A firm believer in the fact that talent isn’t something that dissolves, it only gets better with time, Farah Leghari has been a fashion designer since she was just 18. At the time of her marriage, she chose to give up her work, focusing instead on her home and 3 children. It was after her divorce that she decided to return to her passion and what she loved doing so much. “I feel that if you don’t lose your self-confidence and you’re very sure about where you want to go in your life then you can pick up from where you left whenever you want.” It has been a long but rewarding journey and Farah has come a long way. “I have matured as a designer but there is still room for improvement,” she says. She is smart, she is resilient and knows how to make it happen for herself. Through the ups and downs of life she stands resolute and stronger than ever.
“One of the biggest struggles was having to deal with the divorce, having to understand where I stood in life, how I would start afresh and find my own identity. But I have no regrets, I moved on, and I believe given the circumstances, I made a wise decision.” 15 years ago divorce wasn’t as common and was considered a taboo in the Pakistani society. But Farah realized it doesn’t matter what people say and “after a while they’ll find something else to talk about, they always do.” Other than worrying about how people will take her divorce, Farah had another challenge: to face her responsibility as a mother had been quadrupled since she was now a single mom and her children depended on her. She wondered whether she would be able to manage it all or would she lose herself in being a mother. “Divorce was the first big hurdle and the second about how would I draw that balance, give my kids and myself some time.”
Coming back to work after almost a decade was itself a big challenge. Farah’s mother was her backbone and her father her confidante and with this family support Farah continued to trudge forward. “My mother’s innate beauty and unconditional love has empowered me today to be the woman I am,” states Farah. Once Farah jumped back into her career, there was no looking back. “I started working from home. My daughter used to be doing her homework on the same table I’d be doing my drawings. So I was able to give my children and myself time.” Many years down this road, Farah claims to never have had to choose between motherhood and work, and she hopes it never comes to that either. The biggest driving force has been her want to become financially independent. Her parents could provide for her, but she needed to manage on her own. Knowing she was able to provide for her children and that she doesn’t have to always ask was very empowering for Farah. According to her, when you work in front of your children, they learn to respect you as a person, not just because dad is not there, but because their mother has a life too and is able to provide. “By being a working mother, I have been able to teach my kids many things about the realities of life.”
Farah implores girls to know what career path they want to choose, to believe in themselves and their potential and to stick to it. “Indecisiveness is not very appealing; it can be a big deterrent. Set your ego aside and go with an open mind but be prepared for a lot of failures in life,” she advises. She believes that when a young girls steps into the workforce, she is a blank page and that there are no short cuts to success. It is hard work that helps you reach the heights you dream of. However, working hard to attaining success must not mean that a woman does not pay attention to herself. “If you don’t take good care of yourself how will you take good care of the ones you love?” she questions. For her, it’s as simple as that. “If I’m not keeping good health or I’m in a depressive mode, what will I give out to my kids? Hit the gym, eat healthy, sleep early. And yes, start at an earlier age.”
Farah Leghari’s Miracle Moment, motherhood, is not exactly a moment. It is an on-going journey which nothing can beat. She’s a caring mother, a loving daughter and a passionate entrepreneur. Challenges are a part and parcel of life but what defines you as a person is how well you rise after falling. With positivity and determination, Farah has risen, stronger than ever.