For designer, artist and entrepreneur Samira Atash, her Afghan heritage and culture have provided inspiration since she was a child. Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, Samira remembers her grandmother Bibi Jan’s lush rose gardens, her mother Gulghutai’s floral scented skin (her name means “rose”) and the fabrics and textiles in small Kabul shops. After moving to the USA when she was 3, those memories lingered and flickered in her mind. Samira remembers learning to sew at a very early age, drawing artistic influence from her culture. She was also a little businesswoman from a young age. At 5, she was picking flowers from gardens and going door-to-door to sell bouquets. She became a self-taught artist, drawing portraits of faces and developed a love for fashion, arts and music.
At George Mason University, Samira decided to pursue a career in design after college. She would organize seasonal outdoor fashion shows and take art classes. In 2003, Samira made the move to New York City and over the next few years launched two independent, award-nominated labels. In 2004, she worked as a costume designer in Los Angeles for a film based on the mystical poet Rumi. The film required months of research into the costumes of his time, opening the door to Samira’s love for Rumi poetry.
In 2004-05, Samira visited Afghanistan several times to see what she could do to help create jobs for the women there. Her fashion company was part of the first trade delegation to Kabul. After visiting there for the first time since she left the country at 3 years old, she was again inspired by the people, the landscape, the scents, tribal embroideries, and fabrics. She was forever connected and in 2005, launched a “Silk Road bohemian” line and also designed hand carved wood + stone jewelry made by Afghan artisans. In 2006, she featured her collection “One” at a fashion show in the Washington D.C. area to over 1,000 people. Her dream was to open up a sewing factory and have designs manufactured in Afghanistan and shipped back to the states. This could create jobs and improve the economy. In 2007, Samira and her sisters launched Artizan Sarai, a socially responsible initiative that successfully marketed Afghan-made accessories and jewelry to high end boutiques and galleries in the U.S. In 2008-09, Samira introduced ‘UNITEES’, inspired by the poet Rumi and based on the philosophy of peace, love, unity, respect…and the idea that all humans are one.
In 2010, after getting married to her husband Kaiser in New York City, Samira gave birth to a baby girl they name Rumi Rose. She took a little bit of time off from fashion design to focus on mommyhood, then realized that NYC might not be the best place to raise their little girl. In 2012, they moved to Northern VA, and realized there was not much of a fashion industry. Not being able to keep her entrepreneurial drive at bay, she created and opened two blow dry bars with a group of investors. It was voted “Best Blowout in Northern VA” in Northern VA Magazine three years in a row, “Best New Business” and “Best of Reston” in Washingtonian Magazine. The salon offered hair, makeup, and brow services and during her research of product lines, Samira became interested in the benefits of organic/natural products and oils. While working on the design, construction management, and start-up of the second location, Samira found out she was expecting TWIN boys! Nik and Zaki were born on July 10th, 2014.
In parallel to her work as a fashion designer in NYC for 10 years, Samira also designed uniforms for UAE’s largest telecom company, worked as a fashion director for a multicultural magazine, styled several music videos, produced fashion shoots & shows, designed the branding & corporate identity for several start-ups, and in 2010 launched a multi-cultural media company, where the goal was to unite cultures through entertainment. Samira was creator/producer of the FUNatical Comedy Tour and Beauty and the East TV, an online tv show that connected East and West through positive, entertaining stories. She now calls her blog by this name.
In 2016, in order to expand service offerings in her salons, Samira became a certified/licensed microblading-pmu artist, launching Samira BROW COUTURE. The business became an unexpected hit and she quickly has become one of Washington D.C. area’s best artists, booked out months in advance. She was promoted to Royal Artist within the Phibrows academy in October 2017.
As her brow artist career flourished, Samira realized she missed fashion design.
In 2017, Samira rediscovered what inspired her throughout her life and who she is at her core: an entrepreneur with a spiritual soul who likes to create, be inspired, build cultural bridges and celebrate Afghan heritage and those of the East, which is very misunderstood these days. She launched Rumi Rose, an online store showcasing Central Asian/Silk Road fashion + beauty products that promotes a high vibration, ethical, conscious, and spiritually connected lifestyle. She hopes through Rumi Rose that she can spread more peace, love, unity and respect between people in a positive, beautiful way.
In 2020, Samira started a TikTok video series called "Afghanistan History + Culture", and also explores other topics such as fashion, culture, lifestyle + beauty with a goal of connecting East and West through cultural understanding.
DESIGNER - ENTREPRENEUR - ARTIST
• Owner + licensed/certified master microblading brow artist: Samira BROW COUTURE
• Owner + creator + Creative Director of RUMI ROSE, a fashion + beauty brand
• Created the concept for FLOW, an award winning beauty bar with two locations
• Received international media coverage for design work from The Washington Post, National Geographic and Oxygen T.V.
• Nominated for Fashion Group International's Rising Star Award twice
• Dress design in the blockbuster hit “Men in Black II” starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones (2002)
• Designed uniforms for Etisalat, the UAE's largest telecom company (2006)
• Fashion Director for ZEBA Magazine (2006-2008)
• Worked as an independent film costume designer in Los Angeles
• Launched first self-funded label SAMIRA for Spring/Summer 2001, an evening wear label that sold to upscale boutiques nationwide.
• Co-Creator + Product Designer for Artizan Sarai (2007-2010).
• Co-creator + Producer + PR/Marketing Director for PlanetPix Media (2009-2012)
• Creator and Producer for Funatical Comedy: Taking Comedy to the Extreme, an interfaith comedy tour.
• Starred as a lead actress in an independent film "FireDancer", Afghanistan's first feature film to be entered into the Academy Awards
• Experience in illustration, design, product development, sample & production management and marketing & distribution.
• Graduated with an honors B.S. degree in Marketing from George Mason University
• Completed an intensive fashion program at Parsons School of Design and received training at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City.