Happy International Women’s Day

By Charlotte Gilks

International Women’s Day (March 8th 2020) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

We at Makerversity want to celebrate the incredible members that we admire. Here is just a selection and their inspiring achievements.

Shilpa Sehdev

Shilpa joined Makerversity through the Prince’s Trust ‘Get Started in Product Design’ we run in the space. She joined Makerversity members Eaten, for a week of work experience and decided she did not want to leave us! Through the Under 25s Membership, she was able to begin making again and has recently exhibited with Makerversity.

‘Recovering from a serious illness that threw me into a coma, surviving when all the odds were against me. It gave me a second chance at life, enabling me to pursue my true passion and love for Arts, namely sculpture and installation. That lead me to the recent exhibition Re-Wiring Wellness at Somerset House.’

Banasa Williams

Banasa is the cofounder of Ksoni, a sustainable body care brand on a mission to extend the eco-mindset from the kitchen to the bathroom via unique, plastic-free packaging. Their aim is to offer consumers the opportunity to access premium & natural bathroom products whilst simultaneously reducing their use of single-use plastics.

‘Launching Ksoni to the public in October 2019 after over a year of working on the brand! We faced so many obstacles to get to this point (and so many people who said a plastic-free shower product couldn’t be done successfully) so I’m thrilled that it’s out there and people are loving it! ‘

Nanna Guldbæk

Nanna moved to London to develop a sustainable material made from waste from the craft beer industry. She is now the co-founder of the circular design studio luna:lab – a design studio working with waste-streams, developing their own materials and re-imagining services and systems.

‘We have founded collaborations across countries and industries: working with design studios, breweries, manufacturers, producers, universities. A vast range of people; beer drinkers, designers, brewers, scientists and different material developers. All with the big goal of a more sustainable future. We dare to dream big..’

Yaprak Goker

Yaprak is the founder of Atelier Serendipity, a design studio, consultancy and school, providing workshops and short courses on art, design and new technologies. She studied two masters, Sound Engineering & Design at Istanbul Technical University and Information Experience Design: Sound Design at the Royal College of Art. After building her company this year, she joined Makerversity just last month.

‘I was one of the selected participants to a Hackathon in Berlin with MIT MediaLab – here is the outcome. A Sound & Light installation I worked on was exhibited at London Light Festival 2019. I’ve taken part in various group Exhibitions including the 24 hours in Uchronia at Somerset House. Coming up I will be in the eighth Mamut Art Project in Istanbul. I sing as a contralto in a professional A cappella choir and the last concern we gave was with Bobby McFerrin & Gimme5.’ 

Helen Tartaglia

Helen is part of Hydro-Commons, who won the Northbank BID residency through our City Co-Labs: Re-Making Place Civic Hack. You can read about their amazing proposal and journey here. She studied MA Design Expanded Practice at Goldsmiths University. Developing a hybrid practice that broke away from traditional roles in design, instead creating a portfolio of research that focused on some of the most challenging issues faced by urban society.

‘Becoming a fellow with the UN’s SDSN Youth: Local Pathways Fellowship, and winning the residency at Makerversity with Nasra Abdullahi (Cofounder of Hydro-Commons).’

Joti Sohi

Joti is the co-founder of Ksoni, with Banasa (read above). She studied a Bachelors of Commerce, followed by a Chartered Accountant designation with KPMG Toronto. However after 4 years she followed the excitement of adventure and moved to London, spending 5 years in Management consulting. However, she could not see herself being happy the more she progressed. So changed career, with no experience but a whole lot of determination, to launch a food start up Secret Samosa Club. Going from client meetings in the city to making a 2000 samosas a week from scratch in her kitchen. Upon meeting Banasa, she was able to launch her 2nd venture, Ksoni, a sustainable bathroom brand to provide more options beyond the tried and often hated shampoo/conditioner bars.

‘1 year after incorporating and many iterations of products and business models we launched Ksoni! This is to date my largest achievement. I have found an amazing friend and business partner to grow a brand that we are building together to make it easier for ourselves and others to make more sustainable decisions.I feel the skills I gained from my nearly 10 years in the corporate world coupled with Banasa’s vast marketing and retail experience are the perfect mix to build a truly successful and sustainable business. We now have products on the shelf, a growing community of loyal customers and a bigger audience for our sustainability message – we’re excited to see what the coming months/years have in store for Ksoni!’

Insiya Jafferjee

Insiya studied Innovation Design Engineering, a masters between the Royal College of Art and Imperial College of London. She now runs The Shellworks, a team are currently transforming waste lobster shells into recyclable biodegradable plastic. As part of the Makers with a Mission membership, The Shellworks have had 6 months free membership at Makerversity.

‘My greatest achievement is co-founding The Shellworks. Never really thought I’d want to start something, let alone be the CEO of it. ‘

Mara Pezzotta

Mara is a multidisciplinary designer with a background in Industrial and Interior design, currently Product Designer at Chrome Cherry Design and Innovation based in Makerversity. Writing a book on Controversial Design, she is focused on exploring possible connections between design objects, their archetypical symbols and behavioural patterns adopted by society during their usage.

‘I’m proud to be working at full speed with Chrome Cherry for the launch of 2 products that involved me actively as a designer. I am planning to complete my Controversial Design book by this spring/summer 2020 and launch the book within the community.’

Thank you to all our incredible members for speaking to us. We wish you a Happy International Women’s Day!

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Charlotte Gilks
Posted By Charlotte Gilks