Aligned and Thriving Podcast | Strategies for Work Life Balance

Embracing All of You: Finding Harmony Through Self-Expression with Karishma Kasabia

April 08, 2024 Judith Bowtell | Career Development for Achieving Work-Life Balance Episode 15
Embracing All of You: Finding Harmony Through Self-Expression with Karishma Kasabia
Aligned and Thriving Podcast | Strategies for Work Life Balance
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Aligned and Thriving Podcast | Strategies for Work Life Balance
Embracing All of You: Finding Harmony Through Self-Expression with Karishma Kasabia
Apr 08, 2024 Episode 15
Judith Bowtell | Career Development for Achieving Work-Life Balance

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In this episode of the "Aligned and Thriving" podcast, host Judith Bowtell interviews Karishma Kasabia, the founder and designer of Kholo, a women's clothing label based in Melbourne, Australia. Karishma shares her journey of starting Kholo as a creative outlet after selling her design agency, and how the brand evolved to become a celebration of body positivity, inclusivity, and self-expression. They discuss topics such as finding work-life balance, aligning with one's values, and trusting intuition in business and personal growth.

Podcast Episode Summary

  • Karishma's background and the origins of Kholo, a fashion label embracing women of all sizes and promoting self-love.
  • The importance of letting go and surrendering to the flow of life, rather than constantly striving and worrying.
  • Unpacking societal conditioning around money, success, and self-worth, and redefining what true abundance means.
  • Aligning one's work with personal values, such as inclusivity, authenticity, and care for employees and customers.
  • Trusting intuition and inner knowing as a guide for business decisions and personal growth.
  • Creating boundaries and maintaining sovereignty over one's energy and emotions, especially in relationships.

Resources Links:

Karishma Kasabia LinkedIn

Kholo Website

Book of Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future


Connect with Judith Bowtell on Facebook:
To learn more about how we can work together:

Come say hi on:
Let’s be Instagram friends:
Let’s stay connected on:

Don't forget to rate, review, or drop your questions on:

Apple podcast


Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us your questions.

In this episode of the "Aligned and Thriving" podcast, host Judith Bowtell interviews Karishma Kasabia, the founder and designer of Kholo, a women's clothing label based in Melbourne, Australia. Karishma shares her journey of starting Kholo as a creative outlet after selling her design agency, and how the brand evolved to become a celebration of body positivity, inclusivity, and self-expression. They discuss topics such as finding work-life balance, aligning with one's values, and trusting intuition in business and personal growth.

Podcast Episode Summary

  • Karishma's background and the origins of Kholo, a fashion label embracing women of all sizes and promoting self-love.
  • The importance of letting go and surrendering to the flow of life, rather than constantly striving and worrying.
  • Unpacking societal conditioning around money, success, and self-worth, and redefining what true abundance means.
  • Aligning one's work with personal values, such as inclusivity, authenticity, and care for employees and customers.
  • Trusting intuition and inner knowing as a guide for business decisions and personal growth.
  • Creating boundaries and maintaining sovereignty over one's energy and emotions, especially in relationships.

Resources Links:

Karishma Kasabia LinkedIn

Kholo Website

Book of Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future


Connect with Judith Bowtell on Facebook:
To learn more about how we can work together:

Come say hi on:
Let’s be Instagram friends:
Let’s stay connected on:

Don't forget to rate, review, or drop your questions on:

Apple podcast


[00:00:00] Judith Bowtell: Hello everyone. It's Judith Bowtell. I'm your host of Aligned and Thriving, where we explore work life balance strategies and how busy people, successful people, struggling people, just people in general, make sense of their work and life. And today I am so thrilled because we have Karishma Kasabia, who is one of my heroes. I am so happy to introduce her to you. So Karishma, would you like to say hello?

[00:00:37] Karishma Kasabia: Hi.

[00:00:39] Judith Bowtell: hello? So we'll get into why she's one of my heroes in a little while, but I'll just tell you a little bit about Karishma. Karishma is the founder and designer of Kholo, a women's and female's Clothing label based in Melbourne. Karishma has completed a Bachelor's and Master's in Art and Design at AUT and Monash respectively. Having worked at 1 2, 1 Creative and Melbourne Business School, she then freelanced, which gradually grew into a marketing and design agency called Kitchen Co. In 2015, she sold the agency and worked as a marketing consultant for a few select clients till Kholo took over. But somewhere in between all of this, she was nominated for Telstra Businesswoman of the Year, has spoken on several panels about body image, motherhood, and business. She's taught embroidery workshops in Melbourne and Sydney, made it into Vogue, had a baby, who is some kind of wonderful, and I love her baby. And that's her professional blurb over. But what she says is that, life takes you by surprise. Sounds fancy, but personally, I think you'd rather know these bits. I nearly had to expire the car retro and got four fines from VicRoads in 2021. I had this happen to me in 2018. And I'm not driving my car at the moment because same issue. I often drop my son at school in full adult PJs. I find crowds awkward, but love being the centre of attention. Ooh, that's a good one. I run a proper business, but only learnt about pivot tables and what an LCL means in March 2022. I work in fashion and wouldn't know how to contour if my life depended on it. And on her website, she also says you're an introverted extroverted.

