At Home With: Shiza Shahid, CEO and Co-Founder of Our Place
Hello, Shiza! Welcome to the McBride Sisters Collection “At Home With'' Series, where we raise our glass to individuals who inspire us, toast their outstanding accomplishments, and get acquainted in true McBride Sisters fashion - over intimate conversation and a nice glass of wine. Thank you for being here with us!
A Pakistani immigrant on Forbes’s “30 Under 30” list of global social entrepreneurs and Time Magazine ``30 Under 30” list of world change-makers, you are a force… As a female business innovator, activist, investor and educator, your accomplishments include co-founding the Malala Fund, an international non-profit advocating for girls’ education in the most vulnerable communities, and creating one of our favorite socially-conscious kitchen and dinnerware brands, Our Place.
Shiza, could you please start by sharing a bit about your journey from co-founding the Malala Fund to founding Our Place?
I’ve always built organizations that address an issue I see in the world, and to try to make it better. That’s why I co-founded the Malala Fund - to help girls in vulnerable communities around the world access an education. And that’s why I cofounded Our Place - to create a brand in kitchen and home that represented and our values, and how we actually cook at home today.
How did your upbringing in Pakistan influence your perspective on social impact and entrepreneurship?
My upbringing in Pakistan shaped who I am in so many ways - Pakistanis are deeply hospitable, and welcoming, and they will always feed you! I carry that spirit of generosity and love with me, and it’s part of Our Place’s DNA.
Our Place is all about creating a sense of togetherness and community through shared meals. Can you tell us how this ties into the lifestyle you envision for your customers?
Our customers love food. They express their creativity, and learn about culture through home-cooking, and they enjoy gathering and forming connections around food, and drinks! At Our Place, we obsessively design better products to make cooking easier for our customers, so we can enable more of these moments.
Any particular memories or personal associations to share around shared meals or foods that bring you feelings of comfort and community?
I love hosting dinner parties - we have an absurdly long dinner table in our home that fits 16 - and we love gathering new and old friends, cooking up a meal, and sharing our stories. When I first moved to America, I built my community around dinner tables, so it’s a tradition I hold close, and one that Our Place is founded on.
As we explore The Art of Entertaining this Fall and Holiday season, we are thrilled about your new Party Coupes wine glasses. Tell us about these gorgeous new pieces!
Our Party Coupes were almost two years in the making, and we’re obsessed with them. We wanted to design an unfussy glass - that worked for wine, cocktails, aperitifs, even desserts! We spoke to our community and understood the features that mattered most to them - stackability, versatility and durability - and paired those with our signature Our Place design aesthetics creating the most beautiful and functional, hand-made, two-tone, color-infused glass you’ll ever see!
Do you have holiday traditions or are you looking forward to any other moments of celebration this season?
I’m fortunate to carry and participate in my own traditions, and those of my partner and friends - so there’s always something to celebrate: Eid, Diwali, Nowruz… Currently, I’m most looking forward to Friendsgiving - as an immigrant, I love the idea of a holiday to celebrate chosen family.
If you could put together your dream dinner party, who would have a seat at the table and what would you prepare? Any favorite McBride Sisters Collection wines to pair? ;)
I’d curate people from different walks of life, because a diversity of thought and lived experiences enriches everyone. So let’s say Michelle Obama, Beyonce, Jane Goodall, and Malcolm Gladwell? And we’ll have the McBride Sisters Red Blend 2019!
As a successful entrepreneur and advocate for social change, what advice would you give to our audience on leading a more purposeful and balanced lifestyle while making a positive impact in the world?
I believe our happiness and wellbeing is directly connected to the depth of purpose we feel in our day to day lives. I’ve always sought out ways to have a positive impact in the world , and it’s made me a more fulfilled and joyful person. So if you feel a lack of purpose in the life you are living, that’s your inner wisdom calling on you to make a change. Don’t ignore it!
What can we expect from you next?
Building Our Place is my purpose, so I'm going to be staying very focused on our mission and work here. Keep following us for exciting new product launches, community events, secret recipes, and more.