Meet Fuzia — A Platform to Empower Women Through Fusion of Cultures and Ideas
In this edition of Empowered Women Empower, join us for a peek inside the inspiring world of Fuzia and its co-founders Riya Sinha and Shraddha Varma.
What began as a writing club in Palo Alto, California back in 2012 is today, Fuzia, a creative global community and talent showcase platform for women to explore, express, and nurture their talents. And with a vision to harness the power of social media to drive the new age of empowerment, feminism, and gender equality, Fuzia is a name to know!
Meet Riya Sinha & Shraddha Varma
Co-Founders of Fuzia
It was quite serendipitous when Riya Sinha, based in the USA, at the age of 11, shared her thoughts about having a world where girls can inspire other girls through their creative pursuits. From there, the actual journey of turning this thought into reality started and Shraddha Varma, based in Mumbai, spearheaded this mission to expand it globally.
Today Fuzia is home to millions of creators and ambitious individuals who have joined the platform to showcase and present their skills and ideas, network, learn and grow. Shraddha leads the international team of 35+ from Mumbai with a common goal of creating a positive global impact.
From making its start as an online networking community and a talent showcasing platform, Fuzia has now evolved to become a full-fledged organization run by women through creative support, mutual learning, and unique crafts. It is an exclusive Talent Showcase & skill development Platform for individuals globally where one can garner relationships and friendships.
In addition, Fuzia offers many Skill Development opportunities to help its community hone their talents and become better versions of themselves each day through learning and education, engagement, and activities.
Fuzia doesn’t end here! It is an ever-growing platform with millions of dreams, all uniting to one sole goal, women empowerment. Happy be she, who wants to be.
Read on for our interview with Riya Sinha & Shraddha Varma!
Love Happens: As our name, and the tagline of our publisher KOKET denotes, at ‘Love Happens’ we are firm believers that you cannot achieve any level of success without love. When did your love affair with empowering women begin?
Riya Sinha: It doesn’t take a lot for a woman to fall in love with empowering herself and other women in the kind of world we live in! Women who believe in similar goals tend to join hands for the changes they intend to bring in the world!
I also began noticing that the problem of inequality is not restricted to a specific town or city. Its relevance could be observed globally. And, it was important for girls across the globe to realise it. That’s when I joined hands with Shraddha. With her experience, leadership, vision, and passion to empower women, Shraddha managed to expand the vision by making it a truly global platform, what’s now fuzia.com., a platform to let every woman showcase their creative expressions and inspire each other globally. Not just that, today, Fuzia is a platform that invites every individual who believes in the power of gender equality and women empowerment.
Lh: What led to the decision to start Fuzia?
Riya: I visualized the concept of Fuzia while studying at Palo Alto High School, California as an 11-year-old. I always loved creative writing as a child, so much so that I used to write creative endings of books when I wasn’t satisfied with the end! I loved writing stories, so with the help of a family friend, I wrote a book called ‘Runaway Twins’.
The book was about a pair of twins who solve a family mystery to help save their family.
Later, reading my book, a 6-year-old girl came up to me with utmost exhilaration to tell me that she was inspired to write a book too and that I made her realize her true calling.
The incident seeded so deep in me that I decided to make my experience my potential of inspiration. I wanted to influence all the girls and women around the world to get inspired by each other.
Thus, in 2012 I started Fuzia as a Writing club, a platform meant for school girls to share their writings and essays. It is now fuzia.com, a venture that grew from 2 to 45 team members with the major vision of influencing and empowering creative females globally.
Lh: What empowers you?
Shraddha Varma: Women from around the world have looked up at Fuzia as their safe haven and this, in the most genuine sense, empowers me the most. We at Fuzia celebrate women and cultures across the world. Sorority shall prevail and Fuzia is giving the world sisterhood goals to bond strong and stand strong.
Over the past 5 years, we have achieved various milestones. We reached 1 million users and supporters across social media in a span of a year. We expanded the Fuzia website to an App and launched Fuzia mobile App for our users. Then we were awarded by various prestige platforms such as “Iconic Teen Entrepreneur and Innovator” at the Women Economic Forum. Moreover, our biggest achievement has been that we were able to make our users showcase their talent and bring smiles on their faces, making them financially independent as well. We were able to help many girls become financially independent and serve clients. Today, Fuzia boasts of a community strength of 4.5 million users worldwide besides having 50,000 active contributors. These contributors belong to 35 different countries.
Lh: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Shraddha: At Fuzia, I believe in she for she and he for she, and also consider the fact that true ‘Empowerment’ is incomplete without men supporting it. I’m of the opinion that an empowered woman is a happy woman and henceforth, our platform drives ‘Happiness’ through the power of 6 key elements: Relationships and Friendships, Learning and Education, Engagement and Activities, Wellness, Charity, and Kindness and Financial Independence.
However, our greatest achievement is our focus on boosting women’s confidence and giving them their due recognition. Talents go unacknowledged; when you don’t get an appreciation for what you do and create your self-esteem gets battered! It must not be so; we live for our dreams and when dreams go unfulfilled people break down. Our sole purpose is to celebrate women and their creative zeal so that they can live their dreams and our distance online setup facilitates it for everyone to access our community’s support and care.
Lh: Who is Riya Sinha the Woman? Who is Shraddha Varma the Woman?
