Despite being married off at a very young age, the talented and the very creative Meher Najeeb never let anything come in the way of her dreams. She persevered and is currently among the top hair stylists and colour technicians in Karachi. She is the owner of two successful salons, where one offers makeup, spa, facials and regular salon treatments while the other is a special hair-care facility. She calls this a ‘family business’ as her daughters are also makeup artists at her salon. At this point in life, Meher is very content and very grateful to God that He gave her the strength to take her passion forward and allowed her to earn so much respect in this industry.
Though this started off as a hobby for her, deep down inside she always had the desire to pursue being a stylist as her full time career. “I got married very early and became a mother soon after. But I was always aware of my creative streak which I get from my mother! I’d see people and wonder how I could re-create their look and make them look even better. I’d practice on my cousins and friends,” reminisces Meher. This desire finally took her to London for her first training at Toni and Guy as a professional stylist. “It was difficult leaving my children behind for such long trainings. The first time I went, I remember calling up my father, crying, and with my hands shaking, telling him I can’t do this. It was difficult dealing with new people in a foreign culture and an alien environment. But I knew I had to do this; there are no short cuts in life.” Eventually, with the unconditional support of her family, Meher learnt the ropes and overcame her fears. The hard work began reaping the fruits soon and that got her to pursue various other trainings in the United States, France and Dubai. “Now I travel frequently, twice or thrice a year, to keep polishing my skills.”
Running her own business has given Meher a lot of emotional and financial independence. “When you earn and spend your own money, you get a sense of confidence which is impossible to have if you are dependent on anyone else. It makes you strong from the core,” believes Meher. “It is difficult in the beginning, no doubt, but slowly you learn how to create that critical work-life balance. As more things get added to your plate, you learn how to adjust. You manage your work hours around your children’s requirements. My elder daughters helped me out with my youngest. So it works out,” she says with a confident smile. She advises, however, that in trying to achieve her goals, a woman must not forget to love herself and to learn how to prioritise. If she is happy, she will be able to make those around her happy.
Though Meher wishes she had started out even earlier in her life, there are no regrets. There is much to be proud of. “Sometimes people come and tell me that I am like a hair doctor. When they come to me with their hair problems after not finding a solution anywhere else, and they trust me, it makes me very proud and very thankful. When I am able to fix dandruff, a bad colour or burnt hair, that is my Miracle Moment!” The belief that her clients have in her surely keeps her going.
Is the path to success free of obstacles? Definitely not. “There have been times when I have felt tired, when I wanted to just leave all of it. Sometimes an unfortunate incident takes place in the family; sometimes your staff leaves you high and dry. Sometimes, a client ends up saying something demotivating. But soon, you come to realise that those moments of weaknesses are temporary.” Meher’s journey shows when a woman is determined, her fears finally crumble. When answering her true calling, she must not leave any stone unturned and success will follow automatically.