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Brand Built on Culinary Culture

May/03/2024 / by Team Seema

How founder Shiza Shahid created a multi-million dollar business by embracing simplicity and cultural belonging

For first time cooks, the kitchen and all its gadgets can feel overwhelming. But founder Shiza Shahid has made it her mission to bring more streamlined and beautiful tools to chefs of every level. 

Shahid’s journey began when she immigrated from Pakistan to America to study at Stanford University. Far from her family and culture, she found solace in the kitchen, creating dishes that transported her back to her roots. But her first foray into an American kitchenware store left her feeling overwhelmed and disheartened.

“I was overwhelmed by the amount of clutter—avocado slicers, cherry pitters, and 20-piece knife sets—so much stuff I didn’t need and didn’t have room for,” she recalls. This experience led Shahid to create Our Place, a brand that focuses on designing multifunctional, design-forward, healthy, and sustainable products.

The brand’s breakout hit, the Always Pan, exemplifies Shahid’s philosophy. “The Always Pan was designed to replace eight pieces of cookware. It’s deep enough to make soup, but shallow enough to flip an egg,” she explains. The pan’s design and toxin-free materials have made it a favorite among home cooks.

Shahid’s commitment to celebrating cultural diversity is evident in Our Place’s cultural-focused collections, which include a flipping platter and a golden fry set fit for celebrations like Diwali. “As immigrants, my partner and I literally found ‘our place’ in America by cooking food and having people come to our dinner table,” she says. “We wanted to build a brand that celebrated all our cultures loudly and proudly.” Each collection is created in partnership with the communities it represents, ensuring authentic and respectful homages to cultural traditions.

Alongside her work at Our Place, Shahid remains a passionate advocate for women’s rights and girls’ education. As a co-founder of The Malala Fund, she works to provide access to education for girls worldwide. This sense of social justice permeates Our Place’s ethos, from ethical sourcing and sustainable packaging to supporting causes like food justice and anti-racism.

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