If a customer is a king, Nazima Baqal is the undisputed queen of her salon brand and an inspiration for hundreds of women in Kashmir who fear to fight for her survival.
Born in volatile Downtown Srinagar, Nazima, 31, runs a popular salon Style Station in Rajbagh. But her journey to a successful businesswoman was not an easy one. She had to face difficult phases in life as well as business.
Attracted towards makeup and fashion from her childhood, it was only after Nazima’s marriage broke down that she had to think of doing something worthwhile. Supported by her father, Nazima decided to venture into her childhood passion. Therefore, in 2013 she laid the foundation of her own beauty parlour Style Station.
“Fashion is something that runs in my veins since my early childhood days. I always want to remain attached to it and with this salon, I am keeping my childhood passion alive. Doing business for a woman is always challenging,” says Nazima.
Before opening her own salon, Nazima first worked at a salon for about four years.
“I worked there for almost four years and enjoyed every bit of it because it was the work of my interest and that is the place where I learned the skills of this trade. After four years I decided to open my own salon but I was falling short of funds then with the help of my parents and my personal savings I laid the foundation of my Style Station,” she says.
Over the years, Nazima’s Style Station has turned into a popular name in the city’s beauty parlours and is managing it well. It offers a wide range of services in style, makeup and wellness segments.
“We have kept everything available here and for college students, we offer 20 percent discount. As a woman, I want to support women. We have also offered a discount for the poor ones. We have highly trained staff available here. We work as a family and never look as a boss-employee towards each other,” says Nazima.
Presently the parlour is running successfully but 2014 floods were like a carnage for Nazima as the salon was inundated like rest of the area and she had to face huge losses.
“It was really tough time for me, as my business was completely shattered. At one point, I thought everything is over but then suddenly my family came to my rescue and presently it is again going good,” she says.
“My base market is mostly Srinagar city. But I am planning to expand and will go to some other places out of the city.”
Presently Nazima is living with her parents and her five-year-old son. Living by example, Nazima has created her name in the world of women entrepreneurs of Kashmir.
“One should never lose hope, whatever happens, happens for good and God has always a better plan for you. In future, I will look for better avenues to expand the market base of my business,” she adds.
Being a financially independent woman, Nazima believes that more women should choose the line of business to give a kind of hope to younger generation female folks who are facing challenges of gender bias etc.
“If a girl will come in business at an early stage it can give hope to people. It can also elevate the status of women that is being tarnished over the years by vested interests and anti-social elements,” she says.