[00:02:28] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah.

[00:02:29] Judith Bowtell: And that you adhere to there's a fashion label out there that is loving women just as they are, versus making them feel like shit, then I'm in. You loving you is us doing our job right. If we're ever famous for one thing, I want it to be this, for loving you the way your bestie would. And I think that's such a wonderful mantra for the world. So welcome Karishma to Aligned and Thriving. 

[00:02:58] In some ways people said, Judith, this podcast is just your excuse to chat to your friends, and it is, but it's also a chance for me to reach out to people that I admire and see if they'd like to chat to me. And sometimes you get lucky. So this is what dating looks like for a married woman. So I can wear Kholo the Label when I got these ads on Facebook for these amazing clothes. And I went, Oh, they're amazing. They're great. They're fantastic. I don't have the budget at the moment etc. I'm not trying to spend money on clothes, etc. But there was one jumpsuit.

[00:03:35] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah.

[00:03:36] Judith Bowtell: it kept coming back in and I don't wear jumpsuits at that time of my life. I was readjusting to the body size I am now. And I thought, I'm not a jumpsuit woman. I'm in my fifties. I don't wear jumpsuits. And it just kept coming back and back. It was a Julie jumpsuit in night. And so it's this black stretch cotton jumpsuit. And I went far greater. I think you had a sale. I bought it. And of course, you're buying one thing, you buy a dress and you're not the other. So we've got a little bundle from Grouchois, and it had lovely messaging, and the clothes were great. And so I just started following the Instagram and the messaging and the whatnot, and I just thought, I'm admiring of you for keeping this for setting up this business with these principles and of making it seem like such a joyous journey, but a realistic journey for us to join you on.

[00:04:29] Karishma Kasabia: yeah 

[00:04:30] Judith Bowtell: Do you want to just normally I don't start here, but let's just start with how Kholo got set up 

[00:04:35] Karishma Kasabia: sure. 

[00:04:36] Judith Bowtell: What drove that decision for you.

[00:04:38] Karishma Kasabia: I'd had the design agency and then I had my son and suddenly, I don't know if this happens for a lot of women or people that do have kids. As it suddenly you're like, wait, I'm dealing with a lot of crap here. I can no longer deal with the crap that I used to have there. And so I've pushed to sell it and we sold the design agency, but I'm also someone who can't. I find spending a day, a single day at home as a single mum, I could, to me that is painful. Just not my wiring and I've made my peace with it. I'm like, that's just not who I am. And so obviously I needed to be doing something. So I explored a few things and then I used to go to India every year when I was married to my ex husband and I'd say to them buy fabric because it's very easy to purchase fabric. Go to take it to a tailor and say, this is what I want you to make. Copy this dress, but use this fabric. So that gave me a little bit of, okay, having this vision to create something and I was used to being a creative director in the graphic design realm and this was a creative director in fashion. And then I remember having a counselling session and my counsellor said to me, why don't you just start with one dress like her thing was just start and obviously I was like if we're getting patterns done, I need at least four, if we're getting sizes, we should have at least eight to 14. And then it did, evolve into something. And then the intention, I have to be really honest. I didn't have the clarity of intention that I now have. At that point in time, I was probably just wanting to design something really pretty and beautiful. And then as it grew, the clarity for what the brand is and represents grew with it. Then I'm not comfortable just having size 10 models in my photo shoot. And it was, wait, why can't I wear my own clothes? I stopped at a 14. I was a 16. And I was like that's pretty and then like not everyone wants silk because you have to dry clean it. So then it was tailoring it to an Australian market. And I want to wear this kind of crazy wild thing, but I was too scared to make the crazy wild thing. Cause I was like, people aren't going to buy the crazy wild thing. And then people started I'd test them and be like, Hey, this is a bit whack. Let's see if you take it. And cause I wanted that form of expression that I couldn't find. Yeah. I was like, the more I started being like, I love this and I'm just going to trust that there are people out there that will get this. And I started more and more. And I think probably that's the thing for Kholo, funnily enough, like I'm realising this as I say it out loud, is that it gets clearer and clearer the further down the path I go. Yeah, and it's everything has led to one thing to another thing, but that's how it came about. And there was a part of me that was strategic where I thought that when you graphic design for someone, you spend 20 hours or 10 hours on something and you are doing it for them. It is a brand that they walk away with and they have their hopes and visions for this. So it's not self expression. If you want to do self expression as a graphic designer, you've got to have a side hobby. I wanted this to be, I literally was the Leo that I am. I was like, I want to make what I want. And I want to make a hundred of it. And then if people want to buy it. If not, they can just go because I want to do what I want to do. It was like this rebellion against the graphic design years. And it was like, I have to deal with my son and having a relationship with him that is mentally healthy means I can't have other places of drainage or stress. Because I want to give him that fullness and if there's conflict in my life, I can handle it from him, but I'm not going to handle it from other places. And he's really good. So I must be, bringing my own conflict, but yeah, that's another thing.

