WASHINGTON, Aug 14 :Iqbal Sheikh believes in innovation in business. But he also believes in doing the groundwork meticulously before starting a new business venture.
So, when, he launched his latest venture – a foray into the highly competitive world of fashion – the Pakistani-American entrepreneur looked around carefully to see what was in, what was out and what could satisfy the taste of culturally rich and diverse communities in Austin, Texas.
He chose the brands both boldly and beautifully, as he set about introducing a new concept in the Hill Country Galleria carrying the most trendy clothing in women’s fashion.
“Our fashion cognoscenti have set out to bring the finest in women’s jeans, dresses, blouses, handbags, shoes and jewelry from Brazil to the U.S. such as Bruno Menegattis, handcrafted leather shoes, Bobby Schandra’s Swarovski crystal jewelry and exclusive exotic leather bags, Henry & Belle’s denim jeans,” he says, exuding confidence.
Sheikh’s confidence comes from his entrepreneurial spirit as well as years of experience and expertise in heading businesses, both in Pakistan and the United States.
In the world of fashion, boutiques arraying dresses, jewelry, hand bags, foot wares, hold the greatest appeal.
Since his arrival, just a decade ago, Sheikh has already distinguished himself in the business circles. He heads Cybertex, a computer company which employs dozens of tech-savvy Americans in the area.
“I have not confined myself, and want to explore more business opportunities that this land offers,” says Sheikh, who was also instrumental in establishing Charlie Wilson Chair in Pakistan Studies , the 1st privately funded Chair in Pakistan Studies) at the University of Texas at Austin.
Sheikh had led the effort to raise half a million dollars to match the grant by the Temple Foundation. He also on the advisory council of Texans for Stem Cell Research, Austin, Texas.
The aesthetically bedecked Young & Fabulous at Hill Country Galleria is already pulling customers with attractions including Bruno Menegatti foot ware and Bobby Schandra handbags.
Bruno Menegatti is a line of fashion women leather shoes made in Brazil exclusively for export and sold in the US only throughout the best first class stores and boutiques, he says.
The design is inspired on the latest European fashion and is handmade by the best shoemakers in the south of Brazil in a region where descendants of German and Italian immigrants combined state-of-the-art technology with fine arts and fashion to deliver one of the best shoes in the market.
Bobby Schandra’s designs go beyond trends. “They make statements. They inspire. They lend luxury to any ensemble. A favorite amongst Hollywood’s hottest celebrities, also worn by Ali Faulkner on the Red Carpet, actress from Twilight and on hit shows like Entourage, True Blood, Jane by Design.”
As for Bobby Schandra bags and jewelry, Sheikh says, they are must-haves for any occasion, any season. “You’ll find the designer’s exclusive collection of handmade leather purses and handbags, as well as stunning travel jewelry, Swarovski crystal jewelry, Swarovski crystal clutches, and designer handbags for less all designed and hand selected by Bobby Schandra.”
The owner also points to Henry & Belle, saying exclusively sold at Young & Fabulous are the jeans the stars are raving about.
First few weeks have been encouraging. “I am absolutely thrilled by the art-conscious and sophistication-seeking customers in the area. Things are looking up,” says Sheikh, who is vice president of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce-USA.
So where is Sheikh, who has already garnered several recognitions to his credit, headed in his latest business venture?
As he spoke by phone from Austin, Sheikh received the news that his Cybertex Institute of Technology has earned the 3498th position in the prestigious Inc 2012 5000 list of top companies.
“I want to open up many branches of Young and Fabulous in other parts of the United States,” says the business as yet another recognition for his entrepreneurial spirit is round the corner.