Margaret Sanger said,
“Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.”
In our #FridayFeature blog focusing on #WonderWomen segment, we bring to you a woman who challenges herself with every role through her skills and never-give-up attitude. She dons multiple hats in her professional as well as personal life, and fulfils them all, commendably. Meet, Arwa Madarwala, who is a Baker, a Fitness Trainer, a Tailor, a Recycler, a Skin and Body Consultant and a Gardening and Decomposition Consultant. Surprised? Well, so are we, but more than that we are awed and inspired by this woman who does so many things! Arwa is the Co-founder of a baking venture Bake Me Happy and the founder of a fitness studio Happy Feet Fitness Studio. The other titles we mentioned, she does them on a freelance basis regularly too. So, how did Arwa get into so many varied professions and how does she manage them all? Let’s find out in her own words.
“My sister and I found our life partners, got married and settled down in the same city, Mumbai. One day we were just exploring and discussing the options about what kind of business we could get into and thought of utilizing my sister’s culinary skill. Farida, my sister is such a magician when she gets into kitchen, and desserts were a tempting option to go ahead with.
As for what I would contribute, well I know the in and out of marketing due to my work experiences. Being a Computer Engineer I can handle all the technology part and use this skill fir turning our art into a business. Along with these, the procurement and budgeting is also my department. Along with the help of my husband, I can say that I’m able to take care of these things very easily.
As for the fitness training part, that wasn’t something new. It’s been 9 years that I have been in this field now. I took a break here when I moved to Mumbai after marriage. In fact, I was about to reboot it but unfortunately the lockdown happened before this could materialize. Fitness has been my love and passion throughout my life.
Fitness has been love, passion and aim for as long as I can remember. My professional journey in this field started just when I completed my 12th std. I took up a part time job in a dance and fitness studio. People in my school used to train and learn it rigorously, but blissfully it came to me directly as a profession without any efforts. I appeared for the interview, gave a physical fitness test, and just like that the job was mine.
And so, I started working in this field since then alongside my college education and later even alongside a full-time job. Later I took it up as full-time profession after using my job earnings to get a proper certification from Reebok. In fact, even today I keep taking different certifications from time to time to keep myself abreast with the latest happenings and developments in this field.
The struggle in the baking business was to grab the opportunity with both hands in improving myself. Being from Surat, where most people in the city are business heads, my sister and I pretty much knew the drill. But moving to a city like Mumbai brought in fresh challenges like understanding a bigger market, procurement of the raw materials from new and unknown places, delivery of the food products, fund gathering; every small and big step had to be relearned and improvised from time to time. However, my sister and I together make a resilient team and that’s how we have sustained and grown.
In the fitness industry, my journey has been a delightful one indeed. I was fortunate enough to come across warm and trusting people who gave a newcomer like me a job in the field purely on the basis of my physical test and my passion to train people. I have worked some of the biggies like Vibes, Talwalkars and SM studio. Later I have even worked as a freelancer where I conducted my own batches in the most unconventional spaces possible, ranging from godowns of friends to roof terraces and what not! After marriage there was an expansion plan to start off my own studio but the lockdown came in and this came to a pause. Now I’m just waiting for regular life and routine to resume so I can start this studio in a full-fledged manner.
With Bake Me Happy the turning point was the idea itself because just when we decided to take off, we started getting orders from the very first day. For newcomers like us this was a huge confidence booster which gave us the push to turn it into a full-time business.
In fitness, the turning point was getting a certification from Reebok. When I got this prestigious certificate, I had already been training people, but my confidence and vocabulary changed after getting this. It changed my attitude completely and so I took the plunge of quitting my day job and started working as a freelancer in this field.
My motivations are the lifestyles of the two cities that have shaped my personality, the fast paced life of Mumbai and the business mindset of Surat, were great combinations for me to kick start my journey into becoming an entrepreneur in the baking field with Bake Me Happy and in the fitness industry with my studio Happy Feet Fitness Studio.
The journey throughout has been absolutely beautiful and I wish for it to stay that way. The goal with which Bake Me Happy works is freshness, authenticity and lip-smacking cakes and confectioneries. For future, we are constantly expanding our menu each time we see a window from our regular orders. Our aim is to try our best to keep the happiness maintained all around.
In the fitness field the journey has been a long and power packed one. Now I’m eagerly awaiting to start off my new venture Happy Feet Fitness Studio so stay tuned! My main focus here will be Zumba and Yoga. I’m also excited about yoga for kids, which is still quite a new concept in India and will be my USP.
Apart from these two ventures, I take up all all kind of collabs and workshops related to naturopathy, home based remedies, skin care, body care, diet plans, gardening, decomposition, teaching, stitching or any artwork.
My biggest inspirations are my mother and my maternal aunt. They gave me all the teachings and courage to always believe in myself and go for it no matter what comes in the way. Even my father has been a great motivation, as he me the strength to keep trying harder every single day because it would all make sense one day.
My biggest learnings have been that in order to stay motivated and focused, you must,
“Train your mind to see the good in every situation.”
And for ambitions and goals,
“If your dreams don’t scare you, they are too small.”
To drop in a message to Arwa, check out her delicious bakes and cakes, or to hire her for one of the many services she offers, follow the links below:
- Bake Me Happy Instagram page
- Bake Me Happy Facebook page
- Happy Feet Fitness Studio Instagram page
- Happy Feet Fitness Studio Facebook page
Features & Mentions:
Other professional and personal social media handles: