Musings of a Wildflower

Humaira Shams is an avid crafter and co-founder of an online art boutique becoming popular among young people through her works. Maureen Nawer talks with this aspirant young entrepreneur and writes about her small initiative.

Hobby is something we all have. Something we do for ourselves. Not for others, not for money, only for our own peace of mind. We often find people whose hobby had turned into habit and then profession. We’ll be meeting one such personality today, whose hobby has crossed the boundaries of being just something for her. It has now become a small source of earning, and by the grace of almighty is getting bigger every day. Let’s say Hi to Humairah Shams — the face of ‘made with love’.

Humairah-Shams-(1)Humairah, an avid crafter, loved all sorts of paper crafting and making things. From a very young age, she grew a knack for creation; she wanted to give life in paper through her artwork as she grew up. She did her own creations but didn’t really consider herself as an artist until very recently. She identified more as a graphic designer. About a little more over a year ago she stumbled across something called ‘hand-lettering’ that caught her interest, being a fan of typography since forever. Thus, the practice starts. She filled up notebooks with meaningless banters and song lyrics she loved, improving at every new line she touched. And then, she merged that with her habit of painting. In her words, ‘Before I knew it, I was engrossed in the world of lettering and began to fiddle around with digitising my new work. Upon tinkering around, I soon found myself with a very particular style. I began pairing up my writing with little doodles, and pretty soon I took a fondness to watercolour too. I still honestly don’t think I draw that well, but I’ve also realised that I don’t need to. ‘

I first found Humairah Shams at my university sitting at corner table in the cafeteria drawing galaxies and loose water colour floral. I took interest in it, and sat with her to learn more. Her dedication towards what she called her hobby was solid. I found no loop holes whatsoever. She sounded promising. I waited. I saw her grow. With a little love and loads of support from family and friends, she decided to open up a facebook page to publicly document her work.
Her current style includes galaxies, loose watercolour florals and a lot of lettering. She stated, ‘I try and slip in floral wherever I can, particularly because one of the main things they portray is growth; the concept of blooming, of growing no matter what the situation is, is a big part of the stuff I draw.’ And hence, when it came to choosing a name for herself as an artist, she decided to go with ‘The Left-handed Wildflower’.

IMG_7133Soon, hobby turned into a passion and Humairah Shams along with her sister Sarah Shams decided on opening up their own brand ‘Made With Love’ where every single piece is their original. They officially started their business through an exhibition held at their house on the 26th of August 2016 named Carousel of Chaos, spreading the news through Facebook events by friends and family. The immense response then inspired them to go forward with the idea. Then onwards, they have been taking stalls in different fairs and events including the MIB Spirit Studio meet-ups. If you visit their stall, you’ll find their works on different everyday use items. They have mugs, art prints, cards, stickers, tote bags, notebooks and a lot more with either inspirational quotes, or everyday dialogues. I personally like the sense of humour. You’ll understand if you check their stickers! I have a ‘can you not?’ stuck on my laptop and a ‘Shut up’ at the back of my tablet. It helps I tell you! I also got myself a makeup pouch that says, ‘Queen of everything’. Makes me feel good every time I see it.

For quite sometime, Humairah had also been thinking of designing wedding cards, but could not possibly gather enough courage for that. Last year, however, she decided to do that for her own sister. And guess what? Like everything else, that turned out to be a masterpiece as well. Now, she has been taking orders for that too.

Moving over to her about the tough side of the journey. The biggest struggle they face is producing small quantities of their little babies made out of sheer love. Since they’re still such a small business, it’s risky to just go and print large quantities of anything. So finding the right supplier, who’s willing to help out small business owners like them is always a challenge. But at the end of the day, they did find their solution some way or the other and that is why they have a position today.

When asked to say something for the audiences, Humairah said, ‘I love the fact that people are slowly warming up to creative businesses now. The prospect of selling art or music or anything different is more welcomed now than it ever was. People are starting to understand the value of how much time and hard work goes into making this stuff, which makes them appreciate it more.’ She would like to call out to take a leap to everyone who’s thinking of starting a creative business. Starting out small doesn’t mean it’ll remain there forever; passion takes you a long way

They call themselves an art boutique where the main purpose of the whole brand is to spread the love of art and just trying to slip it into the things we use every day. Check out their facebook page and you are bound to fall in love.

Maureen Nawer is a student of Brac University.

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