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Summer Sharma: Not All Bindis & Saris

Hey! I'm Summer, the founder and business owner of Kulfi Culture Crew that brings together creative entrepreneurs from all over the world to teach them how to make money with their art. I'm a 24 year old journalist & photographer who loves culture and travel. I'll also chase down sunsets and scrape my butt for the perfect picture. I enjoy working out, consuming fashion, art, beautiful colors, and engaging conversations with wonderful people. Here's my story:  

Not All Bindis & Saris: The Non-traditional life of an Indian Immigrant Turned Business Woman

This is not going to be a happy story of culture – Instead a lesson of the unheard Indian story through me.

It is interesting because being Indian and in America, everyone assumes that you live a good life. That’s not my story. I didn’t grow up in an expensive house with a pooja room, have saris draped in the living room, or have separate dishes for different daal and meat. My mom, dad, and I immigrated to America with little to nothing in our pocket, and I loved the little house I grew up in. We all slept on 1 mattress, and I didn’t know any different. Fast forward – through a messy divorce with my parents, my dad keeping all the money, my mom and I moving between places with barely enough to eat --  I knew I didn’t want to struggle or have her struggle anymore. This hyper-sped version of events is merely there to illustrate that we, Indians aren’t all the same like the media makes it seem.

Being a poor Indian in America. What a contradictory statement. It seems like we are all rich and can afford the clothes, meals more than once a day, sweets in the cabinet with chai but that’s not the case. This is not a sob story. I have opposing beliefs about certain aspects of the “tradition,” but I love being Indian. I love the art, beauty, hustle, and color that is Indian. As a photographer and writer today, my influence stems from Indian art, architecture, and overall love for family and nature. I also love being an Indian in America.

Struggling as a first generation Indian in America opened up a world where life seems to dance with you as long as you keep trying – no matter how often you fail. That’s exactly what I did. I knew that I had to keep pushing for my mom and a better life – that’s why I went to college to study Journalism. After perfecting my craft, I now teach other creatives how to make money doing what they love. I have created a platform – Kulfi Culture Crew -- for artists all over the world to share their work and learn how to create a business with their passion. Even if it’s just enough to pay a few bills or completely take care of their family. It’s something I wish existed when I was first starting my creative journey.

Being a first generation Indian, I saw and faced struggles that I loved to maneuver through – That tired feeling is what many artists feel when they push against the status quo to own their own. I enjoy the process of building – something generations of immigrants have done before me, and will continue to do.

Now that you have the sped-up version of my blurry life – If you are curious about what I’m doing today feel free to follow me and say hey! IG: @_summersharma Podcast about Creatives in Business: @kulfi.culture


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