Podcasting is giving me opportunities to catch up with such an interesting bunch of people, including some whose entire journeys have unfolded right in front of my eyes. One such young and dynamic entrepreneur is Aanam Chashmawala, an OG creator and lifestyle blogger, whose association with POPxo goes way back! Today she has her own beauty brand, Wearified, and it was such a pleasure to catch up with her and discuss all things content, community, and brand building.
Aanam has been creating content since 2011 (across multiple platforms) and her authenticity is what draws viewers to her content. You’ll catch her showing up on social media all glammed up, possibly attending Fashion Week, but also completely sans makeup, and readily honest about a hard day if that’s what the situation is really like behind the scenes. She is from the batch of bloggers that really made the influencer industry in India what it is today. Apart from being a formidable name in the beauty, fashion, travel, and lifestyle space, Aanam is also the founder of Wearified – an inclusive, sustainability-driven beauty and personal care brand.
Aanam Chashmawala On Her Childhood
My parents encouraged me to continue to be crazy, which is really rare and something that I learned to cherish more as I grew older. My mom reminds me how I always wanted to be a shopkeeper as a child. The sound of the cash register always excited me and now when I hear the Shopify pings (for Wearified) going off on my phone, I feel that same excitement!
Aanam C On The Importance Of Internships
I’m glad my childhood was the way it was because that led me to do 14 internships while I was still in college, for example, which at that point of time my friends thought I was crazy to do. But each one has been such a learning. Every internship I did and every freelance gig I took on taught me something. That lends to my journey being very unique!
Aanam’s Golden Mantra For Life
Say yes to everything! Try everything once without fail.
Aanam On The Early Days Of Blogging
When I started 11 years ago, it wasn’t an industry. It was a bunch of people talking about what they liked and somehow it worked out for a bunch of us. There was such less strategy and so much more heart and more joy in sharing everything we were sharing.
Aanam’s Biggest Learning About A Career In Digital
Social Media is very unpredictable from the point of view of what happens next. YouTube happened and that took over WordPress, and now we have Instagram reels. In the space of digital and social media at large, you never know what platform does what next. My biggest learning has been that you’ve just got to keep up and adapt!
Aanam’s Advice To Young Creators Starting Out Today
There’s no substitute for being you. You can only fake it so far. Be you, be authentic, and everything else will just fall into place.
Aanam’s Advice to her 19-Year-Old Self
I think I would just tell her to hold on. And that it’ll all work out. I don’t think I would change anything. I’m one of those people that firmly believes that if I made mistakes on some accounts or if I did right or wrong, it has led me to where I am today.
Aanam On Being True To Herself
Even today I put heart in content before I put even strategy. Does that always work for me? No! But it’s okay…I sleep better at night, so I’m good.
Aanam On The Challenges Of Starting Your Own Beauty Brand
The number one challenge that I obviously had was capital, which is a little bit of a no-brainer. But I think the second toughest thing I faced with was people taking me seriously as a 25-year-old female entrepreneur.
Aanam’s Practical Advice For Entrepreneurs
Understanding data and numbers is one of the biggest struggles that a lot of people on the creative side of things have but it’s essential. Swallow your fear and sit down, dedicate a day to it and put your mind to it. That’s just something you’ve got to do! It’s part of the job. It’s not possible to excel at something without knowing a little bit about all aspects of it. You can’t heavily rely on your team doing something when you don’t know anything about it. At least the basics you need to know!
Rapid Fire With Aanam Chashmawala
I would be remiss to not do a rapid fire round of questions given this exclusive access to the sharpest, most creative minds in the country. So thank Karan Johar for his Koffee influence or blame our insatiable appetite for bite sized content, but here’s presenting the relentless and fun rapid fire round. (ProTip: There’s one at the end of each episode so always stay tuned till the end)
What makes you happy?
What makes you sad?
When there’s no work
How do you celebrate something that’s making you happy?
By eating a slice of cake.
How do you cope with something when you’re sad?
By eating a slice of cake! (chuckles)
What’s in your go-to makeup bag when you’re traveling?
A whole lot of Wearified and a whole lot of Wearified that hasn’t launched yet.
What are the essential products for Aanam’s makeup bag?
Our Wearified lip oil is something that I’m always very excited about. I love our lipsticks. I’m someone that makes it a point to wear sunscreen every day, so that’s always in there. I love mascara. Those are my go-to must-have products.
Do you always take your makeup off at night?
Oh yes! I’ve gone through the phases in college when I wouldn’t… never doing that ever again. Even if I’m sleeping at four in the morning, which is a rare case, I will take my makeup off.
The one thing about you that no one knows
That I cry more than I should! When I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m angry…
If there was a movie made about you who’d play you?
Oh, I don’t know this?! ME! New talent unlocked.
What’s the biggest misconception that people have about you?
That I’ve got everything figured out. I don’t, I swear I don’t.
At work, something you love doing?
I love interacting with my team. I think that it’s enlightening, it’s encouraging, it’s supportive. Like I think my team are some of the best people in the world.
Something you really don’t like doing at work?
Having to tell someone from my team that they screwed up on something when they do. Those are always uncomfortable conversations.
Instagram accounts that you follow that you love?
I love Jamila. I absolutely love ‘Not skinny but not fat’. I love how savage Khloe Kardashian is sometimes. Hasan Minaj! Oh God, I love his Instagram account. So many, too many.
A movie that you can watch again and again?
I can watch any of the Karan Johar movies again and again! DDLJ, KKHH – play any of those movies. I can watch them 50 times each, like it’s all good.
What’s on your playlist right now?
The new Taylor Swift album
A book that you love or a book that you read recently?
‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama, it’s one of my favorites.
Something on OTT or television that is your binge watch at the moment?
I just finished watching Crown over the weekend and, oh my God!
Complete the following for me:
The road to success is____________
Dream, build or scale?
All three! Why do you have to choose?
I had such a great time interviewing Aanam whose story should inspire any budding content creator listening. I hope you were taking sincere notes if you want to enter the world of content because she had some potent pieces of advice there!
Do tune in to the whole episode on Spotify to get insights into Aanam’s incredible journey. Also, there’s a lot more where this came from so stay connected on Instagram to get notified as your favourite founders and creators come and share their stories with us on the show. If you have any feedback for me or want to suggest a guest for my show, I’m all ears! Email me or DM me and I’d love to hear your thoughts on Dream Build Scale. Ciao, catch you on Thursday when the next episode drops!