[00:08:18] Judith Bowtell: That's so cool. I love this sort of, at the end of the day, I want to do what I want to do.

[00:08:23] Karishma Kasabia: Yes. Yeah. 

[00:08:24] Judith Bowtell: And if people want to come along, they come along and finding your message as you go. Because when I was speaking to Michele Grays on an earlier podcast, and she works with people to find their clarity and purpose, in their business and how to message that. And I was saying how when I started, I had a great mentor who said, don't worry about your niche will find you.

[00:08:44] Karishma Kasabia: Yes. That's so true. Yeah.

[00:08:48] Judith Bowtell: And I must admit after 12 years of doing the career coaching and leadership coaching and always saying, I work with creative people and I do, but then I went back and did a exercise recently of reformatting of my testimonials. And I realised that everybody that I work with has, is there for some purpose. They work for purpose even if it is in a commercial business, they're still doing it for a purpose. Which may be I want to make the things I want to wear, or I want to whatever it is. And so I found the connection. But each time you work through it, each time you uncover another layer. Yeah. And it's so rewarding. So let's go back a bit and start this journey. So when you were a child, what did you learn about work and life from your parents or your upbringing? 

[00:09:36] Karishma Kasabia: I think they definitely learnt hard work. I don't know if that was a good thing or a bad thing. My parents had a corner shop or a dairy in New Zealand and worked very hard as migrants. But then I think a lot of it is, don't know if the word is symbiosis, but you believe what you're worthy of based on the environment that you're brought up in. So you come to expect something similar, even as you walk out of that environment. So because I'd seen my dad be successful, like he migrated multiple times and made a success of himself time and time again. I saw that repetition in my own life. Like I've migrated multiple times. And seeing how I make it from zero, let's say to hear a wanky, but you don't like a rose each time. So every time it's my subconscious expects it. Cause I'm like, of course you're going to make it through. Of course, this is going to work out yourself. The recipe this is in your DNA. So there's a bit of that repetitive things. Some things I'd challenged now where I'm like, you don't have to start from scratch all over again. You could keep this going, keep this growing, so it's unlearning, it's learning the patterns, recognising them, loving them, that it's such a great skill to have, be able to work hard, but also at the same time, there's grace for rest grace for saying, Hey, I'm where the universe doesn't want me to go nuts. I don't have to lose my shit over this. I can just trust that it's going to work out. So there's a bit of that learning, valuing, appreciating, but then also unlearning and saying, Hey, let's forge a new path from this point on. For both counters. Yeah. It's wonderful for the base, but I think going forward, I've seen myself being like, okay, how can I change my subconscious patterning so that I unlock new levels?

[00:11:18] Judith Bowtell: Great, yeah. Oh I love that. That it's not take the good stuff.

[00:11:22] Karishma Kasabia: Yes.

[00:11:23] Judith Bowtell: Grow from the good stuff but also have that critical appreciation. So the appreciation of what's there but also that little bit of growth. Is there a way to grow from? I love that. How do you grow from this? So what is it that supported you to have this understanding? What are the sort of values or how did you come to this sort of realisation that there may be another way? 

[00:11:44] Karishma Kasabia: I know this is a bit woo, but I've done I did a lot of counselling work when I was in my 20s, and then I started getting a lot more spiritual into understanding meditation. I also looked into the energy of wealth the energy around abundance. Like watching basic YouTube videos and talking to friends I think I was starting to challenge the paradigm because I'm like, I don't want to live like this. And yeah, and oddly enough I've learned things from people and their experiences along the way. And I don't know, I feel that. You're thinking or our old school thinking is you have to work hard and then you're worthy. Old school thinking is you have to worry. You have to park a colossal amount aside for tomorrow. So you have to live constantly chasing the tomorrow. And I think there's this real part of me that's fought that actually, I fought that and I'm being like, I'm going to work hard. I'm going to send out, younger me was like, I'm going to send out so many emails and I did SEO and like the list of never ending when you have your own business. So you can go on. And then I had this point where I was like actually I surrender. I was like, I don't want to live like that. So do what you will with me. Do what you decide so there was this kind of this is what I want to do. I would love to do it, but I also don't want to go mad doing it. So there was that real point of surrender right at the edge and then literally just stuff would work out for me. Solutions would come even though I didn't have them six months ago, one month ago. The solutions would just come because I'd reached this point of this is, I think it's when you say, I don't want this. That's the universe is okay, honey's not going to take it. We've got to switch it up for her. Thank you.

[00:13:26] Judith Bowtell: Yeah there's a great writer a great thinker is Lynn Twist. She's an American woman. She's probably in her 60s, 70s now, so of that baby boomer generation where there's plenty of money around but anyway she's a fundraiser. She became a fundraiser by accident as a nice middle class white woman. In an affluent area of the U. S. becomes. And she became really good at it. She became really good at talking to rich people about giving her money for other purposes. And her message was something like, man. What are you going to do with that extra 2 million you've got from selling that business or doing that deal? Are you just going to buy another condo in Aspen or another car? Because I could do something so much more interesting with that money. Let me show you my photos from my last trip to Africa where I was working with women in developing communities and things like that. And people would go, oh, okay. Here's the, as I used to call it when I was in not for profits, the 10, 000 fuck off money. I did a lot of good things with 10, 000. I'm 50 grand here you go. I don't want to see you again. You've got a lot more than that. I want more. And she said she got this freedom about talking about large amounts of money because she unpacked it from the meaning we give it, of it means something about you and your personal value. It's just made up. It's all made up.

