Sobia Ameen, an architect turned baker, has a long list of accomplishments. She is an architect, model, social activist, and, above all, a content creator. Featured as a model for the prominent Indian fashion designer whose images from the campaign caused quite a stir in the fashion industry of the subcontinent. Born and raised in Bangladesh, the architect-turned-baker-&-model began her career in Australia. Sobia discussed her background, her journey to becoming one of the most well-known faces on social media, and her future aspirations in an exclusive interview with TINDS.
TINDS: Where were you born? Tell us a little about your childhood.
SOBIA: I was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh. My childhood, I’d say, was quite lonely. I have had phases where I have been very quiet and parts where I was the most talkative one around. But for the most part, I was an introvert. My father put in a lot of hard work to keep me occupied, and I was put into a bunch of after-school programs. I used to draw and paint and was on the swim team for eight years. I learned karate, and I played the piano till I was in the eighth grade. I picked up on a lot of things coming along. I appreciate this a lot because my parents always emphasized the importance of being creative.
TINDS: 3 words that describe you the best
SOBIA: Loyal, Honest & Loving.
TINDS: What would you say is your worst quality?
SOBIA: Probably not being able to shut up when I start talking. I think I speak too much and often too much of the truth. I do believe I should start putting some sort of filter!
TINDS: How many languages do you speak?
SOBIA: I speak fluent English, Bengali & Hindi. I can speak French, it comes back to me whenever I am near French-speaking communities or around as I learned it when I was a kid. And a lot of people say my Hindi sounds like I am from Mumbai or Maharashtra.
TINDS: How did your social media journey start? Tell us a little about that.
SOBIA: A saree brand sent me more than a few sarees to do a photo shoot, and I thought that it was so sweet of the brand to send me so many products that I could keep. I had my sister taking pictures of me, who went like, you do understand this is a profession, and people charge brands for doing this? I was amazed because initially, I was not really into the numbers, and I was posting it for my own satisfaction, to be honest.
TINDS: Tell us about the transition from being an architect to a baker.
SOBIA: When I moved back from Australia, within six months, I got my two dogs, Elachi & Darchini. When I came here, I felt I had to be a lot more reserved than how I was back in Sydney. I was kind of passing a rather depressing stage of my life, and I wanted to be near my parents. That, I believe, was a very big turning point for me. I started working for my dad in our firm, which was a 9 to 5 situation. I enjoyed that for a bit, eventually something just did not click. Whenever there was a social gathering, I’d bake a cake for the event. People often thought I used to buy them until I corrected them that I was in fact the baker. Many started to ask if I was selling them, but I never had before thought of doing so, but I did. It was overwhelming for me to continue the 9 to 5 routine and return home to bake 3 or 4 cakes, it got very hectic very quickly. My parents were very supportive and asked me to go ahead and bake if I was willing. I enjoyed my time baking, being part of people’s lives and their celebrations is such a sweet idea, fills me with joy and delight.
TINDS: Now, enlighten us a little about being the social media influencer from the successful happy baker.
SOBIA: While working with the cakes, I had time to photograph myself a lot. So, brands would reach out to me and send me clothes and stuff. The saree thing I mentioned earlier happened while I was still a full-time architect, I wasn’t fully aware of what I was doing, and I learned along the way. I am often asked how I learned to edit videos and stuff. The only exposure I had to social media was Youtube because I’d watch a lot of videos, makeup, and random skits. I started following bigger influencers on Instagram to understand how the platform works.
TINDS: How did you end up working with brands like ‘Masaba’?
SOBIA: When I started, I really did not think it was going to be so big. After I got a little following on Instagram, I began posting about my daily life. So I felt more comfortable putting myself out there. And my audience has been wonderful to me, I appreciate them. For a long time, I had no idea what it meant to be an influencer. I was doing a lot of things for free, and I am sure I wasn’t charging brands right when I did initially. ‘Masaba’ noticed me on Instagram because of the lehenga I wore to my Sister’s Holud. It was after around two weeks her manager contacted me. They had called to discuss the photoshoot. For the shoot, I was allowed a great deal of freedom to experiment with it. Much of it is due to my personality. They let me be myself and do whatever I wanted. It was an absolute pleasure to collaborate with her. Growing up, I idolized black women because they were the closest that looked like me. I always found Masaba to be so cool. I looked up to her, and now it is amazing that I was able to work with her. I think the internet is incredible for the places it can take you.
TINDS: What would you be if not an Architect or a Baker or a Content Creator?
SOBIA: I’d probably be a diva, I absolutely love the idea of being an Old-School Diva who’s full of mysteries. I’d probably not be a good one because I talk too much!
TINDS: Doing so much, how do you manage your professional & personal life?
SOBIA: I manage by usually messing it up. Jokes apart, I’m very scheduled as a person. It’s one of my childhood habits, which I now really appreciate. I usually wake up very early in the morning, and that helps me get a lot of things done throughout the day.
TINDS: Coming this far, what would you say you have had to struggle with the most?
SOBIA: I think self-discovery, my personal life in general. I understand the importance of networking and socializing, but I always prioritized what I wanted. Sometimes you don’t know who wants the best for you, and it’s hard to maintain boundaries. It’s probably the hardest thing to keep people at a distance, especially at a place where everyone’s mostly up on everyone else’s business.
TINDS: What would your advice be to younger influencers?
SOBIA: I’d advise them to find their own distinct language because everyone else’s is already taken. It’s also important to study your audience. Given the fact that you might find others inspiring, but copying somebody else is not going to get you anywhere, so having your own identity and establishing it is vital. I would also like to mention that it is often seen that celebrities misbehave with their audience once they reach a certain stage, which is not right. It is important that one stays humble no matter how successful they are.
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