abstract PR is a creative pr agency with event management which I founded almost three years ago which again is a business that just evolved. I founded it on the basis of representing real businesses, real brands and real people who are experts across a spectrum of industries who have real value to add to society especially our next generation.
Abstract PR for me is a very different type of business, it’s not your typical PR agency, we do everything with honesty, integrity and trust, it’s about implementing positive change through each of our clients.
Would you say it’s hard for an Asian woman to break the business world?
I feel some Asian women may have had different experiences where they may have encountered challenges, but I don’t believe it should be something that stops them from succeeding.
Personally, for me I can’t say the colour of my skin or being Asian stopped me breaking into the business world, but I can share being a woman and looking very young was a challenge.
What is your biggest achievement?
I’ve had a lot of achievements in life from a young age, but my biggest is being able to make a change in people from my sessions, workshops, talks and messages. The biggest gift is to be able to ignite and inspire people to be the best version of them and to believe.
You are all about being positive have you always had this mindset?
Growing up I’ve always tried to have a positive mindset, but as you go through life and experiences, I believe you grow internally where your mindset changes, you think differently about everything. The smallest things that used to upset you don’t even matter, but you learn all of this through your biggest challenges and that’s when you accept that even this will pass. What you go through, you grow through.
For anyone who wants to go into this career, what advice would you give them?
My biggest advice to anyone who wants to get into the business, is learning who you are, understand your psychometrics, learn about your biggest strength and then align yourself with what you really want to do. Don’t just rush into any business because you think you’ll make money, think logically, learn the area you want to get into, find a mentor who you connect with, attend workshops, read books, educate yourself into workshops and programmes.
What is next for Am?
My mission is to continue inspiring our next generation of leaders into business as well as the launch of another platform with my business partner for the creative industry by the end of 2019.