Pop Girl | March 09, 2019

50 Shades of Cray – Chapter V

They say I am a quitter

They say I am outrageous

They say I am a rebel

Excuse me…

But who are they, again?

Do they walk in my shoes?

Do they have to make the choices I make?

Do they feel hungry when I do?

No, so who are they to say…anything about me?

I am cray?

In more ways than you can imagine

Let’s celebrate the cray in us!

This International Women’s Month and through the rest of this month, CafePopShop is celebrating the cray in all of us. We’ve handpicked a list of women from the online space who are inspiring the world with their unique and sometimes eccentric approach to life, love, fashion, beauty, travel and wellness. We’re very pleased to feature those beautiful and crazy minds through the week.

41. Nikita Gill

Ever since the age of 12, Nikita Gill had a thing for writing. Having published her first article in a local newspaper in India, she only began writing and uploading her poems on Instagram (@nikita_gill) in 2015. Now, the 30-year-old has five books under her belt.

After her first book was turned down by 137 publications, it only challenged her to write better, “I turned the rejections into fuel for bettering my writing,” Gill told Hindustan Times. Most of Gill’s works speak of heavy emotions like anxiety, loneliness, loss, suffering and heartbreak - most of which are relatable to her young readers.

42. Mindy Kaling

Mindy Kaling is an American actress, comedian and writer, who is popularly known for role as Mindy Lahiri in the rom-com television series “The Mindy Project”, which was written and created by her. She also gained a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series in 2010 for her work in the NBC sitcom “The Office”.

A look into her Instagram account (@mindykaling) and you will find all sorts of relatable memes, motivational quotes to deets about her glamorous life. She was also one of the cast members in the successful heist comedy movie, “Oceans 8” and will soon be seen in Late Night, which has been written by her.

43. Vandana Luthra

One of the most popular faces in the world of wellness, Vandana Luthra has been the driving force behind VLCC since its inception in 1989. Having started her career at a time when the concept of wellness was alien to the world, she has come a long in the past two decades.

What started as a small start-up in a New Delhi locality is now a popular chain across 11 countries. VLCC wellness centres are located in South Asia, Southeast Asia as well as East Africa. Luthra is also a Padma Shri Awardee, which she won for her contribution in the field of trade and industry. She had been enlisted as one of the most powerful women in Indian business by Fortune India in 2015.

44. Rupi Kaur

Hailed as one of the most popular “Instapoets”, Rupi Kaur, 26 is a Punjabi-born Canadian immigrant who writes on subjects like love, heartbreak, feminism, abuse and beauty. Her debut poetry book “Milk and Honey” has been the #1 New York Times bestseller and had sold millions of copies worldwide since.

Her second anthology, “The Sun and Her Flowers”, which released in 2017, speaks of self-love. A student of Rhetoric and Professional Writing at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Kaur’s poetry can be found under the Instagram handle, @rupikaur, where you will witness aestheticism at its best.

45. Sugandh Agarwal

New York-based Sugandh Agarwal is the founder of the vegan handbag brand, GUNAS. Being an animal lover herself, she started the company in 2009 after leaving her 7-year corporate career as an Industrial designer at KitchenAid. Today, the brand is one of the most loved ones for its take on cruelty-free fashion.

In business for 10 years now, Agarwal’s mantra to be a successful entrepreneur is “to be extremely disciplined”. At her Instagram handle @gunas_newyork, you will find her mostly promoting her brand along with other vegan products.

46. Masoom Minawala

Fashion blogger-turned CEO of fashion portal, Style Fiesta, Masoom Minawala’s love affair with art started after she passed 12th standard. Having been a tomboy in her early years, she was least bothered about her outfit. But as fate would have it, the world of fashion and blogging took her over, so much so that, she gradually opened her blog and turned into a full-time fashion curator.

A year-and-a-half into fashion blogging, she turned her website into an e-commerce website, thus having converted her readers into customers. That’s what we call mindful business.

47. Maria Qamar

Born in Pakistan and having moved to Mississauga, Ontario at the age of nine, her work reflects her lifestyle. She is known for giving satirical comments on the hybridisation of South Asian and Canadian culture through her website “Hatecopy”.

Using pop art as a way to express her opinions, she speaks of her experiences of racism, body shaming, cultural appropriation and gender roles. The Toronto-based artist is retailing merchandise and doing solo exhibitions besides having published an illustrated book called “Trust No Aunty”.

48. Karishma Mehta

Inspired by its counterpart Humans of New York, Karishma Mehta came up with Humans of Bombay (@Officialhumansofbombay) where she can be seen telling stories of Mumbaikars through her lens and their stories. Ever since its inception, the website has grown into a humble portrayal of humanity.

Although Mehta majored in business and economics at the University of Nottingham, she had never really learned photography. It was something she learned on the job. Her Instagram account @karimehta05, which is a private account, can be followed easily as she will gladly accept your request within minutes.

49. Ekta Rajani

One of the sound names in India, when it comes to fashion, Ekta Rajani herself looks like she is nothing short of a model. Fashion director at one of India's most reputed magazine, Grazia, the talented lady has a keen eye. In other words, if you are looking for experimental but relatable fashion tips, Rajani is your woman.

She not only gives tips, but also has an equal knack for telling stories about fashion in its truest sense - about the people behind the creations themselves. If you follow her Instagram profile, you'll find her posting regularly about new and upcoming brands that she's tried herself.

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50. Poonam Prahlad

If we are writing about “cray women”, how can we not write about our very own “cray” lady, who is the mastermind behind “50 Shades of cray”? So, here it is. The 50th and final woman is the founder of CafePopShop, Poonam Prahlad.

Having started as the founder and director of Media Moments a decade ago, she came up with CafePopShop, a one-stop woman’s portal, only 9 months back. If you follow her Instagram handle @poonamprahlad, you will get a sneak peek into her vibrant life as a mother, entrepreneur and fashion & travel enthusiast. We wonder how she handles so much.

That brings us to the end of our list. We hope these women have inspired you as much as they have inspired us. Now go on, get your cray on and get out there!

And that brings us to the conclusion of our Women’s Day Campaign. This was one of our toughest yet most satisfying campaigns ever. I mean choosing just 50 out of the millions of extraordinary women out there would certainly be a tough task right? Maybe next time we’ll do a 100 or even a 1000. Each day women are showing us more and more of what they really are made of. For us it was truly an honour to do this piece on such exceptional women. We hope you had as much a cray time following this campaign as much as we did building it. Remember this isn’t an ultimate list, for every Woman we showcased here, there are millions more out there, including you. So go on, get your cray on.

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