Passion is enough to start a business, but having fun with it is absolutely necessary! This the belief that drives Sheena Dabholkar who is a lifelong lover of art, culture, food and travel. Editor of a magazine called “Lover” which showcases innovative spaces in India, the lady is also a serious blogger. She wears many hats of a journalist, photographer, a writer and in this chat with SheThePeople.TV Dabholkar tells us that she is glad that women of today are speaking up and reclaiming their space in the world.
I only do work I find interesting and it has changed my life
” I’m the founder, editor and art director of an online lifestyle publication called Lover. It’s not a design-specific magazine though that is definitely one of my great interests. Lover has a little bit of everything but a large part of it is letting people in the creative industries show us their spaces and share their journeys. I’ve always been both visual and wordy and started blogging when I was very young, well over a decade ago. It’s the perfect medium for people who love both. I’ve been a journalist for the past fourteen years, and a photographer for eight, and I felt that I had outgrown my blog (which is called my name – thisissheena) when I wanted to share other people’s stories on it.”
The birth of Lover.
” Lover is both an online magazine , editorial and visual content agency. I was looking for a way to bring both my personal and commercial work together so I decided to create it. The Lover studio works directly with lifestyle brands to create beautiful content campaigns for them – we specialise in design, travel, hospitality, home and fashion. The magazine is a way to produce the content I wasn’t seeing out there and wanted to see, so I decided to do it myself. It also functions as a sort of portfolio for the agency.”
I’m tired of seeing terms like female photographer or female musician. It’s like no – she’s a photographer or musician
“The whole world has a long way to go for women to have equal rights in any domain. India is fifty steps behind but I am so happy to see women reclaim space for themselves whether that’s physical space on the street, in events and establishments, in the workplace and of course, on the web. I am glad women are speaking up and letting their voices being heard in every domain. I would love to see more women in festival rosters, on panels, in business magazines here. There are so many experts (who happy to be women). I’m tired of seeing terms like female photographer or female musician. It’s like no – she’s a photographer or musician.”
The startup challenges
“We are still starting up. Lover is only a few months old now. Publishing is a complex, quickly changing and tough industry. One of our challenges is keeping the content unique and beautiful but still managing to sustain it. The agency will allow us to that and we have a unique yearly paid subscription model at the moment so we send our content out to subscribers first.”
Is India truly modern?
“India is catching up. I’ve seen so many creative ideas flourish recently, people are launching shiny new India-centric projects rather than simply mimicking the west and there are so many new models to experiment with. As a creative person, I’m really pleased to see new mediums such as crowdfunding garner success.”
The work mantra.
“Fun first. I only do work I find interesting and it has changed my life.”
“Absolutely. Nearly every single one of my girlfriends is an entrepreneur. Even if your business isn’t a tangible goods business, like for instance you are an illustrator or writer, you can be a personal brand now and I love that. More and more women are demanding to be recognised as powerful players online and offline.”