By Jim Legg via Asian Magazine, Published on Fri Dec 1 2017
''I like that Sikhism is a way of life like many other religions and that it speaks a universal language for love and compassion for everyone,'' Nguyen says.
''It's opened up my thinking that there are so many similarities between all faiths than what we perceive."
''I think that having the courage to look different in today's society and standing up for one's beliefs even when you face constant discrimination, teaches us all that inner strength can overcome many of life's adversities.''
One hurdle that Anoop Brar and Kris Hans faced, along with Nguyen when starting TrendySingh, a printed turban-dastaar company, was the uncertainty of how the community would respond.
Some people told them it wouldn’t work, or it wasn’t part of the culture. But, Anoop, Kris and the team are not trying to create that type of message or dividing label.
Instead they hope to build bridges between people. Thanks to Sahajvir Randhawa, who has been helping with the public relations component, the company has taken off further then anticipated.
''Only then can we create bridges with others and truly be respectful to each other. We think for all the great things a dastaar symbolically stands for, it should be celebrated just as many other sacred symbols across many religions.”
(Gurinder Gill in static print)
''Part of us wanted to show my appreciation for the values that another spiritual path shows, but also we wanted to be able to design for Singhs and Kaurs around the world.''
All dastaar profits from the go to non-profit organizations around the world to help war-stricken countries, natural disaster recovery, Sikh human rights women's rights and children's education.
So where does the team get their design inspiration?
They start with Sikhi values they want the prints to represent then explores inspirations from paintings, architecture, historical books and antiques before melding them into art designs and showing them to a printer based in India.
All the material is hand printed which provides jobs for people and bypasses large manufacturers.
And where would the team like the future of the company to go?
'' We hope our designs can create a social conversion and help many more people with the help of the community. We want people to be able to express their inner self and than we can all spread love to everyone. It helps gives us more clarity in our lives to focus on the real treasures in life.''
She stresses that Trendy Singh is a collaboration, from their photographer Anoop Brar to countless Sikh youth who have modeled and given their input on the prints.
Seva is a tenant of Sikhism meaning selfless service – essentially giving back to the community. With that in mind, all Trendy Singh profits go to help Sikh non-profit organizations like Khalsa Aid, Sikh Relief, World Sikh Organization and Nanak Naam.
Nguyen said Trendy Singh is more of a social enterprise, to help a community that once helped her, and – of course – to add a bit of vibrancy to the dastar, for those who want it.
(left to right Manjot Uppal, Gurpreet Kharey, Anoop Brar, Gurinder Gill)