From NonProfit to For-Profit

I’ve had the for-profit vs. nonprofit debate both internally and with various mentors, funders, friends, and teammates since the day BLISS was born.  It seemed there was no clear answer—while BLISS was born out of an unmet social need, we were, at the same time, creating a product that would have to compete with for-profit labels, necessitating that we pay very close attention to our market and customers.

In the absence of any hybrid structures in Pakistan, where we are based out of, I chose to go the nonprofit route. At conferences and during pitches, I would often get asked to justify this choice; we could easily have been a viable for-profit. My answer was to do with perception and control. I wanted to ensure that our social mission remained our raison d’être and that everyone understood that – our communities, our funders, our customers and our team. Additionally, I believed our model lent itself well to raising grant capital (more on that later).

Often days, I felt like I had multiple personality disorder—achieving real impact required us to think compassionately and consider the needs of a population that was living on less than $2 a day, but the product required us to consider the needs of the high-income consumer market, as well as the whims of the fashion industry. And I had to play the role of decision-maker on both fronts.

Content-Confusion

After operating as a non-profit for a year and a half, BLISS flipped to a for-profit this January.

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Tia Noon of ‘The House of Kamiar Rokni’ Teams With BLISS!

We’re thrilled to announce a partnership with renowned Pakistani fashion designer, Tia Noon, of The House of Kamiar Rokni, for our upcoming 2013 collection!

Our in-house designer Mifra Inam has been toiling away with Tia these past 3 weeks as the two talented ladies design, sample and prototype our new collection, poised to be out in May/June 2013. We promise to share some teaser photos soon!

tia

Tia Noon, prior to launching her current luxury label in partnership with her cousin Kamiar, was also the founder of the House of Linen, where she worked to bring the skills of inner Punjab women to larger markets. She still works with Rilli and block-printing done by women in her collections. Her deep passion for embroidery and embellishments, and the revival of old and dying crafts and stitches, makes this a partnership made in heaven!

The House of Kamiar Rokni combines the design talents of Tia Noon and Kamiar Rokni. In a short span of 5 years, the brand has grown to be recognised as one of Pakistan’s premier fashion design houses offering both Prêt a Porter and Haute Couture. The House Of Kamiar Rokni draws inspiration from their cultural heritage, giving it their own unique and modern twist be it in Prêt, Couture or wedding wear. The fashion house is most coveted for its focus on wearable, chic and fun clothes that have an international flavor, with each design bearing testimony to excellence in cut, workmanship and quality. Besides Pakistan, the brand has also garnered a global following, participating in numerous fashion weeks across the world.

houseofkami

To learn more about the talented duo of Tia and Kamiar, read this interview where the two talk about building their fashion house.

New Year, New Faces!

MIFRA

Meet Mifra Inam, who joined our team on March 1st as our full-time Product Designer.

As a qualified jewellery designer and gemologist from the Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design, she boasts a decade of formal training in Art and Design, and 4 years of training to design products. Having worked with renowned entities such as Ali Xeeshan Theatre Studio and Hanif Jewellers, Mifra brings with her a wealth of experience and an extraordinary knack for experimentation. Passionate about design, she is always aspiring to create art pieces in any form. Her design heros are Alexander McQueen and Coco Chanel.

Mifra is über excited about working for BLISS and admires its mission of empowering women. In her own words, she does what she does because:

I firmly believe that working for a cause is much more fulfilling than a corporate job, and satisfactory enough that no amount of money can ever match up.

Mifra is already knee-deep in work visiting our women in Hafizabad, and designing our upcoming collection!

Miffy

Mifra also loves baking – she has baked since she was 10, and now runs her very own small-scale baking business by the name of Whipped. Her other hobbies include doodling, painting, writing, music, literary films and travelling! She strives to live by Marilyn Monroe’s words:

Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.

‘Tis The Season To Hire!

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hiring

Folks! We’re growing rapidly in the next few months, and that means hiring a few rockstars to join our team!

If you or someone you know is looking to join a team that is out to change the world, but also knows how to have fun, we’ve looking to fill these 3 Full-Time positions:

1) Chief Operations Officer,

2) Product Designer, and

3) Graphic Designer.

For the latter two roles, we’re open to folks that are not based in Pakistan. Please look at the hyper links above for the complete Job Descriptions. Or go to the landing page where we advertise all three, as well as provide instructions on how to apply. Deadline: Feb 10th, 2013.

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Questions? Comments? Write to us!

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