The Priya Lash
Much like her lash namesake, Priya Shastri has got it going on. She is about as brilliant, gorgeous, kind and generous as they come, & we’re honored to name one of our all-time favorite lashes after her. we had the chance to interview priya recently and gained insight on her extraordinary life.
1. She is one brainy babe: When Priya was just 16, she graduated from high school in India and moved to the United States to start undergrad, where she triple majored in neuroscience, biology and economics. This feat alone is incredible - she grew up in a smaller town in India (Ahmedabad, Gujarat), where even today working women are frowned upon and girls are not encouraged to pursue education. Priya, being the humble gal she is, single handedly credits her mom, who was shattering glass ceilings in the architecture world, for encouraging her to study abroad and pursue higher education. Priya managed to graduate with not one, but two graduate degrees - an MBA from Northwestern and a Masters from Harvard. She also fluently speaks 3 languages (Gujarati, Hindi, English) and dabbles in 2 (French & Sanskrit). No big deal. She is a real #બોસબેબ (that’s #bossbabe in Gujarati, fyi).
2. The girl has rhythm: Given the chance, Priya would eat, sleep and breath dance. I have had the joy of watching her and it almost makes you want to throw on a sari and join in (which she is 100% encouraging of, she is known to start mini dance parties at the office). Priya loves dance because, true to her love of various languages, dance is a universal one. No matter where you go, no matter your background, dance brings people together and enables instantaneous connections.
3. Animal lover: If space would allow, she’d adopt every stray dog in the city. Both of Priya’s pups are rescued Indian street dogs which reflects one of Priya’s greatest traits, kindness. Her kindness toward people, the environment, and animals is reflected in the way Priya approaches the world. This is also displayed in her lifelong commitment to vegetarianism (one of the reasons the Priya lash is faux mink!)
4. She feeds your body and your soul: The moment that you walk into Priya’s kitchen you are immediately immersed with the scent of, arguably, some of the best Indian food in town. She’s also the “hostest with the mostest”, so chances are good she’ll invite you over to eat, laugh and, most likely, dance, if you mention your love of Indian food when she’s around.
5. She can #slayallday in her current position at a Fortune 500 healthcare company: If Priya wasn’t already impressive enough, she also has had an extremely impressive professional life. She started her career working for a nonprofit dedicated to improving maternal mortality in rural India. Growing up in India, she saw pregnant women and infants struggle to survive because their basic needs weren’t being met - access to running water, electricity, food and shelter - and as a result, she decided to devote her career to improving healthcare for those most in need. In her current role with DaVita, she gets to help decrease costs and improve outcomes for chronically ill kidney failure patients, a role she feels rewarded in every day.
Priya has faced her share of challenges. Being an Indian American during a time when America’s relationship with the Middle East has been turbulent was no easy task. As a freshman in college, she planned a henna party for the girls on her floor. Instead of the fun evening she’d planned, she was reported to the dean for allegedly trying to ‘convert’ students to a different religion. As a female in the corporate workplace, she experienced firsthand what it’s like to have a voice that is less dominant than the man sitting next to you, to have the bar set higher as a result of being a woman.
However, Priya was also quick to point out that she’s been very blessed and has been given incredible opportunities throughout her life, from her mother’s encouragement, to her education, to her previous bosses who have truly believed in gender and race equality in the workplace. Her goal is to be a positive representation for other young women just starting their careers.
Priya left me with some closing beauty advice, because after all, we are a beauty company.
“It is very important to invest in a few pieces of makeup that make you feel confident… in the corporate world, it’s important to put your best foot forward, and products like the Red Aspen Priya lashes can help you feel confident, so your inner beauty can come out and shine even more.”