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Babes for Books is more than a fashion brand

Madison+College+student+Ardita+%E2%80%9CDita%E2%80%9D+Hashani+is+the+founder+of+%E2%80%9CBabes+for+Books%2C%E2%80%9D+a+fashion+company.
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Babes for Books is more than a fashion brand

Madison College student Ardita “Dita” Hashani is the founder of “Babes for Books,” a fashion company.

Madison College student Ardita “Dita” Hashani is the founder of “Babes for Books,” a fashion company.

ANDREW KICMOL / CLARION

Madison College student Ardita “Dita” Hashani is the founder of “Babes for Books,” a fashion company.

ANDREW KICMOL / CLARION

ANDREW KICMOL / CLARION

Madison College student Ardita “Dita” Hashani is the founder of “Babes for Books,” a fashion company.

Andrew Kicmol, Editor in Chief

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Most Madison College students are busy cramming for tests, doing homework and maybe working a job on the side. Almost none of them are starting, and running their own business, but for Ardita “Dita” Hashani that’s exactly what she’s doing.

Along with being a full-time student and working at her family’s restaurant, she launched her first business on Oct. 12, Babes for Books. It’s an online fashion company that promotes education by giving 10 percent of all proceeds to help fund educational charities. For the company’s first charities, Room to Read and Classroom of Hope were chosen.

Hashani’s decision to start her own business is no accident, originally from Albania her grandfather moved to America where he started his own business. Her father and her uncles have all followed suit and started their own businesses. Hashani always dreamed of starting her own business, but it took until this past summer for her to take make it happen.

In a conversation with friends she had found out that they had started their own business over the summer. She took it personally and felt like she wasn’t living up to her potential. “It was almost a slap in the face to me because they weren’t even passionate about it, they were just doing it to do it, and here I was yearning for something like that,” said Hashani.

From that point on Hashani decided that starting her own business was something she was going to make happen, all while juggling school and work. She started with a name and a logo, and ended up on fashion, but fashion wasn’t her first choice. “I almost kind of stumbled on fashion,” said Hashani. Fashion was an idea she saw as a way to get some recognition. “Using this fashion to get my foot in the door to get Babes for Books as a recognized brand … globally one day hopefully.”

Starting up involved intensive online research, and anything she couldn’t find there she had to figure out on her own, like registering her business with the state. From there she learned on the fly of what was going to work specifically for her and what wasn’t. She landed on a manufacturing company in based in the U.S. where everything is made and shipped out.

She also had to learn the behind the scenes of how to run a successful online business making sure that all orders are sent to the manufacturer and then sent to the correct address. After all of the research and planning and limited sleep, her efforts paid off and she opened up pre-orders in early October eventually launching on Oct. 12.

Hashani emphasizes Babes for Books is a fashion brand that values substance over what’s on the outside. She’s the first women in her family to start a business and it shows in her mindset. “I have always believed that calling someone “gorgeous” was a lousy compliment. So many people, especially women, ignore their other multifaceted traits because of their reliance on their looks,” said Hashani of making Babes for Books represent intelligent as attractive.

While fashion is what she’s starting with, it isn’t the end game, education is the ultimate goal. Hashani wants to help those that can’t get the education they desire. “People around the world would love to have an education that I’ve had,” said Hashani “I feel it’s the foundation of a successful society.” That’s why 10 percent from every purchase from Babes for Books goes to charities that help education. Different charities will be picked, and a customer will be chosen each month to make a donation to a charity of their choice.

Giving back was always a part of the plan from the start. “Success not shared is useless,” Hashani has been told by her family, and it’s something she takes to heart. “Up until now I’ve been nothing but blessed and I can’t repay my family, but I can pay it forward and I’m going to use Babes to do that,” said Hashani about making sure philanthropy goes hand in hand with any success from her business.

So far Hashani has been able to balance both school and her business. But she knows that won’t be the case forever, as she plans to transfer and get a degree in marketing. Eventually she will need to have someone else step in and help.

When the time comes Hashani will be ready to hire someone who can help her out and run some of the day to day operations, until then she loves doing it all on her own, while continuing as a full-time student, that still works weekends at her family’s restaurant.

To check out Babes for Books go to babesforbooks.com. Find out more about Room To Read at roomtoread.org and Classroom of Hope at classroomofhope.org.

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