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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Cupid is Stupid

‘What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?’ my friend asked me excitedly.  ‘Nothing’ I replied quickly and without a moment’s hesitation hoping to end the topic there. ‘Why? Did you both have a fight?’ Arghhhhhh… I was hoping I can get through one year without having this annoying conversation!

I’m a bit of a Valentine Scrouge.  It’s all humbug and whatever for me.  I used to be all starry-eyed and full of dreams of how my valentine’s day should be when I was younger,  but the older I got, the more meaningless these celebrations seemed to me.  The thought of celebrating one day a year to show the world you love someone and are loved back is silly. Going over the top with romance and the need to prove to others ‘I am more loved than you are’ is even worse.

It seems like a competition these days. ….

My husband bought me 101 flowers and took me to Nobu for dinner.  Such a surprise!

My boyfriend took me to this exclusive restaurant which has a 2 month waiting list.  He has been planning this for months.

My husband flew me to Paris for a romantic getaway!

The above plans sound amazing and I am sure you and your partner never fight or want to strangle each other. Good for you! My question is why do you think anyone else cares? Now I am not against expressing your love for your partner or being Bollywood hero style romantic where you cut your wrist and mark your lover with your blood (ok that’s creepy and run in the opposite direction if that happens).  What I do not understand is the need to talk about, discuss and show the world how much your partner loves you, instead of just enjoying the love.  Haven’t we completely lost the essence of romance?  Don’t we equate expensive over the top public displays of affection as love?  What happened to sitting at home in your pajamas and watching a movie together or as in my case ignore the day completely because one day is not an indicator of a loving relationship.  Trying to make others feel you are in a more loving relationship than them is definitely not what the day is about.  Spread the love and make others feel as good as you are feeling!  The world definitely needs more of that.

‘Don’t break someone’s heart, they have only one of them.  Break their bones, they have 206 of them’ I hope you all had the valentine you wished for!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

It's Impossible!

“Did you see her abs” I said out loud to no one in particular as I sat chomping on a snack (it was a healthy protein bar, before u say anything)  and reading a Bollywood magazine.  The ‘Her’ in question was the actress Parineeti Chopra who has taken some time off (to be read as does not have any films at hand) to work on her body because it seems acting talent alone cannot get you jobs in the industry.

I immediately called my friend who is my cheerleader and started bombarding her with questions as to how? why? and when? did Parineeti become the poster child of fitness.  Her response was quick and simple, ‘They are not real!’ Not real? Really? How does one have fake abs? I asked. ‘Photoshop babe, everything is possible with photoshop.’ I knew she was only saying this because she knows how hard I train and my abs are about as visible as snowflakes in Dubai.

Parineeti decided to change her body and do what it takes to get what she wants and what I needed to focus on was  how she did it rather than coming up with a 1001 excuses why I couldn’t do it and then feeling sorry for myself.  The question is not whether they are fake but whether I can put in the effort it took her to get her abs.  The answer is yes and no.  Yes, I can do my best and no, I can’t dedicate the amount of time she did to get her abs in 6 months. 

Humans are wired for survival and the need to make yourself feel better is greater than the need to be kind to others.  So in a situation where your brain feels threatened (here my brain is already feeling the pain of working out 3 hours a day) it will either blatantly refute facts (Abs are not real) or tear the achiever’s efforts down (again abs are not real) or  tell you what you want to achieve requires so much effort that  just thinking about it is exhausting and it's way better to abandon the thought altogether.

My brain is completely destroying my chances of even thinking I can achieve the impossible by making it impossible in my head. I have finally caught on to this destructive pattern now and realised how many times I have sabotaged myself by saying ‘’It’s Impossible’’

Working out 6 days a week – Impossible
Being a successful entrepreneur and good mother – Impossible (society says you have to choose one or the other)
Six-pack abs – Impossible
Being a Victoria’s Secret Model – Impossible
Giving up Sugar – Impossible

Well none of it is impossible. Ok the last 2 are really impossible for me but no harm in putting them on your wishlist to spook your brain.  Everyone who gets to the top and achieves what seems impossible has first made it possible in their head and then put in the immense effort to achieve it.  Some people are born with advantages (damn you Beyonce for winning Grammys, being a mother and staying fit) but you can’t grudge them that.  Instead choose to find your advantages and set crazy impossible goals for yourself because that is a helluva lot better than telling yourself you are not good enough.

Imagine with all your mind, Believe with all your heart, Achieve with all your might…. The body achieves what the mind believes! – Anonymous

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Power of Negative Words

‘’There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers’’.  I think it was a teacher in Grade 6 or 7 who used to say that.  Armed with irrefutable  proof, to that teacher I would like to respectfully say “I beg to differ”.  