[00:14:53] Karishma Kasabia: percent

[00:14:55] Judith Bowtell: it's all made up, so why not just treat it as. Energy or whatever you want to call it. Yeah. It's energy that's you can facilitate going somewhere that you think is important or not. And she's developed this whole freedom around it. And she also used to talk to she'd be brought into, international women's day, like corporate talks for the women. And she'd do exercises with like executives and multinational companies and say. How many people think they've got enough at the moment and they'll go, oh, no, I don't have enough. I've got to work harder, I've got to work harder. And she'd say, what are you working for? And it's oh, the nanny the cleaner, all this stuff. And she's what about if you didn't think you needed that? She'd unpack that idea of what not abundance, but more about. What sufficiency is and she said a part of that came from working with people who have 1 a day, live on and then what we think we need versus what we actually need. And I think some of that's unpacking of old ways of thinking about money, success, and etc, and being able to go, if what I'm doing is valuable, it will work. Yeah, or it's not.

[00:16:02] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah. Yeah. If it's not your path, then it's to your detriment anyways.

[00:16:07] Judith Bowtell: Yeah, you're just going to be on the struggle. And it's hard. It's a hard one to move away from when you, particularly when you've been at salaried employment all your life and you've had parents, my parents grew up during the depression and the war and things like that. It's hard or but I really as I said you are a hero in that you are. I know it's not as easy as it looks on Instagram but it's just somebody who's gone, I'm forging a principle based business and I'm making it work.

[00:16:37] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah. I didn't think of that. That's nice.

[00:16:40] Judith Bowtell: Yeah. It's the brand is sustainable.

[00:16:43] Karishma Kasabia: Yep.

[00:16:43] Judith Bowtell: Melbourne designed made in India.

[00:16:46] Karishma Kasabia: Yes. Yep. Yep.

[00:16:47] Judith Bowtell: But in a very transparent, ethically based way. And. And the clothes are great. If you've got a woman's body or you want that feeling then you'll find something that will work for you. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:17:01] What else fills your life? And what supports you to have a life that's not just chained to a sewing machine or chained to a table? Yeah. What else?

[00:17:11] Karishma Kasabia: I meditate. So I meditate every day. I have very few, but quite close friends. That really fill my cup. I'm very family based, so very quite close to my siblings and my parents. I don't have a relationship right now. But I do have like really positive masculine energy in my life. And to be really honest, other than dabbling into, obviously I do yoga and gym and a bit of travel. I say gym, like I do it a lot, but I have done quite a few sessions now. That's really my life and I very intentional about where I spend my time. If I don't want to do it, I'm at the point where I could probably say I never force myself to do it. I say no to people and just trust that those who love me will understand. I can time waste on Netflix of my own choice. But I will not time waste at the cost of anyone at the cost of my happiness. Yeah. I love cooking for myself. I love homemade food and very simple life. Like other than a bit of travel here and there with my family, that's it. I'm not like yeah I'm just not all the things that I suspect a lot of other people fill their life with. And I suppose it's very, for me my friends do understand that Kholo is probably a really big part of my life. That's so fulfilling that I probably don't seek so much outside of that because creatively, that's really fulfilling. Socially, that's really fulfilling. Like the DMs are flooded. So just having little chats is all I need for a bit of small talk every now and then. But yeah that's really it. I'm so content. I don't know where life will go, but for this season in my life, it is like the perfect mix. I'm so just grateful. I'm like, other than sex with a man, everything else I've got, I'm just like, yes, I am very satisfied. And I'm like, I'm solo. That's fine as well.

[00:19:04] Judith Bowtell: There, there are

[00:19:06] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah. I recognise women were really lucky. So I'm just, Oh, that's all I'm saying. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:19:15] Yes. 

[00:19:16] Judith Bowtell: Part of what we explore here at Aligned and Thriving is the kind of values that underpin creating this life where the balance might not look like what we think work life balance is going to look like, right? But it is actually about having fulfilment and joy in our lives. What do you think the values of your work is, or the values that have underpinned Kholo?

[00:19:39] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah, think they're an extension of me, so I'm not really surprised. I think that's just very keeping shit very real. I've never been someone to put filters on. To me, a filter in itself is a lie. So to use it as an indication that who you are behind that is likely a lie.

[00:19:56] Judith Bowtell: Yeah.

