Class of 2021
Ambreen Ehtisham is originally from Karachi, Pakistan but now calls Fort McMurray home. A former pharmacist, she is now taking the art world by storm.
Ambreen chatted with YMM about starting a new career at the age of 40, and the highs and lows she’s experienced in life so far.
YMM: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
AE: I am proud of starting a business from scratch at 40 years of age, taking my passion for art to the next level and turning it into a business in such a short amount of time. I never imagined how quickly or big this would become and it is a dream for me to be able to share my art with others while at the same time turning it into a successful business venture. I love the fact that I have an international audience of both customers and fellow artists, whom I can share my ideas with and offer support to as well as being able to showcase the beauty of my community which has inspired a lot of my work.
YMM: Who is your hero?
AE: My hero is a very famous Pakistani humanitarian and philanthropist named Abdul Sattar Edhi. Though he was raised in poverty himself, he helped others in need. He built a nationwide network of humanitarian centres offering a wide range of life-saving services to the people of Pakistan. His drive and compassion shows that it doesn’t matter where you come from or what resources you have, if you have heart and compassion you can make a difference in the lives of those around you and influence positive change.
YMM: What is something people are always surprised to learn about you?
AE: I think people would be surprised to hear me say that I have lived a life with such highs and lows that it could be very well made into a movie. My family struggled financially but I was always optimistic that things will change through studies and efforts, went into severe postpartum depression after my first child, sought help and came out of it, started my own business following my passion at the age of 40, from scratch and took it to next level within one year. Now inspiring and helping others through my art.
YMM: What is the most rewarding part of your career?
AE: When people see the finished artwork, they often say something along the lines of “It is way more beautiful in reality,” and “Pictures don’t do justice to how amazing your work looks!” So their excitement and awe after seeing my work means so much to me. I also love creating custom designs and pieces for my clients based on their needs, the trust that they place in me and the whole process of creating something that has a personal touch and meaning for my clients is extremely rewarding.