Expat Woman Entrepreneur of the Month - Nausheen Shaikh

Mumbai will always be her home, but life had other plans for this talented #femalepreneur who is now a specialized crafter living in the Middle East.

Nausheen Shaikh is an Indian entrepreneur currently living in Amman, Jordan. This is her story on how to pursue your passions and keep a positive outlook when you move overseas.

Nausheen Shaikh is an Indian entrepreneur currently living in Amman, Jordan. This is her story on how to pursue your passions and keep a positive outlook when you move overseas.

In the nomadic lifestyle you constantly have to acclimate to new circumstances. Your mindset becomes flexible and open to what’s different and unknown. As an expat woman you make certain choices that will allow you to have an interesting and rewarding experience of your own. At the same time, there are challenges which may not seem real to others back home.  This is the reason why I want to share what other expat women are doing to pursue what they love, in spite of change and circumstances. This is Nausheen’s story.  

An accountant by training, Nausheen was born and raised in the modern city of Mumbai (formerly called Bombay), India.  Before moving to Jordan she had a regular 9-5 pm job facilitating consular services for prospective travelers to the United States at the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai. In her own words, “I absolutely LOVED it!”

Nausheen shares her story at her studio in Amman, Jordan.

Nausheen shares her story at her studio in Amman, Jordan.

Despite having a stable and promising job for nearly seven years, Nausheen knew there was more to life than living in India’s financial capital and she wanted to discover it. “I’ve always romanticized the idea of travelling around the world & exploring new cultures but I had never, in my wildest dream, imagined myself leading an expat life.” Nausheen stated.

The diversity of opportunities that come with the expat lifestyle was very appealing to her. It was with that possibility in mind that Nausheen agreed to leave what was known to her and embark on a journey that took her to the Middle East, for now anyways.

When asked about the most rewarding experience of living as an expat, Nausheen replied: “The most rewarding experience of living as an expat for me has been the opportunity of learning new things. Living overseas, learning new things becomes merely a part of daily life. Social customs, language and of course art are all different from home, and learning about and experiencing all those differences has been enjoyable.”

Nausheen carefully chooses the quotes she wants to include in her unique designs.

Nausheen carefully chooses the quotes she wants to include in her unique designs.

Surely, the fascinating experience of living overseas is also presented with its challenges, which vary from people to people and from country to country. For some it is the weather, for others safety or how expensive some countries are or even traffic. However, for most people it is usually being away from family and friends.

“The most challenging experience of living as an expat for me has been staying away from family.” Nausheen added. “I miss them especially on festivals & special occasions like birthdays, etc. but technology helps us to remain close. As an expat, I always try to build a family from my friends wherever I go. Maintaining friendship takes work, commitment & understanding - but the payoff is HUGE!”

Right after moving to Jordan, Nausheen connected with a local association of expat women. It was through her passion for arts and crafts that she met a community of people that would soon become her customers and friends. And although Nausheen had been actively doing her crafts as a one-of-a-kind card maker for a number of years, it wasn’t until she moved to the Middle East that she invested more hours every week, teaching friends and participating in a number of bazaars and Pop-Ups to share her love for crafting. She also started selling them in an international setting with has given her notoriety among the expat community.  

This is one of Nausheen’s colorful handmade designs.

This is one of Nausheen’s colorful handmade designs.

Many of Nausheen’s designs include different layers and techniques for a one-of-a-kind finish.

Many of Nausheen’s designs include different layers and techniques for a one-of-a-kind finish.

Living overseas gave Nausheen a big boost to her creativity and skills. She stated: “I’ve been creatively inclined ever since I can remember but did not have the chance to pursue my card-making passionately due to work & time constraints. After moving, the one thing I had plenty of was TIME! So there was absolutely no excuse & off I was with my paper, stamps & inks!” 

Taking your creativity and interests wherever you go will help you do more of what you love despite your location. So what is Nausheen’s advice to those creative entrepreneurs living the nomadic lifestyle on how to pursue their passions? “Appreciate how incredible it is that you even have an opportunity to pursue your passion. You get to do something for the pure & simple fact that YOU enjoy it. And that’s amazing!

And most importantly, don’t sweat the small stuff! Maintain a positive outlook, trust your resilience & focus your energies only on those challenges that contribute to your personal growth.”

This is Nausheen Shaikh from Naushabulous Paperie. Nausheen is the expat entrepreneur of the month at The Elephant Soul Blog.

This is Nausheen Shaikh from Naushabulous Paperie. Nausheen is the expat entrepreneur of the month at The Elephant Soul Blog.

Nausheen is currently living in Amman, Jordan. When she is not stamping her cards, cutting beautiful patterned paper or embossing her designs, she likes to watch Korean movies and drama series and delve into the magical folds of Pinterest for inspiration. And to make it cozy, she drinks her favorite teas: Indian Masala Chai or Yujacha (Korean Citron tea).

You can find her on Instagram and on Facebook.

“Maintain a positive outlook, trust your resilience & focus your energies only on those challenges that contribute to your personal growth.”  -Nausheen Shaikh

For the love of handmade: Nausheen’s greeting cards include cutting, stamping, embossing and coloring  by hand  many of her products.

For the love of handmade: Nausheen’s greeting cards include cutting, stamping, embossing and coloring by hand many of her products.

The purpose of these interview series is to learn about the experience of women entrepreneurs who have decided to give creativity a chance and to inspire other women to do the same. If you’d like to share your story, email me at hello@theelephantsoul.com or at elephantsoulcrafts@gmail.com.