[00:19:57] Karishma Kasabia: And I think embracing everyone as much as I don't give everyone my company like one on one time. That doesn't mean that I don't have love for everyone or I don't wish the best for everyone. I think in that sense. I love that our brand has got if men wore expressive floats like this then obviously I'd consider designing for them but that's the only exclusion we have. There is no woman or family with a son. I've even had a teenager who wants to be on our socials. It's just that sense of that you belong here too and even the men that do follow us because there are men that follow us. I think it's for them. It's like eye opening or appreciation of another lens.

[00:20:39] Judith Bowtell: Yeah.

[00:20:40] Karishma Kasabia: So that inclusivity that you're all welcome here is really massive for me. So probably true. You're welcome here and maybe I think accountability is a big thing because we do have things might go wrong or they might not work out. We do have a pre order system which leans on a lot of trust. So it's having that honest dialogue. So I think those probably, those three are really important to me. Then there's all the other things like, I love my staff. I love my team. Treating them really well or like working with love with them. I just messaged there's a woman who works at our warehouse from time to time because recently her husband's not been well. And she said, Hey, I can help out with some evening admin if you'd like. And I texted her and I literally said, just don't forget family first. And I think it's that those values that are just so like the traditional my dad, like I literally, I'm very proud. I would love to think that my dad feels proud that she learned that from me, how to treat his staff with that kind of love or that care. So yeah, it's all those like traditional values. I don't know. I think that there's so much more depthful and agility is lovely being able to move with the times. But at its all core I think the old school values. I think there's so much merit to that. Yeah.

[00:21:56] Judith Bowtell: And saying inclusivity, we, everyone belongs there's love and care in the making of the clothes and in and for the people who do make the clothes distribute and market and do all the bits and pieces behind it. If hypothetically someone came along and went what's next for your journey? Here's a, I want to buy the label.

[00:22:16] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah,

[00:22:16] Judith Bowtell: You don't need to go into this here, but

[00:22:19] Karishma Kasabia: that's okay. I'm

[00:22:20] Judith Bowtell: what would you do? How would you negotiate that?

[00:22:23] Karishma Kasabia: It's really interesting. In all honesty, I'd say at this moment, right here, right now, I'm not ready. I know I haven't arrived at a point where I feel, I also realised in January when my son wasn't at home. I was like, call or gives me purpose. It gives me a reason to get out of bed that I love. It gives me drive and I just don't know that's not to say I wouldn't consider it. Yeah. But I know what it's cost me to get to here. And I think I love it so much right now that I energetically probably won't even attract it right now because I'm not looking to release it.

[00:23:00] Judith Bowtell: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:23:01] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah, but I wouldn't be surprised. I've thought about it. I looked at Arrow the other day and I was like, I wonder if he'll take it on. But the way he acts when he has to pack up your parcels, I'm like, I don't know if this is your game, honey. He's I want to be a pilot. And I was like, yeah maybe my, dashed a bit. So I don't know. I really don't know. I think there's a higher chance of someone I've worked with taking over or like a prodigy, but I just, yeah, I don't know. At this stage, it's just it's very precious and holds a lot of meaning in my life right now.

[00:23:30] Judith Bowtell: Yeah. Yeah. And you definitely feel that when you wear the clothes. 

[00:23:34] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah. 

[00:23:35] Judith Bowtell: The unique, that's so colourful. I always said I've been through body image issues and coming to a much kinder relationship with my body and being able to see representation of women in all sorts of sizes and shapes and how diverse we are. Is a huge part of that support for us in this community who are working through that. We spoke to Kerry Athanassiou, who's a stylist the other day about, how the work she does supports it as well. It can be world changing for people as well to see somebody in a size that looks like them wearing something that looks you know, fun. Yeah. Yeah. And comfortable and even sexy. And you go.

[00:24:15] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah. 

[00:24:16] Judith Bowtell: I can wear that then. Could 

[00:24:18] Karishma Kasabia: Yes.

[00:24:19] Judith Bowtell: Could I?

[00:24:22] Karishma Kasabia: Like to a thousand percent. Yes. Yeah. Oh, maybe that'll work on me. It seems to look okay on her. Maybe I'm a shot with this.

[00:24:30] Judith Bowtell: Yeah. Yeah. And anybody who's, working through any sort of thing around your body and your image and your identity to have a space where you can feel like you belong and go, yeah. I

[00:24:41] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah. A hundred percent.

[00:24:43] Judith Bowtell: Maybe I can't, what's the return policy thing? Oh, that sounds pretty good.

[00:24:49] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:24:51] Judith Bowtell: Yeah. Loving that. Yeah, so if you're not up to say it sounds like Kholo is the project for the moment. You also got travel plans. But what's the next thing for Kholo then? Is there something that's coming up that you'd like us to know about?

