Check out our interview with talented music artist Kelsey Coleman.
Shima Katouzian is a multi-cultural entrepreneur. Throughout her travels around the globe she has explored over 29 countries. Explorations then turned into residencies for 5 of them where she not only absorbed their customs but self-taught the reading, writing and speaking of their languages. Shima’s humanitarian passion lead her to the UNHCR where she worked with all levels from refugees to embassy leadership. Viewing a great need for women of all generations and cultures. She put together her HeroSheema.com project. A site where women from all over all different backgrounds, ethnicity, age, and talents can submit their expressions through a wide variety of art.
Follow Shima at @herosheemaz
Hi Shima, please tell us a little about you?
I am Shima Katouzian, Born in Tehran, Iran and currently residing in Newport Beach, California. Throughout my life, I have traveled to over 30 countries. After living in 5 of these countries, the United States is my favorite by far. Which is why I chose it as my permanent residence. I appreciate all the opportunities I have been given here. Starting from Fashion to Real Estate and Business. I am a Realtor, Blogger, Humanitarian and an Entrepreneur that is constantly looking for the next acquisition.
I am quick learner when it comes to languages. Currently fluent in 4 and still deciding on which one to make my fifth. Love to create, build and style! Inspired by my humanitarian experience through United Nations High Commission of Refugees, I started the HeroSheema project. It’s a women empowerment project where women from all around the world can express their feelings through art and writing. Their submissions will then be used to in designs for Fashion pieces. I love how a collection of my experiences has brought me to this point in my life.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Authentic, Passionate, Determined
Who is your biggest supporter?
When I was single, my parents and my siblings. Now my husband. I am grateful to have his full support in every adventure I take in life.
Best advice ever given?
Once I was told by a mentor that “it doesn’t matter how hard others try to ruin my dreams, I should stick to them and fight for them to show how I own those dreams.” I listened and chased my dreams ever since!
When did you start in the business?
I started my Fashion blog in 2018. Within the same year the HeroSheema project. Through the project I came to know soo many amazing and talented women. They have inspired me to continue and expand its horizons. Can’t wait for the next debut!
In 2019 I started in Real Estate and now I am a team member within one of the most luxurious firms in the world.
Name one your strengths?
I don’t take “no” as an answer.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
Zero to One by Peter Thiel.
What is the key to your success?
I never gave up, never stopped chasing my dreams and never had a Plan B for my dream goals! There was no Plan B… it should have happened and it happened.
Why did you decided to create your HeroSheema.com project?
As a humanitarian worker at United Nations, I visited refugee camps in where there were a great amount of domestic violence cases. 90% of victims were women who were afraid to report their significant others. Throughout these interviews, I discovered their inability to express their feelings through ordinary verbal and written means. Since I refuse to take no for an answer. I found other ways to help them to express, explain or share what happened to them. Through asking them to draw, paint or write whatever they felt at the moment. Through their art and writing I was able to decipher what was really going on.
HeroSheema.com started years later. It’s a combination of my passion for fashion, art and humanitarianism. Empowering women to express their feelings through art and fashion is amazing. The resulting product is a true and unique artistic fashion piece with a story from a hero (international woman who was not afraid to express herself).
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
We cannot control every movement, incident, outcome and events in life. But we can control what we can control. I learned how to control what I can and to stop stressing over things that I can’t.
Any advice to entrepreneurs out there?
Stick to your dreams. Build something valuable so you’d always have an interesting subject to talk about at parties and gatherings. Build startups that represent you and enjoy being you throughout the journey…
Now on the Traveling side, we know you love traveling. Tell us your Top 3 countries to travel?
My favorite question! I am not a typical traveler obsessed with fancy European destinations. I would tell you to go and see Sri Lanka, Tuvalu and in USA: go visit Alaska where Pacific and Atlantic Ocean waters meet!
And which countries or cities are still on your bucket list?
