When physiotherapist turns into designer, the stars start shining. Amazingly talented Nayyab Sheeraz sharing her views. Interview with mahnur.s.stories.

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1-Tell us about yourself. What is your education?

Ans-We used to move to a new city every 3 years because my father was in the army, which is why my education has been in places like Karachi, Peshawar etc. For a month even in Chorr (shudders). We’ve stayed in Isl/Rwp after I started Olevels in BMI. I did my Alevels and luckily discovered DPT when I was searching for what to career to pursue. So I’m doing that now. ☺
In my free time I like to bake, but these days I’m watching videos on handlettering and painting because my sister makes it seem like a lot of fun.

2- How did a physiotherapist turn into designer? Who motivated you to be the one?

Ans-When I was in O’levels, my friend Sara learned to knit. She once gave me a cowl for my birthday, and then a pair of gloves (that I still use and cherish). I really used to admire her work, so one day after an exam she came to my place and taught me to knit in only a few hours. She also got me my first pair of (useful) needles. Every time I’ve had difficulty with a technique, she spent time on the phone with me, trying to help me out. Other than that, everyone in my family really motivated me, they’d get me yarn so I could work on different projects (which they’d end up using), and ultimately they’re the ones who asked me to make the IG page.But the most encouraged I felt was when my grandfather stopped using all his other hats after I made one for him saying that it was his most favourite one.

3-How do you run your online shop?

Ans-Well these winters I’ve mostly worked on customised orders. People tell me the colours they want me to use, and send me a photo of something I’ve already worked on or that they’ve seen online. It’s almost always on IG DM.
For the next winters I’ll probably just build an inventory and work on custom orders side by side. 😊

4-Tell us what are the things you work on?

Ans-I mostly work on gloves because that’s what people want. But I really like making cowls and hats. 😊 Custom orders/requests really challenge me, and in a weird way, I actually like that. For example the pokeball, septic eye sam and baby sweaters. There are 2 new projects that I’m really looking forward to working as soon as I’m free.

5-Do you think to run an online shop you should have some support system or can an individual do it all on his/her own?

Ans-On a small scale it’s enough for one person to handle everything, from interacting with customers and taking orders to scheduling, making, and dispatching. But when you think of expanding or growing your work, then yes, you might have to get a few more people involved to help out with the “making” part because that’s what takes up most of the time. Quite recently I’ve had to take up a big order and it wasn’t a one person job so I’ve had to partner up.

6-Any of the memorable moment in all this set up?

Ans-Haha yes, it was the worst and the best experience I had. The courier service had delayed an order I’d worked on for a 3 year old Hashir and his Khala in Karachi. She and I went through 2 weeks of torment together before I gave up, sat down and made them new pairs of gloves overnight. We became such good friends by the end. I still often go through the photos and videos she sent me of when they tried on the new ones I made them. I guess that’s one of the bright sides of interacting with people, you find friends. <3 The courier company, returned the original package to me the following morning and we had a laugh (not like we had a choice though haha).

7-What are difficulties you mostly face?

Ans-A few people have had difficulty sending me the size of their hands, they end up sending me photos without any scale present on the side or over their palms.
Besides that I sometimes have trouble finding the exact shade of yarn for very specific projects (fandom usually) and the right sized needles. My aunts really help out with this, they’ve sent me needles, yarn and other knitting accessories from US, Canada and Australia <3

8-What is the definition of talent in your frame?

Ans-I think talent is something we’re all born with. We just need to figure out what it is and work hard to make it look effortless. It is what makes us unique (nayab? okay no, sorry). I recently read a book my grandfather gave me called “The little book of talent” By Daniel Coyle in which there are tips to improve ones skills. After going through it I realised that hard work has major role in improving our abilities. Not all talented people make it in life.

9-What message you would like to give to the youngsters who have talent but don’t have direction?

Ans-I know a lot about how people think of themselves as mediocre even when they have so much potential.
Those people just need to listen to the little voice inside their head that’s propelling them to do so much more. It took me a long time to build up the courage to display my work even though my friends and family used to encourage me. Overcoming “the fear of the unknown” and such was probably the best decision I’ve ever taken. I know it sounds cliche but it’s true.

10- How can you describe your online shop in one sentence?

Ans-Keeping tradition of hand crafted items alive.

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