Let’s hear it. What’s the origin story of Daria Day? How did it all start?I've worn many hats over my career from Management Consulting to Humanitarian Assistance and now as a social entrepreneur. My journey to social entrepreneurship began almost ten years ago when I left a corporate job to pursue something more fulfilling and joined an international development agency. My work took me from Syria to Afghanistan to Tajikistan and finally to Pakistan, my birth land. It was a country I had often heard about from family but hadn’t visited since childhood.
In Northern Pakistan, nestled at the foothills of some of the world’s tallest mountains, I worked with some of the most isolated and impoverished communities. To break the cycle of poverty and provide the community with additional sources of income, various NGO’s had implemented gemstone processing and jewelry making programs for women in Gilgit. Working for an NGO, I realized that NGOs were very good at implementing training programs but often failed to take the next crucial step – create market access. The artisans, having received this extensive training, were still unable to stake out a livelihood as they had no access to profitable markets or ideas of what to produce. Witnessing the vulnerability of these communities, I founded Daria Day to provide artisans with a sustainable livelihood and a path towards prosperity.
If you could have dinner with anyone who would that person be and what is one question you would ask them?
Madame Curie. What advice does she have to increase the number of girls in STEM programs?
What is your favourite social enterprise/impact brand and why?
KOTN is one brand that i continue to be impressed with. I appreciate how they can trace their cotton back to the small framers, the support they provide to the farmers and their communities. And it doesn't hurt that their clothes are well made, basic and make for a great capsule wardrobe.
What is ONE piece of advice you can give to people who want to create a brand around a social mission?
Always remember your WHY. Be very clear on why you want to start a social enterprise, know your stakeholders and understand the needs of your customer. What is the problem that you are trying to solve.
How do you deal with failures? Disappointments? When things don't work out as planned?
Failures are inevitable and it's always heartbreaking when a project fails or a campaign does not achieve the results. I look at failures as opportunities of growth. Opportunities to understand what did not work, and what could you change for next time. Success, after all, is falling 7 times and getting up 8 times.
Fill in the blanks: “ I dream...”
...of a world where the phrase 'sustainable fashion' is not used anymore because that is the way we do business. Sustainable fashion has become the norm.
What’s next for Daria Day?
We are working on getting B-Corp certified and artisans workshops in Gilgit fair-trade certified.