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Meet women entrepreneur Hera Khalid Ali

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I am Hera Khalid Ali. I’m a mother of 5, a homemaker, a teacher, and an entrepreneur. Gulelala by Hera is a newly born brand, founded in 2021. Inspired by my travels around Pakistan, I wanted to create a brand that represents the rich culture & heritage of Pakistan and brings forward the talent & skill of our local craftsmen. Pakistan is a hidden beauty, with so many undiscovered treasures. Each time I explored one of these hidden gems or met the hospitable hardworking people of my country, I would be mesmerized and would feel the need to share the beauty of my homeland with everyone, especially the skillfulness and art that resides here.

Here is where the idea of Gulelala by Hera comes in. A brand dealing exclusively in handmade products, because I believe handmade comes with quality and love. My products incorporate modern twists and contemporary patterns to locally made, conventional handicrafts. I create trendy & chic designs and acquire the help of local artisans to bring my visions to reality.

Prime examples of this concept would be my range of faux leather bags with traditional ajrak print on them or block-printed denim table covers. Another loved product line of mine is the terracotta pottery collection.

It is a struggle to connect with the local craft industry which is heavily dominated by middlemen, who pay minimal wages to the artisans and benefit greatly by selling their creations in hefty amounts.

My ambition is to support these craftsmen but also create unique products, and out of the box. Gulelala by Hera, therefore, has a minimal profit policy. I want to benefit the local craftsmen community of Pakistan to the maximum plus have affordable products so that it is accessible to everyone.

Gulelala by Hera is a joint family effort. Through this brand, I’ve provided a platform for my children to refine their skills in content writing, website management, digital marketing, and photography. One day I hope for them to take over and further excel in this field. Till then I provide the training, learning, and practising they require to do so InshAllah.

One major challenge I’ve encountered is the lack of awareness of handmade creations amongst people. They are ready to buy the cheap, machine-made versions of products that lack originality and quality. Through my brand, I’d like to reinstall the love of handmade within consumers, for them to cherish, prefer, and support art, skill, hard work, and beauty.

Slowly and steadily I am working to grow my business. One day I dream for it to go on a global level, to export and show the world the talent and skill that lies in my country InshAllah.

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