Sushmita Kirti Kumar
First of all this story is dedicated to all those women who inspired me either directly by lecturing me or indirectly through their work, to put this Intro/Background Story about how this page started and the motive behind it.
This one’s for everyone who believed in me. I am grateful for you and am super blessed to have shared this journey with you.
My name is Sushmita Kirti Kumar and I am the face behind this Queendom. I am a 23 year old Fijian Indian who migrated from Fiji nearly 10 years ago. I was adopted by my aunty at the age of 13 in order to move to New Zealand for better education and opportunities.
I studied International Business and Accounting at Auckland University of Technology and
was one of the unfortunate students to have their graduation cancelled due to COVID (a few times now). I currently work at a Funeral Home, an industry which I never thought I would be in because I always saw myself being a Chartered Accountant.
How I got this job and ended up loving it is a whole different story for another time but I can confidently say that this role was one of the biggest turning points of my life and has made me change in ways that I never thought I am capable of.
Now let me take you back a few months and tell you how this idea started. The idea actually came to me in 2019 when I was actively researching and looking for suppliers for one of my upcoming venture @seizingmoments which is relaunching soon after having so many
hurdles (mostly due to my personal reasons) since December 2019, when I first started it
(different story altogether but one of the main reasons why this page started). During this process I started following a lot of local businesses that were small or owned by women of color in our community as some of us immigrants or those who come from a minority background still do not have the same opportunities or support that others may have even till this date.
I realised there was one thing that every small business or artist was trying to achieve which was a larger audience so I thought by creating a platform that connects the artists and entrepreneurs would eventually create a wider community where they can promote their businesses. I started looking for similar platforms to have an idea and during these I came across pages like @browngirlmag, @browngirlgang, @girlboss, @women of impact, @bossbabes and other platforms where women were celebrated for their achievements.
The reason why I kept getting drawn towards the idea of celebrating brown girls achievements is because I wanted people to appreciate each other's individuality
especially us girls because (speaking from my personal experience) I feel like whatever we do or don't do we are always compared to someone. Some comparisons can be healthy and motivating but when it's negative and unhealthy it can often lead to many physical and mental problems for some people.
I wanted to create a safe and positive community that can inspire and empower our upcoming generation to dream big because things are changing everyday and
anything is possible if we have the desire to achieve it. With this in mind I also wanted this page to talk about the struggles that brown girls have faced.
I somehow wanted to bring hustle stories of people so everyone can see that success is not achieved overnight and hard work does pay off at some point.
I also wanted to get inspiration from our local brown girls because why idolize someone who has 100k followers when you can learn something from a person who has 200 followers?
I registered the name on Instagram in 2019 November and at that time I had no idea what I wanted to do apart from the goal of celebrating the success of female entrepreneurs and
artists especially in brown communities and I also somehow wanted to give back to the community at the same time.
The term “BROWNGIRLSHUSTLIN"came to me after actually realising how many different roles and responsibilities a female can handle all at once whether it’s studying, working, being a mother, running a house or whatever it is but somehow some people still manage to hustle in various ways to make their own dreams come true.
Somehow through all the chaos in their life and all the no’s coming to their way,
they fight all the odds to get what they truly want. I wanted this page to appreciate and highlight the hard work of these #HustlinKweens. I believed that there could definitely be something in these stories which could inspire someone and maybe in future they are motivated towards chasing their own dreams.
In simple words; I aim to bring forward the stories of female influencers and entrepreneurs in New Zealand to find out about the struggles and barriers they overcame in order to become the successful entrepreneur or artist that they are today, while also aiming to build a bigger audience to promote our local small businesses.
I believe that everyone has a different story and often we are told which path to follow rather than finding our own ways as it is considered “safe” maybe to do what everyone has been doing. But women nowadays do not want to follow the path that our parents or ancestors had and want to find our own way in life to do and experience different things.
This can often be interpreted in a wrong way and then there is a whole lot of labeling which we have to deal with if we try to do things that are maybe not acceptable for others or society. I am a huge believer in celebrating individuality and through this platform I wish to educate people on how beautiful everyone’s differences are and once we all come together, anything can be accomplished and we can solve any problem that gets thrown at humanity TOGETHER.
As a female, we have a lot of responsibilities and hustling to make our own dreams in between can become a struggle when we don’t have a strong support system.
It gets harder when there are unnecessary comparisons. Growing up, often I have seen we are not celebrated for our uniqueness rather compared to other women or being judged by them. I wanted to create a safe and positive space where girls can share their stories without feeling judged or being compared. I wanted women to inspire each other who come from their industry and
be their biggest supporters rather than tearing each other apart with negativity.
So after months and months of planning and sliding into every girls DM to approach them to be part of this (sorry for being creepy but I swear to god that was one of the most uncomfortable yet rewarding process ever), I launched BrownGirlsHustlin on instagram on 1st of May 2020. The messages of encouragement and positivity I have received regarding this platform ever since is overwhelming.
BrownGirlsHustlin’ is a Queendom of HustlinKweens where we celebrate the achievements of womxn of color that are working 25 to make their dreams come true. When I introduced the #HustlinKween series, I approached many girls but did not initially have any response as people did not know what I was talking about. After a few stories, people started loving the idea of it because they got to know a different side of their story which people normally don't share. This page is a blessing to me because I came across so many people and got to learn about their journey which inspires and motivates me to achieve more in life. I guess this benefits me to grow and learn from every individual because I believe everyone
has a different story to tell.
I have so many goals for this platform you guys will think I am crazy to dream so big but hey manifestation works so who knows what future holds right? One of the goals I wish to achieve through this platform is to see people celebrate and appreciate everyone's individuality and differences. I want to build a strong Queendom where women support each other and become each other's strength in a world where we are constantly judged and compared. Another big goal I may have shared with some of you is that I want to register this as a Non Profit Organization that will help support basic necessities or education for girls in low income countries in the future. I plan to do this through monetizing the platforms of BGH and having yearly fundraising events.
"Through my research I came across a video of my Fave Lilly Singh in which she mentions that there are 131 million girls currently not in school. I saw that video last year and the number has now increased to 132 million girls who are out of school according to the statistics of UNICEF."
That very particular day I decided if I can help at least 1 girl out of the 131 million, then I might just give someone else’s dreams a little hope. So whatever events that BrownGirlsHustlin will host in future, will also be fundraising towards different causes in order to help give back to the community.
For more inspiring stories make sure you are connected to us through all our platforms.
To see my journey follow my pages @sushmitakirtikumar @_seizingmoments_ @browngirlshustlin