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Meet Shalini Srivastava - Women In Charge

Woman wearing decorative bra straps with gold studs and black strap wearing off the shoulder pink dress.

Tell us about your background! How long have you lived in the United States?

I was born and raised in the City of Nawabs (emperors), Lucknow and Sangam City Allahabad in India. I went to College for my masters in the Hyderabad City. After graduation, I worked in the Capital City of India in the advertising and marketing industry. In 2015, I came to the United States with my husband and now reside in San Jose, located in beautiful Northern California.

What was your professional background before fashion blogging?

When I was in India, my parents always wanted me to build a career in a traditional and stable industry such as teaching or banking. However, that didn’t feel right for me! I choose instead to pursue a career in Marketing, which was a big deal for my parents at the time. When I left India to live in the United States, I knew this would be a wonderful opportunity to fulfill my dream and choose a career that I was truly passionate about – fashion! It was so important for me to listen to my heart and be my own person! I love my parents, but to be honest it was difficult for me to tell my family that I wanted to chose a different path.

Woman wearing decorative bra straps with gold studs and black straps in black sequin tube top.

When I first met you, I could feel your passion for fashion! Where did this love for fashion come from?

I’ve loved fashion from a very young age, and this passion was nurtured over the years because of my mom. She always dressed me up very fashionably -- bell-bottom pants, bella sleeves, off the shoulder dresses. As a young girl, I loved watching fashion shows and other women express themselves through fashion! Some of my fondest childhood memories are hiding in a room and trying on new and creative clothing styles, and experimenting with my mom’s make-up!

Fashion blogging is just not work for me -- this is where I feel most comfortable, allowing my inner voice to come out! When it came to my education and career decisions, my parents were a huge influence because I didn’t want to disappoint them. Fashion blogging has given me the confidence and the voice to be ME! Now that I live in the United States, I’m very determined to take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities that come my way, and to be a positive voice to other women.

Shalini, you are stunning! I was surprised to read in your blog something your grandmother had you use to “enhance your beauty.” Would you share this experience again with our audience?

Of course! Being “fair” in color is everything in an Indian community, although things are changing now. My grandmother forced me to use lightening cream, and told my mother to force me to use it. From the age of 15 years old until I was 20, I used skin lightening cream everyday. Unfortunately that caused serious problems for my skin -- white spots and rashes were everywhere. One day I just couldn’t take it anymore, so I rebelled! Honestly, that was the first time I stood for something against my family. The good news is that over time my skin returned to a healthy condition. More importantly, I grew confident and appreciated the beauty of my gorgeous melanin skin tone!

Is there a woman or women that inspire you? Also, what advice would give other young women who also have aspiring goals?

My mother has been, and always will be, my inspiration! She cultivated my love for fashion, and by her example I learned how to get through life’s difficulties with a smile! My advice to women is to encourage and support other women. I truly believe when we help other women grow around us, it benefits us all of us! Together we can accomplish great things!

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