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Ayshabintmahmud: Assalam alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh sister Kadeza! It’s a pleasure having this interview with you, and am so happy Alhamdulillah! So, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Kadeza: waalaikissalam- thank you for having me! I’m 26, London born and raised, nature-loving designer. – Did that sound a bit like a blind date to you? Haha. I originally wanted to be an architect but it’s a long slog and to be honest I am lucky enough to have parents that let me study design at all, so Alhamdulillah for them and always supporting me. I’m a middle child, I love long walks and new places, I like to draw and write, loved English Literature at school. I have way too many untouched books on my shelf! You’re most likely to find me in an independent cafe on a rainy day drawing the room, or with my eyes glued to the sky. (I LOVE the sky)i
A: it’s beautiful knowing that you are the brain behind “KDEVISION“, what is Kdevision? How did you come up with this idea and how it started?
K: ‘KDEVISION‘ started by accident! As a product design student at the time, I was getting orders for things I had been making for uni projects from the staff, one order led to many more (all of this were custom gifts), everyone was really encouraging I should sell my designs. I entered some business competitions and won some start-up funding and just went with it. KDEVISION stands for ‘Kadeza’s Design Vision’ (little-known fact) I find that really cheesy now but hey I was 21! I found myself with a business and didn’t know what I was doing, I’m still learning as I go, a tip for anyone who really wants to go far.
A couple years on I have established a product line ranging from homewares to stationary, custom orders were the basis of the ready to buy collections.
A: Your products are beautifully designed and subhanallah! I love it, and never get bored watching the pictures, what are your products made of/from?
K: Most of my products are wood or paper-based from a sustainable source.
A: Playing different roles in life, managing your business, How do you manage to keep yourself organized? Handling stress, laziness, and pressure?
K: I wouldn’t say I’m the most organized being a creative person- but working full time does force me to time manage- or I’d never get anything made! I make loads of lists- both physical and digital. I suck at logging my expenses- so really need to get better at this! With regards to stress, I take time out for myself, be it a whole day to just relax and get inspired at a museum or a place I am fond of, I like to draw to zone out. Pressure and laziness go hand in hand for me, I feel when I am most pressured I get super productive and work like a crazy person. It’s very satisfying when you get to the end. On top of all this, I have my crazy family to both put up with and fall back on.
A: In a business like yours, there’s a point where one feels unmotivated, or feel you just want to keep everything aside for some reason, what is your source of motivation and what keeps you moving?
K: As I also work full time this can be particularly hard, its common to feel isolated when you’re working away alone in all the odd hours and weekends. I think my customer feedback and watching the company grow definitely reminds me I’m on to something and that I shouldn’t quit. I think taking time away from the business also helps and also bring in experts where possible to take away unnecessary stress- a common mistake and downfall of startups and one man bands is the fact we don’t want to bring other people in or delegate tasks to save money/ or general fear of sharing, this is a vicious cycle that can cripple us to inactivity and slows down progress. Focus on what you’re good at it will boost your confidence and help you stay positive.
A: Through your business, you get to Interact with lots of people, What challenges do you face Interacting with them?
K: Replying to people on time! Technology is great in helping you be a global company but this also has its downsides. Another would be in customers sometimes not understanding the production process and trying to manage their expectations and deliver a great service and end product.
A: what is the greatest change you’d love to see in the world today?
K: More understanding (less spoon-fed culture) we are all so self-absorbed, I think the problem now is that information is so widely available in the palm of our hands, it is both a gift and a curse, we have fake news and also poor content assaulting our senses every day. People blindly believe what they hear and see- be it current affairs and the reporting (or lack of) of this and also the pressures and unrealistic goals of social media icons. This is damaging future generations and skewing what a good role model and ambitions should look like.
A: what advice or words of motivation do you have for other sisters?
K: If you don’t try you’ll never know! But the drive and beginning must start with you, if the business is in an area you do not feel inspired or care about, it won’t last long and you will quickly find yourself demotivated. Lame as it sounds passion will see you through- be it for what you’re offering to the world or the end goal for why you started-mission / impact etc. Oh and don’t be afraid to ask for help and share your ideas- feedback and research is key! The truth is its hard work and everything takes longer and costs more than you thought. It’s not for everyone but I encourage you to at least try- don’t live with ‘what-ifs?’
A: it was amazing conversing with you, thank you! jazakillah khairan
K: Amin, my pleasure!