#BEYOUROWN MEETS ALEX PAWLOWSKA
Looking for Heroes is a project dedicated to sharing empowering stories of everyday people. Founded by Alex Pawlowska, the project was born out of the need for more inspiring stories, out of the need for finding a hero within and taking charge of one’s dreams.
Alex believes that everybody has a story to share, everybody has something to teach and that we can and that we should be our own heroes. By finding that the courage we see in others, we can also find in ourselves, and stories help with that.
Thank you for joining us Alex can you tell us a little bit about your background story as the founder of Looking for Heroes?
At the time when I needed more positivity in my life, I started gathering stories from everyday people that empowered and gave hope, not only to others but also to me. That’s how Looking for Heroes started. One day, I dreamt about creating products that had power, just like these stories did, to transform and to create change. And with that, here we are today.
How do you aim to empower others through the Looking for Heroes platform with your brand ethos and mission statement?
I believe that words are powerful, that stories are powerful. From the beginning Looking for Heroes has been a place dedicated to sharing stories of hope, inspiration and empowerment from everyday people. When I started the platform, I needed more inspiration, more empowerment myself. This ethos of empowering people to be their own heroes is woven into everything we do, especially now, as I am moving to launch our first ethical fashion line.
Photograph by Chelsea Brown @chelsealynbrown
You have recently launched a sustainable fashion label, ‘The Power Collection’ in line with Looking for Heroes which is sourced organically from local growers in India. Can you tell us about the market research you studied prior to launching, the setup process?
I have been working on Looking for Heroes for a few years. One day after coming back from work, I dared to put an idea that was bubbling in my head on paper. I saw what it could be, I saw what it could challenge. I called it The Power Collection. I didn’t have any background in fashion but I was determined to bring this to life. I wanted every part of this collection to be meaningful: from sourcing to production, from messaging to values that we will be promoting. I started from reading about sustainable fashion, going through websites about ethical production, reading books and watching documentaries about the subject. It took time to find the right partners.
One day I came across a Google Ad sharing a story about a shelter in India that hires and trains women in need. Providing them with fair pay, giving them opportunities to earn raises and promotions, creating a safe space for them to spend time and grow. Named WORK + SHELTER, it was a partner I was looking for. The way I think about it now, is that they were looking for me and I was looking for them.
I wanted this line to be as transparent as possible. I wanted our audience to know where their clothes are made and to be able to get to know the people who made their clothes. That’s why it was important to me to visit India, to visit our production and material provider, and to film and photograph as much as I could.
We love how you tackle the industry’s beauty standards by being all-inclusive, can you tell us why you felt this was an all-important factor when launching The Power Collection and how are you encouraging the revolution?
It was very important for me to focus on promoting values that matter to me. I wanted to choose models based on who they are as people because that is what is truly important. Latest statistics show, that 70% of women globally still don’t feel represented in media and feel anxious about reaching unrealistic beauty standards*. The message behind The Power Collection and my work with Looking for Heroes is that every single person matters, that every story is valuable and that every person is powerful. That’s what I wanted to shine through this collection. I want to make people feel powerful with who they are and where they are in their lives.
*Source: Dove research as a part of Project #ShowUs in partnership with GettyImages and Girlgaze.
Photograph by Chelsea Brown @chelsealynbrown
Can you give us three ways in which we can come on board and support Looking for Heroes?
We are launching the Kickstarter campaign on the 3rd of March and we will need all the support. The most powerful way to support is to become one of our backers. You can also help by sharing the campaign with your network whether it is on social media, on WhatsApp on via email. Following us on social networks and engaging with our content also helps.
Models (From the left): Kayela Damaze, Meena Bhella, Sylvia Mac, Zeba, Zeba Anjum Jahangir. Photograph by Alex Pawlowska
Who is the most influential female powerhouse that you admire and why?
There is a line of women that I learn from every single day. Whether it is from my mum, aunties, friends and co-workers, reading a biography or watching an honest documentary about a woman’s life. I learn from everyone I meet and am so grateful for the positive influences that I have around me.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
Being your own means to me:
- Finding the courage to follow your own path
- To listen to your own heart and let it guide you
- It is to ask for help
- And to never think that you know everything there is to know
- It is humbleness
- In knowing that life has a plan for you
- Working hard at things you can better
- And surrounding those that you can not
- Being your own
- Is what we all owe to ourselves
- It is what we are here to do
Models (From the left): Hodaya Vaknin, Corinne Cazeneuve, Charlie Craggs, Tene Edwards. Photograph by Alex Pawlowska.
What does 2020 look like for you and how are you looking to expand Looking for Heroes?
2020 looks to me like a year of stepping out of my comfort zone and allowing myself to be seen. This year, I feel I have to be exceptionally brave, as I embark on an adventure of putting an idea out there to the world. My main focus is our Kickstarter campaign, and as I don’t know what will happen, all I can do is trust and hope that whatever life has in store for me, will arrive.
Support the Kickstarter campaign here
Join BEYOUROWN Membership Club to connect, network and feel inspired amongst many of our like-minded ambitious women just like you