A Meeting with the Women of Fuzia
We recently had the privilege of meeting some of the women behind Fuzia. Fuzia is a platform dedicated to create an equal, user-friendly and healthy space for women that nurtures and empowers their creativity, and encourages them to express and share their work. With over 10,000 members and around 4 million total followers on social media, Fuzia is making great strides in giving women a place to share their stories.
Fuzia is a social media platform that was created to help women connect with each other, learn from mutual exchange of knowledge and grow their skills through constant support from other users.
Fuzia was founded with the aim of making the web-experience for women free of abuse and harassment. It was also built with the goal of social entrepreneurship to give each woman an opportunity to be financially empowered. Fuzia is home to hundreds and hundreds of artists, designers, writers, photographers, YouTubers, and other creatives. Fuziaites have a platform where they can speak their minds, explore their own potential and find their true calling.
Fuzia was founded in 2012 by Riya Sinha, an enthusiastic young high school student and the author of Runaway Twins. What started as “Fuzia Writing Club” has now become a global platform helping girls pursue their dreams. Through her efforts with Fuzia, Riya was awarded the Iconic Teen Entrepreneur and Innovator award at the Women Economic Forum in 2018. The co-founder of Fuzia is Shraddha Varma, a confident and motivated leader who inspires the team to work with dedication and fervour. Shradda leads and drives Global Marketing and Operations, with her core team members, Ria Singhal, Riya Kumar, and Sakshi Shrivastava. The Fuzia team was awarded the Young Leaders Creating a Better World for All in 2018.
The following comes from an interview we recently held with Riya and Shraddha.
What is Fuzia to you?
Shradda Varma: Fuzia is where you learn, grow, express and understand each other, it’s where women empower each other. It is a place where women come together, collaborate, share and showcase their expressions and creative voices, thereby creating a fusion of cultures and ideas which is the true essence of what we believe in. Fuzia is a unique initiative which aims to redefine the meaning of social media for women who wish to build their own identity, learn, grow and become independent.
How did you start Fuzia? What was the original inspiration?
Riya Sinha: The idea for Fuzia was born when I was 11 years old. I had always liked writing, and had just written a book about to twins who ran away from their evil babysitter. I was giving copies to my local bookstore, when a little girl approached me and told me that because she had seen me write a book at such a young age, she now wanted to write a book as well. I was so happy to have inspired someone in that way, and I realized then that I could have an influence on other people, despite my age. I then set out to create Fuzia. Originally, it was a writers club for women, a place where people could go to find support and encouragement for their work. Over the years, we have developed into a creative platform for women. Women post any creative work- photography, art, poetry, music, and gain lasting connections with other women in order to empower each other. Fuzia is simply a platform for women to empower themselves to create a better world for all.
What has been the greatest lesson you've taken from Fuzia?
RS: The biggest lesson I’ve learned from Fuzia is empathy. When forming a new website, especially a social one, you need to take into consideration what other people will think, not just yourself. You need to act as if you’ve never seen the website before and try to foresee any problems people may encounter or if something isn’t as intuitive for other people as it is for you. You have to think like a user, not like yourself. This skill definitely took time for me to learn, but it it’s something that I’ll carry with me forever.
SV: Always listen to your members. Users are the first owners and they decide the fate. Be empathetic. Sisterhood and empathy is sometimes lost in our superficial world of social media profiles and competition. I have learnt and realised that the power of appreciation and encouragement is highly significant in shaping a person’s life. When women support each other, great things happen. They get the strength to be themselves, develop confidence and bring out their voices. This fact has deeply influenced me and this is what I will always remember.
How has your perception of self-confidence changed since you've started Fuzia?
SV: The perception of self –confidence for me has now become associated a lot with self- satisfaction. It definitely gives a great sense of pride and motivation when I see the support and feedback coming from thousands of people globally. I would say that, just start expressing yourself and live your passions. The love and appreciation that you would get eventually would not only give you a kick to share/do more but also develop a lot of self- confidence and self- satisfaction within you.
Each day I wake up, I know that my team and I – will positively touch so many girls and women today – give them a chance – give them a creative voice – showcase their talent – and drive power of feminism and women empowerment. That is so motivating and inspiring. This just makes me more confident, more satisfied and encourages me to do more.
RS: I think that my perception of self-confidence has become more developed because of Fuzia. I used to think that people were naturally born self-confident and if you were shy or quiet, you would stay like that. But because of Fuzia, I have realized that self-confidence is a journey. Anybody can grow more confident and become sure of themselves- and I have realized that the best way to develop confidence is just to keep sharing parts of yourself and accept the appreciation you get for just simply being you- which is what Fuzia really aims to do.
How has your perception of what it means to be a woman and what feminism is after starting Fuzia?
RS: Because of Fuzia, I have realized how many talented and strong women there are in the world. There is no set definition of what it means to be a woman, no “right” way to be a woman. We are all growing and changing everyday, and that is truly beautiful. In terms of feminism, I think Fuzia has helped to expand my definition of what feminism is. It is so important to be an intersectional feminist and care about the rights of all women, recognize the role that race and geography plays in gaining equality, and help all women- whether that be a girl in California or a girl in India or Indonesia- be empowered. Fuzia is simply a platform where women can empower themselves in whatever way they feel is correct- and we are here to encourage them.