Program: New York
Intake: August 2012
Current Roles: Co-Founders of NotYourWife
Describe your business/enterprise and your role within it.
NotYourWife is a new media company centred around amplifying the voices of South Asian women and discussing the experiences of diasporic South Asians. Through a combination of articles, events, workshops and social media platforms, we are committed to sharing the untold stories of South Asian women and ‘third culture kids’ growing up in the diaspora. In just eight months, our fast-growing platform has gained a following of over 28,000 individuals on social media (Instagram: NotYourWife__), reaches just under half a million individuals on a weekly basis and has over 70 individuals within its contributor community (www.not-your-wife.com). The name is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the outdated stereotypes of South Asian women.
How did you get into this line of business?
Over the years, we struggled to find an online space that we could really relate to. A space where we could bond over our love for our culture, but also openly and honestly discuss the complexities and unique experiences faced by South Asian women and diasporic South Asians.
The South Asian diaspora is estimated to be around 24 million, so we could only imagine how many others, like us, were feeling the same way and lacking relatable content. They say that you should create the things you wish existed, so, NotYourWife was born!
How did you go about setting it up and getting established?
We initially started NotYourWife as a passion project on a social media platform, sharing our thoughts on topics surrounding identity, lifestyle, relationships and culture. Our social media platforms began growing rapidly, and the feedback we received daily indicated to us how much of a necessary platform this was for our community. Getting established was quite organic in that sense. We regularly interact with the NotYourWife community, and from that we get a sense of how to drive our content.
What else is in the pipeline?
We have some really exciting brand partnerships lined up for this year – watch this space! Our community of contributors is also growing, so we’re featuring and surfacing stories from a diverse range of women in the diaspora. We’re also working in the podcast & writing space so keep your eyes peeled for more.
How did Mountbatten help you with your professional career?
Gaining places on the Mountbatten Program as fresh graduates, was an incredible experience and gave us a real edge when we returned to the UK. Aside from meeting one another and launching a business together five years later, we met some incredible individuals through our cohort – it’s an invaluable network to be a part of.
Any words of advice/wisdom would you impart to others thinking of setting up their own business?
Don’t do it alone. Whether this means having a co-founder, a mentor, joining a support group. Given the time and effort required when starting up, it’s so crucial to have a good support system – whether it’s someone to bounce ideas off, to learn from, or just someone you can grab a coffee with and have a chat!
Kiran Hothi & Sonam Kaur