SAMIA ALI KHAN
Founder and Architect at Mundist
ET: Concept of Mundist?
We are a design practice based out of Karachi, specialising in residential and commercial interiors and providing cutting edge bold fin interiors. We love working with old school charm, nostalgia being our brand ethos.
I am the design principle and founder of Mundist.
ET: Your journey?
I have a B’Arch from IVSAA and graduated in 2007. I was working initially with my husbands firm Coalesce Design Studio, as an Associate. When a certain turn of events happened and things fell into place a certain way, I decided to venture out to start my own setup. It was scary!!
ET: Any interesting story from your initial days?
My first job; when I got a call from our first client for some work, it was the most exhilarating feeling ever! As back then we had no contacts / referrals, nothing!
ET: Your team ?
We are a team of three. We have two architects who work with me and are also from IVSAA. We also have someone interning with us currently so we are four technically.
ET: What kind of support did you receive from your family/industry?
My husband has supported me in every way! Being in the same field can be tricky, but he has always asked me to step out of my comfort zone. Same with my parents as well. In-laws have also been a great support system as it is tough to juggle kids and work together. From the industry it would definitely be Creative who have supported us and given us free shout outs only because of merit. Nothing paid up.
We have had some big influencers who gave us that shout out but I feel we deserved it.
ET: What have you always been passionate about and why?
Hmmm, interiors has always been my passion! I grew up in a household where there was always a keen interest in interiors. Great joy was attached to investing in an Art piece or a Carpet. I come from Afghani origin. And sub consciously its always been there, a deep love for wee rounded old school interiors! My formal degree in architecture, then aided me in this.
ET: Name one female role model you aspire to and why?
Elena Frampton from Frampton and CO. Her keen eye and also a successful marriage/amalgamation between art and architecture! I just aspire to design spaces like her and hopefully get clients that can make that investment too. And also how she runs a gallery under her name. Just holistically how she has masterminded her design studio and just stands out in her line of work!
ET: What do you consider your biggest achievements and why?
Pinky GUL!!! Biggest achievement! I want you to record this as I want to send this to client.. Best one of a kind women centric space!
ET: On work-life balance?
Take it one day at a time, go easy on the self and give family first priority. Also a good support system at home really adds the assistance on..
ET: Your comments on the local entrepreneurial ecosystem?
For me personally, local entrepreneurship has been friendly. The ecosystem has recognized and appreciated our studios designs! We have gotten a a lot of positive feedback for the work we do and we have managed to stand out with our projects.
ET: Tell us about the challenges and opportunities from your own experience.
Lots of challenges! From starting out to paying bills to running a one man show! Doesn’t end! Building a portfolio, staging a space for the pictures to go up, I would do it ALL ALONE! But lots of opportunities too, as I feel people have become more aware of their surrounding and want to invest in nice hope oriented work environments.
ET: What is your message for females out there looking for inspiration?
Message to females? The sky is the limit and if you set your mind to it and are passionate about it, ther is nothing that can stop you! You go GIRL!!!!