Celebrating Women's History Month
As a women-owned, women-led, WBENC-certified brand, Women’s History Month is a celebration of the team that makes our mission possible—and all the women that inspired our journey along the way.
Our founder, Sabah Ashraf, knew she wanted to collaborate with women across generations, at all stages of their careers, throughout each step of creating House of Kajaana. The successes of incredible female leaders and teams before us fueled our journey to do the same.
From creatives, chefs, nutritionists, writers, strategists, advisors, and more, this change-making team of women has been invaluable to House of Kajaana’s story and future. Thrilled to share these talented and passionate women with you; please meet just a few of the gems we had the honor of working alongside, learning from, and building House of Kajaana with.
Renowned Chef Anita Jaisinghani, of our favorite restaurant, Pondicheri, was the first and only call Sabah made to lead the expert creation of our beloved and delicious First Collection of meals. For years, Sabah had frequented her restaurants with her favorite meal companions, always leaving transported to a place that elevated her senses and lifted her spirits even higher. Working together, including their extended teams, led to countless iterations in the kitchen and a never-ending list of ideas to build delight into every bite.
Shortly after Sabah set her mind on creating House of Kajaana, Erin became her first collaborator. With complimentary experiences and food business know-how, Erin was a shaper to Sabah’s goals and vision for the brand. Together, they crystalized House of Kajaana’s DNA–everything from the mission through commercialization. Erin’s support as a catalyst is the truest form of women uplifting other women, and for that, we are endlessly grateful.
After ideating the brand’s mission, vision, and values on paper, it was time to bring House of Kajaana to life visually. Having an instant connection with Sabah (after just one meeting, they both just knew), Blair was the perfect creative partner to collaborate with in developing an iconic brand design language that would serve as House of Kajaana’s foundation. Her keen design eye and thoughtfulness to each detail led to the joyful patterns, vivid colors, and warm invitation you’ll discover when you see our packaging, brand collateral, website, and any expression of the brand. The delight we feel from Blair’s design work is pure magic and color therapy all at once.
Alex, our verbal designer and beyond, did with words what Blair expressed for us visually. She transformed Sabah’s stories, ideas, and vision with a deep understanding of how we wanted to invite people into our world and be a delicious addition to their life’s moments. From ideating a phrase we love dearly, “crown jewel,” to crafting our brand tone and voice, Alex helped uncover and refine who we are, what we do, and how we do it. Her words have done what we hope our Indian meals do for you, transport your mind and taste buds while bringing people together. As a brand with beloved stories, we are thankful for Alex helping us tell them.
Sabah was ready to welcome her first in-house hire and put into the universe that she dreamt of a Barnard alumnae joining her. A few connections later, Lili and Sabah crossed paths for what would be yet another instant connection. While first joining House of Kajaana as an intern, their work was put on hold just a month later as Lili embarked on a journey alongside a female-owned and operated vineyard. Keeping in touch throughout that month, it was clear to Sabah that Lili would be a pivotal partner on her team.
Lili joined House of Kajaana full-time at the end of 2021, diving into all aspects of the business from sales, marketing, communications, and even growing her curiosity for the manufacturing and product creation processes. Her growth and the passion she brings to her work each day are truly inspiring. Lili is a bright star, and we are so grateful for all the light she shines on our team and in everything we do.
Lili’s own Indian food traditions only deepened her connection with House Kajaana—since childhood, she always chose Indian feasts to celebrate her birthdays, indulging in her favorite dishes.
We believe in the power of community—inspiring, uplifting, and giving confidence to the next generation of female brand pioneers. We like to think of our incredible female network as constellations brought together on this journey to inspire and support one another.
Our beautiful constellation continues to grow as we connect with more like-minded women forging new paths. From launching in our first retailer, Pop-Up Grocer, founded by the incredible Emily Schildt, to the exciting endeavors we can’t say *just* yet, we are honored to be surrounded by women that give us the courage to dream and succeed.
While Women’s History Month is just one month out of the year, every day, we are so deeply proud and honored to work with women we have looked up to, who are leaders in their industry, and who hold the same passion for helping women along the way.
Thank you to the women who encouraged our journey, and a big thanks to you for being a part of ours.