Tamanna’s journey in sustainable fashion was ignited after being introduced to the negative impacts of the industry on our environment - from toxins flowing through our waterways to the plastic fabrics heaping in our landfills. As an effort to take the lead on something that would address the impacts of fast fashion, she started a passion project connecting consumers to secondhand finds through her platform Curated Findings.
After launching just around the rise of the pandemic, when secondhand fashion became quite popular on Instagram, she began to see the potential of turning the project into a business that could actually employ a team and generate profit; she saw the potential to turn a project into a career path. But, as most entrepreneurs experience, she began to question her abilities. The imposter syndrome settles in and you feel paralyzed in taking a risk, making decisions, and of course, the fear of “failure”.
“The feeling of knowing that you are unable to move ahead can really get to you, as an entrepreneur. Especially when you know you love what you are doing, you begin to question its viability. A lot of times, we are simply in our head, taking too small steps, too little risks. This is what I ended up breaking through at Hara Academy.”
Tamanna was already in the beginning stages of turning her project into a viable business when she came across Hara Academy. Feeling stuck in how to scale the project into a business, and lay a strong foundation that aligned with her values and ethics, was a challenge her and her co-founder were unable to move through (especially with Tamanna applying to school and her co-founder working full-time).
“I feel this program was one-of-a-kind. While I wanted to pursue a formal education through masters, this program was simply different because it was open for social enterprises/ impact ideas only. This was why the program really appealed to me- it was crafted for people who want to work for the good, in one way or another!”
So, how did Hara Academy support Tamanna?
“The program helped [me] understand how to lay a foundation for the enterprise and build confidence as a social entrepreneur. It introduced me to various existing examples of successful businesses that are a force for the good, inspiring me to believe in the power of my existing business and myself. The program also connected me with valuable and relevant professionals from my industry, helping me add them to my network and get first-hand expert advice by talking to these mentors.
Thinking of running a social enterprise in itself can seem quite scary but through this program, being around a cohort of like-minded talented individuals and Jazzmine helped me gain wonderful momentum as an entrepreneur and an individual!"
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From Hara Academy to a fully-funded scholarship at the London School of Fashion
“I was going through a very crucial phase while pursuing the course at Hara Academy. I was applying for scholarships to pursue my masters abroad, without which I would not be able to move further. The lessons learnt about grant-writing along with tremendous support from the program administrator, Jazzmine, helped me secure a fully-funded scholarship by simply effectively communicating about myself. Moreover, in a tutorial with Jazzmine, she helped me understand that I can pursue the course and keep my business running remotely from another continent. While it seemed absolutely unachievable to me as we did not have any office space or a team in place, it felt like a significant step to take. Today, after 13 months, we are still running the business from the office space that we rented and the team hired and trained. I am absolutely grateful to have participated in the program as it pushed me out of my comfort zone to take steps that I would not have otherwise. The experience was fruitful in all the ways one can think of!”
Tamanna’s favorite part of Hara Academy
“Hara Academy empowers people who want to make a change and create an impact. As an impact leader, doubts can surface and the journey can get quite lonely. At Hara Academy, you are connected with such wonderful like-minded individuals and each week, you hear about how those people have progressed in their journeys. You know that you are not alone. Even when you are stuck, you look forward to going to the class so you can talk about it in a safe space and pull yourself out of the rut with the help of others! However, to be honest, my favourite part was also the energy that Jazzmine brings with her to each and every session. It is contagious- for all the right reasons! She will be your biggest cheerleader!”
“Hara Academy made me feel more and more confident about my idea and how I wish to lead my career. I will be graduating in September 2023 with my masters degree. It is funny how a lot of things I learnt in my masters was something I had already worked on in the Hara Academy program. One year hence the program, I feel more confident and grown as a change-maker. My venture, Curated Findings, is still going strong despite various shifts in demographics. Even though we took on a year of slow growth to ensure that we do not pause the business and stay afloat for this one year while I am also prioritising my education, we have great plans for the future and we cannot wait to apply all that we learnt at Hara Academy to reach greater heights and maximising the impact!