Maroofa Alam

Maroofa, founder of Maroofa A. Hamidi- Furniture and Interiors, is currently enjoying designing furniture, interior, curtains, bed linen and recently, jaa namaz’. She is single handily raising 2 children and in addition to her roles as an entrepreneur and a mother, she teaches Industrial Design at the Visual Department of Karachi University as well. At 43, she believes she is at a crucial point in her life and reveals “it’s a time of great change, which I am trying to embrace and going with the flow.”

“I’m a sole proprietor so I have to take critical decisions regarding money, deadlines and management,” she exclaims. Decisions like hiring somebody new, his or her training somebody, taking on projects she’s not sure of and dealing with clients she’s not comfortable with, it’s all part of the business life. Within a span of 20 years, Maroofa has faced financial problems and her challenges include meeting deadlines, expansion, cutting back, cultivating relations at work as well as with clients. Missing one deadline means losing money and clients. “Weaknesses come, trials and tribulations come. I feel weak every day. With time I’ve learnt that you’re so powerless, that it’s okay to lose, be a failure, and be angry. Just keep on taking the little step forward.”

Maroofa has no regrets and says that if given the chance to do anything differently, she wouldn’t. This course of life was set for her, and she followed it the best she could. She persevered, was consistent and stayed the course, whether the business made money or not. She strives constantly to be on her toes and achieve her true potential.

Having started working right out of college, Maroofa doesn’t find it difficult to be a single mom. Her work has simply adapted to her children as her children have adapted to her work. According to her, “we juggled and balanced, it’s about lifestyle choices you make as you go along”. It’s heart breaking and back wracking, the struggle is real. It’s an up and down process, like she says, “sometimes you make it and sometimes you fail miserably.” Striking a balance is extremely important, since for Maroofa, being a single parent, not working was never an option. Independence, according to this day and age is “not important, it’s actually crucial”.

Maroofa believes her children learn quite a few things just by being around her. Her life serves as an example for them that it isn’t always about the money. If they need things in life they need to go out, work, establish business routes and be consistent with what they’re doing. Every failure, every achievement, every success, has to be shared as a family. When difficult decisions have to made and priorities have to be set, Maroofa asks herself a few questions. “Does this situation require you to be in forefront or your family or friends or other commitments to be in forefront? It’s really not important for a woman to put herself first but its important to gauge circumstances, situations and time requirements. To put everything in foreground and move forward or to stop and let others be your priority”.

Miracle Woman Maroofa loves what she does, and she’s amongst the lucky few who make a living out of what they love.  “From conception to execution, when you see raw material, ideas, client’s requirements take shape in front of you, those are the Miracle Moments for me.” Maroofa serves as an inspiration for all single mothers who also have to take the responsibilities that in our culture fall under the jurisdiction of a father. She shows by example that those who are relentless and those who do not succumb to hardships, eventually do witness success at their doorstep.