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64: Umaimah Mendhro Created a Global Product Launch Platform

Umaimah is the Founder & CEO of VIDA. She grew up in rural Pakistan and Saudi Arabia – with no access to formal education most of her life – but a deep passion for fashion and design and a drive to make a difference in the world. She charted her way to Cornell University and later Harvard, and built a career in technology, working with a highly select portfolio of game-changing tech companies and managing and growing million dollar businesses.

Umaimah is also the founder Dreamfly, a global initiative that connects communities in conflict around common causes through education, exposure, and empowerment. She started by building a school in her home village, empowering citizens in the US to connect with and support children in Pakistan, and later expanded into Afghanistan, Rwanda, India, and Colombia.

In 2014, Umaimah’s strong belief that fashion can be responsible and accessible got her to take the leap and found VIDA – a global platform that brings together creatives and manufacturers from around the world to create unique, original, art inspired apparel and accessories. A curator of creative voices, VIDA represents art and culture from New York to LA, Mumbai to Madrid, and Tokyo to Tel Aviv, bringing to market products that are made responsibly and that help break the chain of poverty in the world of fashion.

Her Philosophy

  • Make life matter.
  • Design your own path.  Design your own life.  You’re in charge.  You’re in power of your own life.

Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs

  • Start with what you believe in, what you really want to do.  Know that getting started is going to be one of the hardest things.  A lot of times, we do question ourselves – maybe we didn’t do this right – maybe we aren’t smart enough…  Don’t do that.  You can feel it but let it go and persevere knowing that entrepreneurs get smarter with every mistake that they make…
  • Go for that big vision.  Make it matter.



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