We had the good fortune of connecting with Ambreen Khan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ambreen, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Our clothing brand Ambreen Khan is a social enterprise that closely works with Empyrean Foundation that is based in Virginia. Our mission is to provide skills training to the youth mainly women, in the communities in need around the world. We work with Artisan communities in Pakistan, Ghana, and the U.S. For the last 2 years, our focus is to work with women refugees in the DFW area. We are providing professional training in dressmaking that will lead most of the graduates to work and earn decent wages that will lead to their economic sustenance. We believe in giving back to society by supporting women in need through multiple skills. So far we have supported more than 8000 graduates in different countries where we have our programs running.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Fashion Designer and a development practitioner:
I am the first qualified fashion designer from the North of Pakistan from the Valley of Hunza, also an established brand from one of the first fashion schools in Karachi(a major metropolitan in the country). By the time we graduated no one could imagine pursuing a career in fashion and clothing. It was marriage for girls and maybe some banking/investment jobs for guys. I was passionate about becoming a fashion designer from an early age. We have a greater advantage in cities like Karachi that is having all the raw material and skilled labor available so I decided to start my own fashion line after having some experience with local brands and producers who were manufacturers for brands like Levis etc. The journey was tough but we started with some amazing friends and family members by creating artistic bridals and formals for them. Our style is considered structured and functional. We extensively work in the handicraft sector. We have successfully presented our collections in Norway, United Kingdom, China, and Pakistan. We became a social enterprise in 2012 by supporting and training artisans in rural communities and partnered with some international non-profits that lead our way to the development sector. I got my master’s in sustainable international development from Brandeis University, MA, focused on diversity and inclusion along with gender studies. There is so much we can do for the people around us to make this world a better place, the only thing we need is courage and persistence.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When I was moving from Boston, MA to Dallas, most of my friends had all sorts of reservations when it came to entertainment in the city. I love the city, DFW is amazing starting from the reunion tower to the North East Mall. So my favourite is the Dallas Museum of Arts and taking my dog to Klyde Warren Park. Thanks-Giving Square has its own charm. We do not miss the Toyota Music Factory in Las Colinas, Irving about 15 minutes away from downtown Dallas, it has an amazing Turkish coffee place call Pax and Benificio. We also like to take our friends and family to White Rock Lake and spend some breezy evenings there. Tex Mex is at its best in Dallas.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I don’t believe success is something one achieves overnight. There is lot of hard work and dedication required. Choosing fashion designing as a career was a challenge that I took and worked hard that eventually became a social enterprise supporting women and LGBTQ members of our community.
I am extremely lucky to have my brother Johnny Khan to be on my side through thick and thin and provided unconditional support and wisdom. I would like to give a huge- shout to my husband Bhavik Amaidas who is an attorney in the DFW area to join the madness of my life (on a lighter note). I cannot thank these guys enough to be my constant moral and emotional support.
Twitter: Ambreen Khan @ambreendesigns
Facebook: Ambreen Khan’s official