In the Teacher’s defence, that statement was meant to encourage us to question everything and not take things as fact unless they were proven beyond any reasonable doubt.  In my defence, the questions I have been asked are born out of pure stupidity and meanness and I have enough to prove it beyond ressonable doubt.

I could easily become a multi-millionaire if I had a dollar for every snide comment, veiled insult and insensitive remark received over the years, mostly masked as concern or sheer fact.  There is no other way to respond to these questions, except with a polite smile but, in my head I’ve stored the real responses I wish I could have given.

The most STUPID questions seem to always be the most common ones and are usually accompanied with a snide remark.

Have you lost weight (this is after I have noticeably lost over 25lbs).  Oh that’s nice but I think you were thinner before!

The real answer in my head : The magical suction pump I have, automatically started working after all these years and I can change sizes whenever I want.

Have you cut your hair (this is after I cut my hair which was really long to a bob).  I think long hair suits you better.

Real Answer : Well I don’t remember you telling me my long hair suited me when it was long.

You didn’t come for my party?  I better see you next time.

Real Answer :  Babe you didn’t invite me.

Ok, I really can go on and on but you get the gist.  So over time I have realized there are mostly 3 types of people in your life; those who love you for who you are, those who hate you for who you are and those who don’t know you but hate you anyway because of what they have read, seen or heard about you.  The only ones worth focusing on are the ones who love you and see you for who you are instead of tearing you down to make themselves feel better and then convincing you that they are doing it for your benefit.

The power of negative words are only as destructive as you allow them to be.  If you love yourself and don’t allow other’s opinions to affect you then you are taking away the power from them to hurt you.  This is obviously easier said than done but like everything else in life it can be done.  Harsh words are forgotten by the person who says them pretty easily, but remain with us for eternity and we beat ourselves up over them again and again and strive to erase them again and again.  The next time someone says something negative, realize it’s the way they see you and not the way you are and distance yourself from them. 

Be only around people who lift you higher, fill you with positive thoughts about yourself and life in general and who support you no matter what.  Life is definitely not worth wasting on anyone who makes you doubt your own capabilities and feels good in tearing you down just because they can’t rise up!

Never dim anyone else’s light so that you can shine.  Just Shine! - Buddha



Thursday, January 7, 2016

Change is the only constant!

You will die at 70! That’s what people who know me and those who think they know me started to predict when I hit 35. Those were not their exact words…… was more like‘It’s midlife crisis!’ To me that meant I had reached the mid-point of my life and had only 35 more years to live.  The statement was always said with a head nod from side to side and a “don’t worry, it will pass” comment.  What will pass? My life?  The reason for the comment was because I wanted to change my life, my profession, my fitness and learn to do new things I had never thought of trying before like riding a bike (for which I was completely out-voted by my family).

Obviously aware of the term, I decided to look into where it started and why?  I find it intriguing how most people accept norms without actually questioning them and so armed with my most trusted oracle ‘Guru Google’ I set out on my quest to truly understand the origins of the term ‘Mid-life Crisis’.

What I found on Wikipedia was : A life crisis is defined as a period characterized by unstable mental and emotional health, altering the course of life of those affected by it. A mid-life crisis is experienced by some people as they realize they have reached a midpoint in their lifespan and experience conflicts or dissatisfaction within themselves because of unrealized goals, self-perceptions or physical changes as a result of aging or health issues. 

My mind was blown.  Was I having a mid-life crisis without even realizing it?  Was  my need to make major changes based on a condition where my mind was throwing subconscious unrealized dreams at me?

Without analyzing my condition any further, I embraced it whole heartedly and found that the need to change is constant but the willingness to change is not.  Most of us think of doing several things throughout our lifetime like learning to speak a new language, learning salsa, travelling more, being less stressed about our weight, changing our jobs……but not everyone does any of it.

If Mid-life crisis means you don’t wait anymore to realize your dreams and just go for it, if it means you don’t let life get in the way of what you really want to do and if it means you become more important to yourself than other then I say we should live our whole lives with this condition!

Dreams, aspire, learn, try, fail, try somemore…….but never give up!  Cheers to this wonderful condition and the freedom it gives u to just be U!  What else could be more important than that?

A quote sent to me by a friend sums it up beautifully ‘We beg for candles without even knowing we can have the Sun! I hope what we ask for, is not all that we get’ – Meraaqi


Tuesday, November 17, 2015


We are all born unique.  Each one with our own sense of style, personality, ideas and tastes.  There are many things that bind us together but at the same time set us apart.  We were not meant to be clones.  What would be the fun in that?

