From Bangladesh to BMOS, fifth-year finance student Kishwar Hashemee has been influenced by an array of experiences that have shaped him as an entrepreneur today.
As a young child, Kishwar would visit his mother’s boutique and sit in on business meetings in his father’s textiles company, giving him the fashion-focused edge many individuals don't have.
While a background in fashion and retail inspired Kishwar, it was a chat with his younger brother this past summer that crystallized the idea.
Now selling bow ties, pocket squares, neck ties and lapel flowers, Kishwar’s company, Evoq, seeks to evoke emotions through fashion. Over the past six months of business, the entrepreneur’s family has stood behind him on this project, supporting him in any way they can.
“My family owns textiles in Bangladesh, so they make clothing for high quality brands like Garage and Dynamite,” Kishwar says. “Because of this, my products are really high quality as well.”
Growing up in a culture where negotiations and designs unfolded before him, Kishwar has found his work manageable because of his understanding of business from both manufacturing and finance perspectives.
“I’ve always been into fashion, but I didn’t want to stay in Bangladesh and run manufacturing plants,” he says. “I knew I wanted to do something down the lines of fashion, but I also wanted to create because I’ve felt like there’s all this creative energy inside me.”
Aside from business, Kishwar tries to give back to those less fortunate when he can, knowing the value of his experiences and what they’ve allowed him to achieve.
“My most fulfilling experience is the school that I ran for poor kids in Bangladesh,” he explains. “My friends and I created the curriculum, and each friend took different classes to give these kids a better education.”
While supporting and growing his own business is a fundamental part of his future plan, Kishwar hopes to partner with a reputable non-governmental organization and give either a certain percentage of revenues or sponsor someone’s education.
“Another one of my dreams is to support local designers because sometimes they have cool creations but it becomes really expensive and the business does not become feasible,” Kishwar explains. “I want to help these designers find a more affordable alternative.”
He also got back into photography this past summer, something he was previously discouraged from due to the cost of lenses and cameras. Now a photographer for AotC, he knows the value of pursuing new adventures.
“This summer I picked up a few more hobbies, like longboarding and photography. I really wanted to do new things because life gets boring otherwise. You have to make it exciting yourself.”
This excitement tends to infuse itself into Evoq’s designs, filled with patterns and colours.
“The fashion in Evoq just comes from my personality,” he explains. ”I do a lot of things, I like wearing colours, I like to experiment, I like to discover – I think it’s a lot of me in the fashion.”