[00:25:04] Karishma Kasabia: I have to be really honest, like I've always seen it as just growth. In the sense of sure, you have more reach, more platform. But now I'm at this point where I know this might sound odd given the context of the question, but I realised that it's about my growth. It's about my success. I reckon it's my spiritual evolution because I feel like that then leads to how it manifests IRL. So I just don't know what layers are going to unlock. Like the last, I just, I literally dropped an audio note to a friend and I was like, it's to give up. It's the surrender point. And once you reach that, you open a whole new paradigm where you're like, I said to her, I said, this is amazing because I've reached this point now where. I'll literally have a voice in my head, which is go for it. I remember in the last year we had these cotton jacquard fabric and I was thinking, what should I make? And I was like, should I do the shorty button down? And I was like, it's short. I don't know if it's going to sell. Cause like previously, most of our audience would only want maxi length. And I was like, okay, if that's what you prefer. And then this voice in my head was like, do it. It'll sell. Literally we were selling at least one or two per day. And that helped me so much for cashflow. So now I feel what if I work with that intuitive knowing and I'm like, thinking right now, I'm like, am I in a place where I can lock in someone to come into the warehouse three days a week and just palm that whole responsibility over? But it's scary for me because, mate, that's commitment. And up until now, I've gotten away with no solid commitment in terms of staffing where everyone's happy to work for me casually but I do realize I need quite a structured role at the warehouse. And the voice in my head is do it, the money will come just trust. And now I'm just like, to me, I know this might sound really woo, but I feel like that's my level up. Everything like is a follow on from that. Of course, you run the ads, you get the buyers, you keep dropping stuff. That's all good and but I'm like what if I start working alongside my intuition? And where is that going to take me? I just feel like. That's a new frontier for me. Like I've seen little glimmers of it and now I'm fully in alignment. I'm like, go, let's go. Like I got, I trust it now. So yeah, I just feel like I know that sounds so woo for this kind of chat, but I'm really honest. Like you're asking a question

[00:27:34] Judith Bowtell: Oh,

[00:27:34] Karishma Kasabia: would tell me the real answer. 

[00:27:36] Judith Bowtell: That is a wonderful, as you say, full alignment. That's what we're all about, but there is actually a business model called present single theory you, but it was developed by a guy from MIT or him and his team also shawarma, that can't be right. Yeah.

[00:27:54] Karishma Kasabia: you say I

[00:27:55] Judith Bowtell: Otto the book is called Presence, or if you look up theory you with a you, and it's all about this idea of going through, problem solving through you. 

[00:28:06] Karishma Kasabia: Oh wow.

[00:28:08] Judith Bowtell: But it's that idea of the first start of presencing is about letting go, all about letting go. 

[00:28:14] Karishma Kasabia: Oh my God.

[00:28:15] Judith Bowtell: Go, and you do, and you move through it in the steps of having an open mind.

[00:28:20] Karishma Kasabia: yes.

[00:28:21] Judith Bowtell: So you are open to new ideas, open to it's all about listening and presencing. So you're coming to a presence with what the issue is or a presence with what the energy is around this thing. So you do it through open mind, open heart willing to be with uncomfortable emotions or whatever the emotional states are and that feeling connection, and then open will, being willing to do things differently. So mind so thinking, feeling and what your body is going to do. And then you get to a point at the bottom of the U, which is where they call it, let go, let come. 

[00:28:57] Karishma Kasabia: Yes. 

[00:28:57] Judith Bowtell: Where you're letting go the surrender and you're letting come something new and then climb up the other side of the U. It's not like you just jumped there and everything's move through it again on a very iterative feeling, sensing process of crystallising your idea. We'll just try it out small, one dress and then you prototype it and you might take a little bit further, and then eventually you create a new way of being. And I fell in love with this theory 10, 15 years ago.

[00:29:27] Karishma Kasabia: Wow. 

[00:29:27] Judith Bowtell: And I've been teaching it as well without perhaps fully understanding

[00:29:31] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:29:31] Judith Bowtell: through it myself. But I do know that feeling of occasionally yes, your inner self knows

[00:29:39] Karishma Kasabia: Yes. 

[00:29:39] Judith Bowtell: To do. Your inner self knows, yeah, that looks risky, but.

[00:29:44] Karishma Kasabia: yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:29:46] Judith Bowtell: It'll be okay. It'll be okay. And there are leaps of faith, but in some ways they're also like, this feels so much less risky than letting my head work this out.

[00:29:57] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah, true.

[00:29:59] Judith Bowtell: With that felt sense, going with, this work because I feel okay with it rather than making all your decisions with your head. So yeah, I understand what you're saying. Although I sometimes feel like I don't have those connections so often as I would like to have them because you can't force them. And as you

[00:30:19] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah.

[00:30:21] Judith Bowtell: spiritual practice of yoga and meditation, particularly the meditation and crafting the mind and allowing yourself to be with what is and not trying to fix or change does also allow for the messages to get through that your body is probably trying to tell you. And your heart is trying to tell you and you've just got to quieten down and let the noise drop away. Yeah, so I fully support this journey. I think it's wonderful. And it's very aligned with what I try and work with clients and

[00:30:51] Karishma Kasabia: Oh, cool.

[00:30:52] Judith Bowtell: you just got to find that image or that thing that lets you know you're on the right path.

[00:30:57] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah.

[00:30:58] Judith Bowtell: And then what you're doing is what you do. It's going to change and mix up and what have you. But as long as it feels good,

[00:31:05] Karishma Kasabia: Yes. Yeah.