I want to visit Nicaragua, Tunisia, Timor-Leste and New Zealand (waiting for Covid-19 to get out of our lives!)
Which place that you have visited do you think changed you in a particular way, maybe motivation or see a different reality, etc?
I would say Turkey. I lived in Istanbul for 2 years, saw many indescribable things that became part of not only my memory, but also my character. I learned how to survive, be independent, how to love, to take care of myself and freely express how I feel during that 2 years. Strange, huh?
Now tell us about your Real Estate business?
I fell in love with all picture perfect properties in sunny southern California as soon as I landed here. First I was in market just as a buyer and investor, then I found my passion in it and wanted to do something more. To tell everyone about the greatness of such investment.
Why did you decided to work on Real Estate? It’s a very competitive market, right?
It could be competitive too. But again… I don’t take no as an answer. Also great to be a part of the Iranian American (Persian) community in which everyone loves to refer the best of everything.
I like to be in huge investment business. It is my strength to advise my clients on huge investments.
Is this just Orange County or also work for other places like LA?
Mostly Orange County, I have had clients in Malibu, Pasadena and Hollywood too. So basically all Southern California is my market right now. But also the sky is the limit! I think much bigger for next steps.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion IS truly my passion. I love it when my friends text me a picture of a model or new collection and tell me how they know that is my style! I love the fact I have my own signature regardless of filters and blogs. Fashion should be a way to express our feelings and that was the main mentality behind HeroSheema.com I wear what I feel…
What is your own definition of happiness?
That moment when I forget about everything. And laugh without being worried. Those moments are short, but truly joyful.
What is next for Shima Katouzian in 2020?
My plan is to buy a new house, visit my family in Iran and plan a wedding celebration nearby for everyone to meet finally.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Would you laugh if I say “Vivien Leigh”? She was the first person I ever googled. (When I was 14) I didn’t know much about internet and I just wished to find something about her to write a letter or something. And it truly broke my heart at that age when I found out she was dead! I think she was the first person I truly wished was alive. I cried for hours after watching Gone with the wind!
Something people don’t know about you?
I love sleeping more than anything in the world.
Who is your favorite Actor/Actress? And why?
Jennifer Lopez. She is a true icon to me. I love how she pulled herself up by just her own talent and hard work.
3 things you can’t leave your house without?
Phone, Credit cards, keys, sunscreen and my water bottle.
What music do you like?
Pop music is my favorite of all. Then Rock!
Your idea of a perfect Sunday is?
Starting with a perfect brunch including pancakes and chocolate chips, then Reading a great book with ocean view (either from home or on the beach), with no makeup or coffee, drinking some cold cocktail and getting some sun. Ending with some romantic movie and relaxing mind.
How’s a normal day in your life?
I wake up, wash my face, do yoga, put on makeup, listen to latest market news, and hop on calls for daily meetings with my team and clients (used to be in person meetings before Quarantine era!) . Meanwhile I tweet some jokes and post some goofy Instagram stories. Reading, cooking and listening to real estate podcasts usually happen somewhere in between.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Is Sushi healthy? Sounds like It is! Also Mendocino farm’s salad!
And your favorite cheat food?
Tah-Cheen (it’s a Persian food with lots of saffron, chicken, rice, yogurt and barberries!)
How do you see yourself in 5 years?
I am damn famous. Will PROBABLY be a mom, will be on Forbes, by then I will be traveled up to 50 countries and have published my book!
Where we can follow you?
My Instagram is @herosheemaz
I also create lots of tech and lifestyle videos on YouTube
I also recently created a TikTok account which strangely sounds fun! @herosheemaz
Quote: Negativity is my biggest motivation. When someone says “You Can’t”, I try harder to prove their wrong.
Holiday Destination: Miami hopefully this fall.
Celebrity Crush: Joaquin Phoenix
Song: whatever JLo sings!
Sports Team: Lakers
Movie: Breakfast at Tiffany