Riya Sinha: I’m currently entering my 2nd year at UC Berkeley, California, and dedicate part-time to Fuzia. I focus more on initiatives such as Fuzia.TV (videos and interviews of influential women) and help gain partnerships with other companies to support Public Relations for Fuzia. I also promote PR for Fuzia on all types of platforms.
Shraddha Varma: I’m a management professional, an experienced marketer, and an ambitious Entrepreneur. Apart from this, I believe that I’m a passionate learner and a creative thinker with strong communication and leadership skills. I believe that if women are to break away from the clutches of orthodox, patriarchal, pseudo/liberal patriarchal brackets, then economic independence becomes a prerequisite for them.
Lh: Who is Riya Sinha, the co-founder of Fuzia? Who is Shraddha Varma the co-founder of Fuzia?
Shraddha: I’m the director and co-founder of Fuzia and I believe that before telling women how good they could be as homemakers, let’s tell them to outgrow what they are already good at. Or, maybe just not ‘tell’ them anything at all and let them shine their own way! With hopes of reaching out to every single woman whose share of empowerment is long due, I try every day to make what I think a reality. I not only lead the global marketing and operations at Fuzia but also drive and mentor my team in cross-culture environments. I strongly believe in Gender equality and that women are the largest reservoir of untapped talent. way! Through Fuzia, I wish to positively impact and see a world where women can come together globally and help each other grow, live their passions, pursue their dreams and build their own identity.
Riya: I’m the founder of the company. I am 18 years of age and strongly believe that there’s enough in this world for a woman to endure and I would like to be one amongst those who believe in the magic of support and in the process, help women be the best they could ever be! I thus believe in the power of mutual trust and support.
Lh: How does Fuzia empower women?
Shraddha: At Fuzia, we have our users showcase their various talents on the website and we further nurture their talents through live sessions, campaigns, online learning, webinars, workshops, experiential learning, contests, and so on. These initiatives help women develop their skills and grow enormously. This talent is then showcased in every possible way through our website and various social media platforms. With the talent that many women come up with, we help them benefit economically by placing the right skill at the right place. The growth of people doesn’t stop here. We plan and organise various interviews with empowered women, who tell their inspiring stories on Fuzia TV and help other women.
We are also hands-on with the full-fledged and advanced mobile application for the ease of use by our members and people across the globe!
Fuzia is essentially a platform for women to showcase their talent and creativity. Believing that talent shared is talent encouraged, Fuzia marshals various campaigns and contents where women participate globally and the entries are studied thoroughly which later are provided with training and career opportunities in areas of their interest and expertise.
Fuzia collaborates with their in-house talents and experts/ social media influencers, entrepreneurs, and inspirational women and organises interactive live sessions so that women can get their doubts sorted and get the right training to start their own ventures.
We are proud of our team members who now run their companies after getting the right set of experience and networking. This is what we are trying to do, making our sisters become strong and experts so that they can generate employment for other women and help them grow and become independent. We are positive that the chain of empowered women has taken a pace that will not satiate until each one of us are capable of living on our own and make their mark in the world. We all deserve to shine.
I want to see everyone appreciate, accept and respect each other for who they are and ultimately see the world become a better place.Shraddha Varma
Lh: What three pieces of advice would Fuzia give to someone starting their career in a creative field?
Shraddha: Well, there is a lot of advice out there in the digital world for people to surround themselves with. However, I’d just like to say that I would want to see everyone appreciate, accept and respect each other for who they are and ultimately see the world become a better place. Honestly, that one change would make all the difference to us as a part of humanity.
Lh: Does Fuzia have any mottos they like to live by? Or favorite empowering quotes?
Shraddha: More than mottos or quotes, we like to live by some brilliant individuals and organizations that have taken up the battle for workplace gender equality. They work diligently to eradicate workplace inequity, discrimination, and sexual harassment so that workers can work in a healthy atmosphere. For instance:
Tina Tchen: Tchen is the CEO and President of TIME’S UP NOW, an organization committed to ending gender inequality in the workplace. She advocates equal opportunities, particularly for working women, and has worked as a workplace culture lawyer, advising corporations on topics such as gender inequity, sexual harassment, and diversity.
Rakeen Mabud: Mabud is a Director of Research and Strategy of TIME’S UP Foundation and is working to make workplaces more equitable and inclusive for all genders.
Libby Lyons: Lyons is the Director of the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency. She works closely with companies to achieve gender equality. She attends conferences and activities to advocate for workplaces that reward employees for their efforts regardless of gender.
Viji Penkoottu: She is a Kerala-based Indian activist. She founded Penkoottu, an all-trade women’s union that fights for saleswomen’s basic rights. After eight years of struggle, the Kerala Shops and Commercial Establishments (Amendments) Act of 2018 granted women at work flexible working hours and a place to sit.
Lh: What’s next for Riya & Shraddha and Fuzia?
Shraddha Varma & Riya Sinha: As a duo, we look forward step by step towards attaining pillars of creative empowerment, community growth, individual strength, and artistic magnification. We aspire to establish a space for women where they can be free from their own little cages and express themselves with true liberty. This space extends its hands through our wide world and believes in the strength of young minds! We believe that a society where women are strengthened is a society empowered in reality.
When we talk of our long-term plan in terms of empowering women, we see ourselves delved in the ocean of not only finding out talent but nurturing it through live sessions, campaigns, online learning, webinars, workshops, experiential learning, contests, and so on. These initiatives help women develop their skills and grow enormously. We also plan and organise various interviews with empowered women, who tell their inspiring stories on Fuzia TV and help other women come out of their little shells.