Hala Barakat: The Lady behind Rohana

One of the sensual and heart soothing interviews I have had. Sitting with Hala Barakat at her apartment in Zamalek was quite a spiritual experience. The moment I entered her house was an indication to leave my life stresses and occupied mind at the door mat, to enter a world of a spiritual acceptance and peace of heart (and mind if I may say). Talking with her about her experience with her brand Rohana, her travels, her interests was a heart-throbbing experience on its own.

I got to interview her about Rohana and thought I should share with you my own experience.

Hala, Would you please tell us more about you and Rohana, and How did it start?

It began with the issue of underprivileged women who have talent and know-how but no forums to apply these skills to better their lives. Along the way, as the project unfolded, it began to address other issues which I — as a botanist, an environmentalist, and a yoga teacher — have always been concerned about and have battled in various ways throughout my personal and professional life: mass production, mindless consumption, and waste.

Rohana is a line of clothing and accessories made from natural fabrics and recycled materials, with culturally suitable and wearable designs. It is the coming together of creativity, responsible consumption, and social entrepreneurship. I work with women from low-income communities who have sewing and embroidery skills. I source the materials, present and discuss the designs, then buy the final products from them

What inspires you?

Yoga :)

Who motivates and supports you?

Seeing how Rohana is helping other women motivates me: the women I work with but also my clients.

Describe yourself in ten words or less?

Egyptian woman- yogi-environmentalist-social entrepreneur-hopeful-adventurous-nature loving-mindful.

What has been the most pivotal experience in your career to date?

Rohana is very recent and I feel that the most important experience so far has been the interaction with the women I work with. It is an evolving relationship, very enriching and sometimes challenging.

How do you achieve a work/ life balance?
When your work and life are one, the balance is natural. This doesn't mean that I work all the time but I love my work and very often I don't feel I am working, I am just enjoying my time.

Where is your favorite place to wake up and why?

The desert...it is a quiet place

What are your most treasured possessions?

My friends: including my children, colleagues, yoga students and many more

How long have you been a vegetarian?

I first turned vegetarian at 18 but was on and off till 5 years ago when I became full time :)

What animal would you most like to be and why?

birds, they can fly....I wish I could fly

What else are you currently working on and what do you have planned next?

Am expanding Rohana's products to include home fabrics, this is another passion: interiors.

If our readers would like to checkout your collection, how can they find it?

Rohana has a facebook group , please Support by liking the page ;)

Don't forget to subscribe ;)

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