Founder of womenswear brand Forever Unique talks inspiration and importance of good hard graft
You’re a business owner, designer and mother. How do you balance all of your commitments?
I’ve worked my entire life and without my family and devoted team at Forever Unique, I wouldn’t have been able to balance everything at once. They have always been dedicated, loyal and continue to be committed to making the Forever Unique brand a success. We’re like one big family and it’s something I really do appreciate.
Where do you find inspiration for Forever Unique’s designs?
I’ve always been inspired by the glamourous supermodels of the late 1980s including the likes of Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, and Naomi Campbell. This gave me the drive to set out to reinvent the glamorous woman of today. The Forever Unique woman is glamourous, daring and, oozes confidence. She is a ‘girl’s girl’ who speaks her mind and empowers others.
Why would you say have been the secrets to your success?
I think it’s because of my grounded upbringing, my supportive family and of course my loyal team at Forever Unique. Together, we’re all grafters. It hasn’t been an easy-ride; we’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into Forever Unique and I think it’s the passion we have that has made it a success.
“Together, we’re all grafters. It hasn’t been an easy-ride; we’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into Forever Unique and I think it’s the passion we have that has made it a success.”
Seema, Sandeep and Aaron Malhotra at A-Magazine’s Umbrella Ball 2017
Your parents raised you with traditional values. Are they something you try to instill in your sons?
Absolutely! My parents taught me to be tough, persevere and to work hard. My husband Sandeep and I ensure that our sons stay grounded, driven and value the importance of hard work. They are amazing kids who are full of enthusiasm and creative ideas; we just bounce off each other.
Do you think women bring something different to business than men?
Women have had so much more to prove over the last 100 years and things have changed dramatically for women in business in terms of opportunity and equality. I think skills like empathy, optimism, and women’s intuition work towards the benefit of a company. I also think women are fabulous multitaskers! I’ve been fortunate enough to have an extremely supportive husband who has always encouraged me to keep striving. Women will be running the world in no time!
What was the biggest obstacle on your journey to becoming a fashion designer?
I think being taken seriously in an extremely competitive industry.
What advice would you give to upcoming fashion designers?
I would say, never give up or become complacent. Stay true to yourself and never self-doubt. I think it’s important that the right criticisms should be taken constructively and I honestly believe that if you have the vision and drive, you can achieve anything.
Do you spend much time with your Real Housewives of Cheshire co-stars off-screen?
We do try to squeeze in time together but sometimes it’s difficult when you’re juggling motherhood and work commitments. I see Stacey the most off-screen. We just click and she’s a gal pal for life! We’ve also invested in a top restaurant in Manchester, Menagerie, so we’re now business partners. She’s just a breath of fresh air and we have a lot of fun together.
Was there a moment when you felt like you’d ‘made it’?
I’ve had moments where I’ve pinched myself but I’ve always been someone who always tries to improve! A moment I’m really proud of is when Kate Middleton wore one of my pieces – that was a real honour.
Follow Seema @seemaforeverunique
Shop Seema’s designs at foreverunique.co.uk