[00:31:06] Judith Bowtell: It probably is. So yeah, if this is what feels like the next iteration and I'd say go for it, you'll work it out. I know you will. Yeah.

[00:31:18] Karishma Kasabia: Can you imagine if I was talking to investors and they're like, where do you see the business going in the next two, three years? I was like yes.

[00:31:24] Judith Bowtell: This is your also your deep knowing of the market. This is everything you've learned about the market is telling you that this is the next step. This is your experiments at this level are showing you that and you can translate it into, logic talk, but it's harder to do it the other way.

[00:31:43] Karishma Kasabia: I literally I think it was about a month ago when I thought, Oh, I need to move things. I'm going to really mark them down. And I had literally it was almost like no one touched anything. And then a couple of weeks later, I think Miriam and I, Miriam's my staff, she said to me, she goes, Karishma, I know what you earn. Because when I did a 10 day meditation retreat, she paid all my bills. So she goes, you want to live a life better than that. You're allowed to charge more for what you do. And you're not doing that. And she was really gentle about it. I'm probably articulating it different, but I it was like, yeah. And then suddenly it was like, I looked at the prices and I was like how much would you charge for that? If you knew Karishma touched it, if you knew Karishma designed it, and that was the energy she was bringing to it changed all the pricing. I just bumped it up. I was like, no, this is lovely to be in the feeling of this. That's an incredible feeling. This is what I feel I'd be happy with to receive rather than receiving with resentment that, Oh, I didn't get that much. And literally I saw sales come in and I was like, that is an energy change. It's not about the number. And I told my mom and I was like, mom, yeah, I had this like little chat with my God and they were like, yeah, go for it. And then it was interesting. My older sister, who's a radiologist comes from a really logic perspective. And she goes, yeah people want to spend money on value. They feel happier. And it was so interesting that she had the logic to support it. I had the intuition to support it. We're both saying the same thing, but it was really beautiful to be like, you can rationally express something, but also I literally, it was almost like the universe speaking to me when I bumped up the price within half an hour, I got a sale. And I was like, this is, I've never seen a dialogue so fast. Trust. We got you. Take the risk. You take the risk. And then within half an hour it's see taught yourself.

[00:33:34] Judith Bowtell: Yeah. I was hanging on to a job in government, I told the story a bit and I got I was meant to go for a promotion and I went for it, didn't get it, and I've had the call from the recruiter saying and I was really like I'd primed this promotion, I'd made moves to get it, and I really thought this was going to be my next step in government, blah, blah, and I didn't get it. And the recruiter was being very nice to me on the phone and the overwhelming feeling I was having as he was talking to me was relief.

[00:34:02] Karishma Kasabia: Oh yeah.

[00:34:04] Judith Bowtell: And not just relief, but I had a physical unknotting in my back.

[00:34:09] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah. 

[00:34:10] Judith Bowtell: the shoulder muscles that my yoga teacher said, I've spent so long trying to get those to unlock. And I went, Oh, they just happened in this phone call. And it was like, relief, like you are now free. And the voice in my head was, Oh God, we don't have to do that job. And you can go and do something else. And shortly after that, I was offered a redundancy. We were restructuring, what have you dah, and I went in and I said to my boss, I'm not going to reapply for my job. I'm going to do this instead. And she went, oh, that's a bugger because now I have to get somebody else to do it. But I understand. And I walked out going, I have nothing. I have nothing. I have nothing now. That's not a very big redundancy. I really have nothing. And I walked back into my office and I got a phone call from somebody saying, I've heard on the grapevine that you're available for work. And I was like, oh, my God, what is going on? And she said, yeah, I just need somebody three days a week to do this. Oh, no, she said, I need somebody to do this. And I said, can I do it three days a week? And she said, yeah, sure, that's fine. And and I was like, okay, done. And so it was just exactly as you said, once you said, actually, I'm going to do something I'm, this path has ended, I'm going to go this way, something did pop up. And it doesn't always work that way. But oh, it's and I could justify that quite logically, but it was also a nice feeling of actually, your body knows, your heart knows.

[00:35:30] Karishma Kasabia: Your body knows 

[00:35:31] Judith Bowtell: Your body knows, oh God. And whenever I go back into government and I have to put the corporate clothes on and the shoes and I just go.

[00:35:40] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah.

[00:35:41] Judith Bowtell: I don't know, I just don't anymore.

[00:35:43] Laughter.

[00:35:45] Karishma Kasabia: I don't know. Like I've reached a place of, I refuse. I refuse to do this. I don't want to do this. That's it. I'm done.

[00:35:51] Judith Bowtell: I'm not doing it. I'm not doing it. I teach people who are now working in government and I'm fine with that because I think I have things I could share and help them, support them, but I just yeah. And it's really interesting when you're running your own business, particularly because you can live so much of your life in fear.

[00:36:08] Karishma Kasabia: Yeah. A hundred 

[00:36:09] Judith Bowtell: percent is

[00:36:10] Karishma Kasabia: Oh,

[00:36:11] Judith Bowtell: not there.

