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GLAMOUR Women’s Month Series: Meet Shenai Bridglall

Shenai Bridglall is the founder of SBFO, a venture studio that builds consumer brands. Amongst SBFO’s portfolio is bridgeur, a sustainable apparel brand and MEGAGLOW, a personal care brand that’s backed by science with people of color in mind.

Shenai is also the founder of The EssBee Foundation, a non-profit that aims to reduce the gender inequality gap; the foundation recently reached a milestone of funding education for 30 girls and their long-term goal is to fund 1000 girls by 2030.

Glamour: What does women's month mean to you?

Shenai: Women’s Month gives us the opportunity to acknowledge and honour women for the contributions they make to society everyday.

Glamour: Why is it important to celebrate the women of South Africa?

Shenai: It’s been 66 years since brave women in South Africa paved the way for all the opportunities that we have today. We wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for the courage of women in past generations, so they deserve to be celebrated for enabling us to accomplish our goals.

Glamour: What inspires you to be successful?

Shenai: I’m inspired by the impact that my personal success has on the lives of others, especially girls and women. A portion of proceeds from bridgeur and MEGAGLOW go to my non-profit, The EssBee Foundation, to fulfill our goal of funding education for 1000 girls by 2030.

Glamour: What do you think is the most significant barrier to female success?

Shenai: I firmly believe that social norms are the most significant barrier to female success. Society has been conditioned to believe that a women’s ‘job’ is to raise a family and take care of household chores; we need to embrace that women are equally capable of building a career. The barrier to female success can only be broken with the help of men; ie. equal pay, fairly splitting household chores and co-parenting.

Glamour: What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Shenai: A woman should never feel limited from pursuing her dreams based on the grounds that ‘a girl can’t do that.’ Believe in yourself and your potential, work hard and be the girl of your dreams and the woman that you needed as a girl.

Glamour: Which women are on your radar and why?

Shenai: Research shows that girls are inclined to look up to women who resonate with them; this spurs their ambition. It’s incredible that the pool of business leaders and CEO’s in the world have progressively become more diverse and inclusive. I’m inspired by the success stories of Indra Nooyi, Payal Kadakia and Falguni Nayar.

Glamour: What’s your message to women in business?

Shenai: Be patient; good things take time. You need to strive to be a lifetime in the making, not an overnight success.

Glamour: The best advice you’ve received to date and from who?

Shenai: I read a quote on Instagram a while ago and it’s become a mantra that I live by: ‘Nobody is you, and that’s your superpower.’

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