#3 BABITA: THE PHILANTHROPIC FASHIONISTA
Zivame Women are those who do the #UnRoutine. They refuse to live life by the rule book, and find their own way to be extraordinary. Whether it’s diving into the depths of the ocean or leaving behind a flourishing career to follow their dreams, Zivame Women love to do the unexpected to discover their unique moments of delight!
Babita is the third addition to our inspiring posse of Zivame Women. She is a fashion designer & image makeover consultant based out of Bangalore. Working with cancer survivors and under-privileged youth, she helps them move forward in life by elevating their confidence through appearance and self-image management. Her bold decision to shave her head was an inspiring show of solidarity and commitment to her clients; giving a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘Put yourself in one’s shoes’. We got chatting with her and here’s what this Zivame Woman had to say.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your life.
As an army kid, my childhood was spent travelling all over India. I studied Chemistry (which I realised was not for me) and pursued a post-grad in Fashion Technology, before starting my own firm. After getting pregnant with my first child, I moved to the US with my family and worked as a part-time skin and colour consultant. Once back in India, I enrolled for a course in entrepreneurship at IIMB which enabled me to set up my clothing label in 2012. Now, I help people who’ve had a difficult life, simply by telling them how to look good & feel good.
How do you do the #UnRoutine?
I don’t hesitate to jump into things. All my positive experiences in life have taught me to be comfortable with who I really am and that’s what I coach to my clients – ‘It’s all about confidence’. Through my makeover sessions, I help cancer survivors who have gone through hell and back, to find the will to live again.
How do you find a work-life balance?
Honestly, I don’t believe the term ‘work-life balance’ can be applied on a day-to-day basis. Eventually, everything we do averages out over the span of a few months or even a year. But I do have a few habits that make this so-called struggle easier for me: ‘Time Management’ and ‘To-Do Lists’.
For example, I make it a point to switch off all electronic gadgets daily, between 7:30 to 9:30 pm. This is when I spend uninterrupted valuable time with my family, sharing happy conversations over dinner or just watching a movie together! Likewise, I dedicate an hour (which my friends and family call ‘curfew time’) to all my social media accounts.
How did you find your passion?
Even as a child, ready-made clothes were never good enough for me and I never wore anything as it was. There was always a DIY element to my outfits, a subtle attempt to stand apart from the crowd. When I was in the 8th grade, I started stitching my own clothes and personalizing my wardrobe. That’s where my passion for colour, design & people comes from!
Your way of motivating cancer patients is inspiring. Can you tell us what inspired you?
Most cancer survivors find it very difficult to get back to their lives and move forward. While I was away from India, I noticed a lot of support is given to such people in other countries but is still lacking in ours. Being in this field, I thought I could make a difference in their lives and hopefully boost their self-confidence.
You made the bold decision of shaving your head to support your clients. How did this change in appearance affect you?
It was indeed a bold decision for me, considering I come from the state of Kerala, where we are all very proud of our hair. But I made the choice not only for my clients but also to test myself. I’ve always told people not to give their appearance precedence over confidence. But did I have the confidence myself?
I realised that getting back into routine was not easy after making a drastic change. But I attended sessions with clients, travelled by buses and ate at restaurants – carrying out my daily routine. Knowing that I had the courage to do this, has boosted my confidence tenfold.
How do you find your delight in unexpected moments?
People always ask me, ‘How can you be so happy all the time?’
So, I tell them it’s a conscious decision I make every morning. I choose to be happy and spread that happiness.
My children will often find a little ‘I LOVE YOU’ note in their lunch and it gives me joy to know that I brought a smile onto their face. I always carry candy in my bag and share it with kids I meet on the streets and in buses. In return I’m rewarded with a grin worthy of a Cheshire cat!
What kind of lingerie packs a punch for you?
I bought a babydoll from Zivame that I love! It gives me shape, has a flare and is decorated with ruffles! It’s a slip + bra and can even be worn as a dress. That would be my choice!
If you were lingerie, what would you be?
I’m a romantic at heart with a flair for the dramatic. I’d say something made of lace and in neon colours would suit my personality perfectly!