The need to express ourselves through our clothes started before we could analyze or even understand human behavior.  It came from the most basic need to just be ourselves.  Every element of our attire is a reflection of our individuality.  So, even if we dress alike, it will never be the same because we always add a bit of ourselves in the way we dress.

At Kara, this has been the foundation of our design process.  Every dress ever made has been cut to fit me or my staff.  Every dress therefore has a little bit of me in it.  Things I think about when I design are : Where will I wear it? Can I sit in it comfortably? Can I dance the night away without the dress looking like its been through a storm?  Does it make me feel special, confident, happy?  Does it make me look the way I want to? And last but the most important : Does it fit well?

When you purchase a Kara you are buying not only a dress but something that has been hand-crafted and created with a lot of special attention to detail.  When you wear it, you make it your own and when you are proud to show it off, our mission has been accomplished!

Love from Kara

Creating Your Own Dream

kanchan kulkarni

An airhostess! Always dressed impeccably, flying high and seeing more places than I could ever imagine to see. That is what I dreamed I would be when I was a young girl. I found out that you had to be a certain height and weight to qualify so I tried my best to stay in shape and did what I could to grow taller. I let go of my dream when I knew I was not going to be tall enough, but I guess I also let go because I created more dreams as time went on. There is no one path we are meant to walk and there is no one achievement that is over and above all else.

So, I decided to do what makes me happy without the fear of failure or social pressure to hit the imaginary milestones that no one understands but everyone follows. In my career so far, I have done several things without the fear of failure, and that gave me more pleasure than any other success could have because the ultimate goal was to always be happy and do the things that make you happy. I think I have been successful in doing that.

Kara, has been my creative journey into a world I never expected to be involved in. I always enjoyed being on the sidelines of fashion. My creative flair and strength was being an actor. Being on stage never intimidated me and I knew acting would be my medium to explore my creativity. However, life is not static and you can always find out new things about yourself and explore new possibilities if you are open to trying.

Kara has given me not only a new creative medium but also a brand new approach to how I want to express myself, run my business and interact with others. It is a way of expressing my emotions through design, colours, beads and fabric. It has given me courage to put myself ‘out there’. The thrill of seeing my designs be a part of my client’s happy moments never diminishes.

The goal to do what makes me happy has always been the same but the medium didn’t have to be. I wish everyone finds what they love and they also find the courage to just go out and chase it.

Kanchan xoxo
Founder and Designer

What Kara Means To Me

I grew up in Philippines and moved to Dubai, chasing a dream to work in arts and fashion. Being in love with art for my entire life, I always had the creative fire inside me that had me see fashion as a creation of art for the human body. Of course, with this in line, I have always wanted to also work for a fashion designer, who not only would have beautiful work pieces, but also had a strong vision; who's designs and creations express not only the outside beauty, but also the inside beauty that one possesses.

 Before, I worked at a company that really wasn't in line with what I wanted, but instead only stayed for the sake of work experience. Sure, even though I didn't like my job, the experience made me stronger, and pushed me to look for the company that held my dream.

 I found all of this in KARA. What is KARA, you may ask?

"Kara represents a clothing line that appeals to a personality type over a profession; a mentality over a lifestyle. Others may tell you to be this way and that, but the best way for Kara to fit into your life is for you just to be yourself."

 Right here, the meaning behind their quote. This is why KARA fascinates me. I know every woman wants to feel comfortable, and that every woman wants something that compliments their figure and at the same time bring out their inner confidence. It fits so much in line with what I believe in, that one should always love the dress that they are wearing, without mattering if what their wearing is part of the trend, and just wear what they feel while loveing how they look. I think more women should also consider wearing clothing that has a meaning, a vision, a character, and a story behind it.

 So far, working in KARA has been great! I absolutely love what I am doing. I can actually even say that for me, working in Kara is not a job. It's a way of life, something that I really enjoy doing.

As of now, we're quite excited and eager to build a community that wants to collaborate with us. I think that’s what truly makes me happy right now. I want different, incredible people to work with us. I want to start supporting emerging bloggers, stylists, models and artists, and be a part of their dreams while at the same time, still remain so passionate about KARA. In some ways, this is more enjoyable for me than realizing my own dreams. I guess it's because I think that when you reach your dreams on your own, the only person that benefits is yourself. But when you help others with their dream, it becomes something that you share together.

Anyway, what is your dream? If you believe KARA could help you realize it, either as a fashion stylist, blogger, photographer, artist, or anyone who is willing to collaborate, feel free to contact us! And to the woman who knows what she wants, we want to see the Kara in you.

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