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Business Leaders

Celebrating Womanhood: Harp Sohal, Founder & Creative Director Pink Orchid Studio, Pink Orchid Studio Cosmetics, Harperliving.ca

Monica Sethi Darpan, 18 Mar, 2024 05:17 PM
  • Celebrating Womanhood: Harp Sohal, Founder & Creative Director Pink Orchid Studio, Pink Orchid Studio Cosmetics, Harperliving.ca

"Be resilient, and don't question or doubt yourself. Just keep going forward. The only way forward is through. If you go through it head-on, you get through it."- Harp Sohal Founder & Creative Director, Pink Orchid Studio

At the helm of Pink Orchid Studio, Harp Sohal orchestrates a symphony of creativity, managing studios across North America, spearheading a cosmetic line, and delving into the realm of DIY and home traditions. Despite her multifaceted responsibilities, she remains a devoted full-time mom, embodying the essence of a modern woman who thrives in every aspect of her life.

Sohal's journey began with an unyielding passion for makeup and hair, a pursuit initially perceived as unconventional by societal standards. Encountering initial resistance, she persisted, revolutionizing the industry and winning accolades such as the BC Best Wedding Award for Pink Orchid Studio six times consecutively. Sohal's strategic use of social media, especially Facebook, was pivotal in achieving global recognition for her brand.

Beyond her thriving career, Sohal is deeply invested in giving back to the community. The Facing the Mirror program, initiated by her, offers a transformative experience for women facing challenges such as illness or abuse. Providing free hair and makeup classes, along with empowering photoshoots, Sohal aims to instill confidence and inner strength in these women, recognizing that beauty is more than skin deep.

Sohal's commitment to integrity and open communication forms the bedrock of her success. Overcoming the initial challenges of being underestimated, especially as a South Asian woman, she carved a niche for herself and her academy. Today, Pink Orchid Studio stands as a force to be reckoned with, a testament to Sohal's resilience and dedication.

In her powerful quote, Sohal encapsulates the essence of womanhood: "I love being a woman, a shapeshifter. I love working with hair and makeup and becoming whoever, I want to be that day. It helps me feel empowered." Her authenticity on social media serves as an inspiration, encouraging others to fight for their dreams with courage. Her greatest achievement lies in the success of her students, seeing them surpass her and pass on the legacy of Pink Orchid Studio to the next generation.

Sohal draws inspiration from the strong women around her. Their unwavering support and wisdom fuel her daily drive to be a better person. She advises others to be resilient, move forward without self-doubt, and face challenges head-on.

As a master artist, entrepreneur, and mentor, Harp Sohal's secret to success lies in perseverance. Her journey reflects the belief that talent may open doors, but perseverance propels one forward. Sohal's story is an ode to the resilience of South Asian women, a celebration of breaking barriers, and a reminder that every challenge can be overcome with a steadfast spirit.

What does being a woman mean to you? 

As women, we have the ability to wear many hats. I feel there's no limit to what we can do. I love being a woman, a shapeshifter. I love working with hair and makeup and becoming whoever I want to be that day. It helps me feel empowered. At the same time, being a woman involves having a strong sense of identity and realizing that our bodies change at different times, which we must adapt to. So, just having the wisdom and being grateful for what we have but still hungry for growth.

What do you consider as your greatest achievement?

I would say all the people who have graduated from Pink Orchid Studio. For me, that is building a legacy. Some of my students have surpassed me. I am passionate about passing the baton on to the next generation.

What or who inspires you to be better every day?

My mother-in-law! She calls me every day, no matter what. She told me you are marrying my pride and joy, but no matter what happens, just treat me like a mother, and I'll treat you like a daughter, and she kept her promise. She calls me, checks on me, and shares such great wisdom. If I could be half the woman she is, I would consider myself very lucky. 

What would you advise those who feel inspired by your journey?

Be resilient, and don't question or doubt yourself. Just keep going forward. The only way forward is through. If you go through it head-on, you get through it.

What's your mantra for success?

Perseverance. Just keep at it. Perseverance will outweigh talent. I say this to my artists: You could be the most talented artists, but if you don't have empathy, perseverance, or the guts to wake up and chase your dreams, you'll not get those bookings. You'll only get those bookings if you do the work. Whenever a door slammed on my face, I knocked on another one. I know that, somehow, I'll make it through. There's always a solution.

Photo: Fahad Photo

A Huge Thank You To All Our Valuable Sponsors for making the Gala Possible!!!  

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