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Interview with Barjis Chohan

Barjis Chohan, inspired by her Pakistani-Brittish upbringing and extensive travels, has created some amazing design projects! She is a keynote speaker on topics ranging from womens’ rights to making the arts accessible to all. Read about her tips for success and which travel destinations inspire her most in this interview!

What is your favourite thing about being so multicultural?

The fact that I can subconsciously choose the best of both cultures without thinking about it. I love the colour and richness of my Pakistani roots but I also like the modesty in my lifestyle and being true to myself – which I have adopted from my British influence.

 

What are your biggest goals in your life/career currently?

To make a positive difference in someone’s life. Public speaking gives me the platform for my voice to be heard. If I can change even five people’s lives in my lifetime then I think I have achieved something. My current career goals are to SERVE whether this is through my design projects, public speaking or my collaborations. I want to make sure that whatever I put out there has a positive impact on someone’s life. I truly believe that we are interdependent and life is about US and not ME.

I run a multi disciplinary design studio – I am always exploring new design projects and not afraid to come out of my comfort zone and explore new ideas and projects. We are working on a collaborative Fashion project with Ukraine Arts Culture and my work will be shown at The Fine Art Museum in San Francisco in September. Finally developing a sunglasses range – which I have been longing to do for quite sometime!

 

During your travels, which places inspired you most?

I love Istanbul – at times, it feels surreal to be around so much history. I also love Venice and Florence. Karachi – my love – the smell of the earth when you tread foot on that land is so familiar and accepting- brings me back to my fond memories of visiting my extended family as a kid. Finally my hometown- London brings me to life – it is the best place for creatives and businesses – all my memories are embedded in this amazing city!

I love culture, architecture and history – anywhere that has these combinations will inspire me. I hate high rise modern buildings – so places like Dubai, Singapore and New York don’t appeal to me.

 

What are your three habits for success?

Setting realistic goals.
Embracing failure
Always working on things that are outside my comfort zone.

 

How are your keynote presentations unique?

I tend to speak about my failures more than my success. People think that talking about your failures is sign of weakness but I think it is a sign of strength and resilience. The youth need to told the importance of failure and how it is the catalyst to success. These days’ people think that they can cut corners by going on social media but my presentations I share the importance of not cutting corners and that every experience makes you grow into the person you will become.

 

What kinds of clients have you worked with in the past?

Aston University
Cass Business School.
The capital Exchange.
Burnley College.
World Biz Summit – Malaysia
AIFW – Malaysia.
London College of Fashion.
The Design Museum
Global Pioneers Conference.
Streatham and Clapham High School.
Wandsworth Enterprise Week.
Fashion Capital.