Do What Makes You Happy Within - Shaheena Khan (Heels and Cityscapes)

1. Tell us about your background and journey.

Hello, This is Shaheena here. I am originally from Mumbai, India but settled in Dubai from the past 11 years. I always wanted to program new applications and hence landed up becoming a Software Engineer in Computer Engineering.

I got married at a very young age of 21 and have two beautiful kids aged 11 and 9 years. I am very contented with what life has offered me and thankful to God for everything I have been bestowed upon.

2. When did you first decide that you wanted to create content and how did you start?

My love for art and creativity has always been present in my life. I enjoy giving a face or form to my creative ideas. After working for many years as a software engineer, I understood that I will never be happy working full-time only as an engineer but I also wanted to do something more creative and lively in my life.

When I started my Instagram page, I wanted to give it a colorful look. I wanted my page to be a motivation for all the women especially the mothers out there. I’m a social media influencer, content creator, blogger who is passionate about style, fashion, self-care, and travel.

Being a “Fashion blogger accredited from London School of Trends”, I have a zeal for fashion and lifestyle. Being a software engineer, I tend to quintessence and evaluate more on digital content creation thus making the product review mirror clear to my audience.

I “Accept, Act, Share” the experience and like to share “how I did it “to my followers. I review and promote relevant products under the makeup, fashion, lifestyle, kids, and mom, skincare categories. I have my blog site abounding with my thoughts about lifestyle, plus size fashion, travel diaries, personal experiences about products.

My overall goal is to inspire women to try and indulge in self-care and to live as the best possible versions of themselves. I wish to set a positive example to one and all without any judgment or bias.

3. Is vlogging and Instagram content creation a financially sustainable career?

My Instagram page and blog is for every woman who wants to experiment, adore, and are willing to try from my reviews and experiences. My page talks about the diversity of topics comprising self-care, cooking, lifestyle, mommy issues which is the intersection of interests for women with busy schedules and homemakers both. It is dedicated to providing insights and reviews about products.

My blog is a place for every woman, every mother who relates to my situations and experiences, trials, and tribulations. It is gratifying to provide tips and tricks, friendly advice, opinions which helps my audience in managing stress, maintaining their physical and mental wellbeing to those who seek solace.

Instagram content creation is definitely a financially sustainable career. But yes it does require a lot of hard work and dedication especially when we start it as a new venture. The main goal for an influencer or content creator is to make the content very creative and appealing to the masses of followers. This makes it possible for the more social crowd to get attracted to your page or profile.

4. Who is your favorite creator and why?

Well, it’s very difficult to narrow this to just one but I have always been a great admirer of Aashna Shroff and Shreya Jain. Both of them have come a long way and now are proud owners of a fantabulous Instagram profile which is rich and full of such beautiful content.

5. How and where do you find inspiration to churn out content?

As mentioned earlier, I have always more inclined towards creativity and writing blogs. I found passion in Fashion, Beauty, and Lifestyle blogging. And actually, it was very natural for me as I am a person who likes to experiment with different looks, fashion trends. 

I started putting up my fashion ideas on my Instagram stories and I was surprised by the response I received. I make it a point to share my daily lifestyle as a fashion blogger, as a mom of two kids, as a working mother and I am so happy that many of my women followers do relate to it and get influenced in a positive manner.

As the name suggests “Heels and Cityscapes” speaks volumes about lifestyle, fashion, motherhood, skincare, beauty, travel. We are all told, “Live your life to the fullest”; I am here to do just that.

My blog serves as a vessel to project my passions, and clue in my loyal readers as to what inspires me in this crazy world. My blog audience enjoys the tiny bits of details that my blog comprises of, as it gives them a visual review about the product. I make it a point to write about a variety of topics on my blogs hence a wide range of audiences finds it relatable. 

6. What does your typical day look like?

My day starts at 4:30 am with prayers. Then I am on my toes preparing breakfast and lunch. That’s how the day begins for a working woman I guess. Then I rush to my office and get my work started. I always plan my content a day before and as my peak time is 1 pm, I post my content and then get back to work.

My evening is for my kids wherein we three (Me, my son, and my daughter) we go for a 40 min walk which is where we discuss how our day was and it’s like family time. I make it a point for all to be in bed by 9. That’s pretty much what my day comprises of.

7. Which is your favorite book and why?

I have been reading the book “Desperate in Dubai” lately and I am glued to it. This book is not very sophisticated literature. But it’s the first time that someone allows us backstage into the life of Emirati women and it’s an interesting experience. It takes you beyond the bling of Dubai and doesn’t shy away from some themes that might upset.

I suggest this book as perfect reading for your plane-ride to Dubai. Easy, Quick to read, and a bit educating at the same time. You might feel that this is a Middle Eastern version of the Desperate Housewives, and in a sense it is. And that makes Desperate in Dubai interesting. Just like their American counterparts, the actors depicted here are caricatures of some very real segments of the UAE population.

See it as a fun, sociological dive into Dubai society, as it showcases the melting pot Dubai really is, exposed to a globalized world, triggering culture and values clashes. Park your guilt for not reading the last business book. Your brain sometimes deserves a rest from more intellectual readings anyway!

8. What piece of advice would you like to give to future and aspiring creators?

“The road to success is not easy and if the road is easy then definitely it is not leading you to the destination of success.”

When obstacles show up in our own life, it’s easy to fall into self-pity. While I can’t claim to have been tested by truly overwhelming obstacles, I like to challenge myself to take what problems I do encounter and try to identify the opportunity. I’ve found that each time I do this, the next problem feels less weighty. I hope this practice will keep me antifragile in the case that I end up facing something that truly tests me.

Do not give up when your content does not receive the engagement that you expect it to receive. Be consistent and keep working hard. The content that has been created with passion and hard work will never be wasted. It will get appreciation and recognition sooner or later.

- Shaheena Khan, Blogger

- Interviewed by Shilpy Sharan

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