[00:36:13] Karishma Kasabia: Can be all consuming. I don't think I could have done this if I was in my marriage. I think it's because I've left it. I don't have to worry about someone second guessing me. Me second guessing me is enough. Yeah. So if I were to be really honest, I think being aware of what energy is that other person bringing? And also I've learned something recently is to stay sovereign in your own energy. So say, for example, if I say to you I love your lips. Like they look so beautiful. Now that's going to feel really uplifting and you're going to probably remember that it's true, right? For the rest of the day, it's also true. But also if someone gives you the opposite or gives you an eyebrow raise, when you put the lipstick on, you're going to carry that with you through the day. And you're going to be like, Oh, they don't like it that I'm not so sure. And I'm learning now that needs to be irrelevant from my internal compass. Even if I do get a partner and I end up being with someone, I can't carry their vibration. So let alone their dialogue, their verbal expression, but the energetic vibrations for whatever they're feeling. I'm like, that's not on me. That's on you. But to be able to have that distinction where I'm not absorbing that anymore to say, Oh, this is me in my fullness and it's perfectly fine. And I'm bouncing off that rather than receiving it. I think I suspect that the reason why I'm also separated was to go through that lesson to learn to stay in my sovereignty. That's been massive for me. Like I look at couples who do it and I'm like, they must have their own dynamics for how they deal around that. Cause I think a partner can be so influential. I know mine was for me, there was one time he looked at me. And he said to me, and he had a double masters in finance. So he had two masters. And he said to me, I just don't know how this is going to work. And I think. He probably had no idea, he might have just been expressing his concerns or where he was at. But the doubt that put in me because I didn't believe in myself enough already. That would have been quite crushing for me and I didn't know it at the time. And like just learning from Okay. That's not the best thing to say, yeah, I think being wary of the other, and it doesn't have to be a partner. It could be a friend. It could be a mom. I went to New Zealand for the wedding and my mom was like, Oh, I'm not sure about the curly hair, and I realized how impacted I was by a passing comment that I straightened my hair, fricking hated it. Why have I done this? My mom, she had no malice. She was just off the cuff saying something gently, not realizing that I'm already in doubt about I know what it means to be an Indian at a wedding, but yeah, they don't get it. They're like, this is messy. So it's like bringing up childhood trauma where aunties come in and they're like, you should brush your hair. I regretted it. I loved everything else about the wedding, but my own stupid decision not to accept myself. I just like, Oh, I can't carry other people's vibrations. Now I have to be so strong that I'm like, not what I'm doing is good enough. Who I am is good enough.

[00:39:16] Judith Bowtell: Yeah. We talk about boundaries and how they are an act of self compassion Kirsten Neff who changed my life talking about self compassion, but then she's also started talking about this idea of fierce self compassion, which is boundaries, self advocacy, speaking up for yourself. All those parts of self compassion. Supporting yourself, but it's is there a way of holding that? That's not combative. That's not taking energy. It's just a way of being that is, as you say, your own sovereignty, your own self. Wow, we could talk for a long time. But let's wrap it up for now and maybe we'll get you back at another time. Please listeners, check out Kholo the Label on Instagram. It's always a good time. And the website is k h o l o and you'll find just, glorious patterns and colour and embroidery and just clothes you want to wear. And once you put them on, oh, God, they feel good. And and I just urge you to check it out and see, what the day might be like if you stepped out in something a bit bright and adventurous. And thank you so much for being part of the journey of Aligned and Thriving.

[00:40:27] Karishma Kasabia: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

[00:40:29] Judith Bowtell: Very welcome. So best of luck with everything. What's your next adventure or something that we can 

[00:40:36] Karishma Kasabia: Oh, 

[00:40:36] Judith Bowtell: to?

[00:40:38] Karishma Kasabia: nothing.

[00:40:38] Judith Bowtell: Nothing? Okay.

[00:40:40] Karishma Kasabia: Like this girl. No, really. Like I have nothing in the pipeline, nothing planned, just like new drops all the time. So definitely new clothes every two weeks ish. I've got a black dress coming up with mirror work at the bottom. I just have to check the pattern today. And if you'll see it go live in a week or two.

[00:40:57] Judith Bowtell: oh, watch out for that. Watch out for that. Kholo goes size 6 to 26. That's a lot of people. So thank you for that too. All right. Take care and we'll look forward to seeing you at some other point. And for the listeners, thank you so much for joining us today. And we look forward to seeing you again next week.

[00:41:14] All the best.

[00:41:16] Bye.

Karishma's transition to Kholo from her previous design agency, emphasizing inclusivity and self-expression in the brand's evolution.
Discussion on Karishma's upbringing, lessons from her parents, and the process of unlearning old patterns to forge a new path.
Exploration of Kholo's core values such as authenticity, inclusivity, and the significance of intuition in business decisions.
Karishma's perspective on spirituality, meditation, and intuition's role in both business and personal growth.
Discussion on maintaining boundaries, sovereignty over one's energy, and not absorbing others' opinions, especially in relationships.
Wrap-up with insights into Kholo's future, including upcoming product releases.