My friend Annu from Always Planning For You recently put together a styled shoot as part of content creation for her wedding coordination business. She had me wear two outfits: one from Made in India Surrey and the other from Wellgroomed Designs Inc, both from Surrey, BC. I had never done a styled shoot as an influencer with cultural Indian clothes, but it helped me reflect how style and culture can compliment each other.
Growing up in the United States as a person of Indian descent (specifically in California which is already so diverse itself) was a relatively positive experience. People who were not familiar with the culture would always be curious to learn more. However, I grew up having no family in the area other than my parents and sibling in a suburb that did not have much of an Indian population. I didn't have the opportunity to participate in cultural activities as much as I would have liked to.
So when I'd attend family functions once a year, I would get super excited and feel very comfortable about my cultural background. I'd feel proud to be an Indian in America and I always loved the food and music. When I went to college at UC Irvine in Orange County, I made a lot of Indian friends. The school campus was the most diverse thing I'd ever seen, especially having grown up in a majority Caucasian suburb. My love for Indian culture grew and it still continues to grow today.
Being Indian American in Seattle is a special thing. People appreciate the culture because it's something they don't get to experience every day. The food is absolutely amazing and the music is a motivator for me. When you get to incorporate Indian-inspired attire with your own style, it makes it even more special. Being a style influencer in the Pacific Northwest has allowed me to express my perspective in a unique way and if I can get more involved with the South Asian community, I can spread my impact even further.
If you're a South Asian in the Seattle area, come hear me speak on the Entrepreneur Panel & Mixer hosted by American India Foundation Young Professionals - Seattle Chapter on April 26th, 2018!
Thanks for reading! Photography by Alexandra Knight