Enterprising young women

Two women. Two different backgrounds. A shared vision.

This is what you'll discover when you meet Khalida Ait Si Brahim, from Morocco and Prachi Deshpande from India. The ladies met a year ago at a Christmas market and they just clicked from the start. Together they've created a unique business for showcasing their individual talents and shared love of creating something bigger than the two of them combined. Oh, and they like to have fun.

ChiKa Design Studio sets out to turn traditional furniture shopping and design upside down. The philosophy involves reworking, redesigning, recreating and restoring their clients' beloved pieces of furniture. They offer workshops teaching how to restore, redesign and how to sew like a pro. The studio is also a cooperative where people can become members and use the space for their own projects. The duo works together on interior design, by helping clients select furniture, accessories and accents to pull a room together. They can even procure decorative items and create bespoke pieces per a client's needs.

Khalida's background as financial executive in Paris seems a far stretch from her new role as co-owner of the studio. Her other business venture involves importing beautiful handmade rugs made in a centuries old tradition by women in cooperatives in Morocco. Within her role at ChiKa, she loves to take an old piece of furniture and restore it, adding a distinctive touch and giving it a new life.

Prachi's communications and costume design background offer a flair for the creative, but this new role as co-owner of the studio really allows her to shine. Her primary business is as an Ayurveda practitioner and therapist. She claims it is the source of her creativity and with ChiKa, she loves the concept of an entire room being transformed into something completely different than how it began.

The ladies have great respect for one another and feel that their ability to be flexible when working together as well as their shared values is what sets them apart. Both take environmental responsibility seriously, and choose to focus on up-cycling existing materials. Highlighting their individual strengths and working together to support a common goal is their recipe for a successful enterprise.