Women's rights activist built cookware empire that pays tribute to her culture

·1 min read

Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Shiza Shahid said her mother never taught her to cook.

"She wanted to make sure that my sister and I were free to pursue our dreams in a way that she had never been," Shahid told CBS News.

Shahid said she met Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai when Yousafzai was 11 years old, about six years before Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban in 2012 for advocating for women's rights.

In 2013, Shahid said she left her job and helped Yousafzai co-found the nonprofit Malala Fund.

"I was 22 years old," Shahid said. "But in that moment, I knew that it was now or never."

Later, Shahid co-founded the cookware brand Our Place.

"In Pakistan, so much of our life and our culture revolves around cooking in the home and breaking bread together," Shahid said. "We literally found 'Our Place' in America by cooking and sharing food."

Shahid said the Our Place team is made up "predominantly" of "women and immigrants."

"We wanted to build a brand that celebrated Eid and Ramadan and Nowruz as loudly as we celebrated Christmas and Easter and New Year's," Shahid said.

Shahid said her mother has taken great pride in watching her create a business that celebrates her heritage and culture.

"For her to see her daughter building a business where the kitchen and the home was a pathway to liberation was really special," Shahid said.

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