If you were to describe yourself in one line what would it be?
Grew up in a family which has been into textile business for three generations and I have fond memories of learning the art of handloom weaving at the age of 7. I envisioned Starting a brand on my own in my childhood itself. I wanted to utilize the rich textile heritage and knowledge of my family for the requirements of modern day fashion and present that as ultimate combo for the world.
When we started our accessories line ‘KIMIGIRL’
Market was flooded with leather and faux leather handbags which was taking a toll on the environment, the other alternatives like Cloth and the jute bags were not aesthetically pleasing.
We wanted to do something for the environment and our love for block prints and other textile crafts gave birth to one of a kind designer fabric handbags.
Our clothing line THE NESAVU
When we were curating kids wear for our retail unit, we couldn’t find vendors who could do premium designs and quality of south Indian ethnic wear at affordable price. That is when our textile engineer brains kicked in and we made some tweaks in production methods and optimised the whole process to cut down the unnecessary expenses to make affordable premium line of south Indian ethnic and smart casual cotton collection.
Similarities on Parenting and running a brand
• Entrepreneurship like motherhood is not a 9-to-5 job.
• The skill set of parenting like multitasking, creativity, managing on a budget and problem-solving comes in handy for entrepreneurship.
• As they say it takes a village to raise a child, same applies to the business. Like grandparents, neighbour and babysitter – business rely on extensive network, community and great team.
• Just how you cannot argue in front of your kid, the founders cannot afford to argue in front of the team.
Three tips for aspiring startup mompreneur
1. Focus on your driving force- Find your ‘why should I start a business’ and ‘why should I Continue’.
2. Find what works for you, there is no single formula that will work for everyone.
3. Surround yourself with positive energy and likeminded people. Network with people who matches with your vision and business goals.
Can moms have it all?
I don’t think so but that is fine
If we try to have it all we have to be comfortable with mediocrity and exhaustion as a by-product.
For overachievers and perfectionist this mediocrity will lead to downward spiral of guilt, shame and eventually depression.
So I have realised that we cannot have it all or at least not all at once.
1 milestone moment for your brand.
Work Life balance is it a myth
Accept that there is no perfect work life balance.
Don’t strive for the perfect schedule instead strive for a realistic one.
Balance is achieved over time not each day.
Tips for start-up dream
Start-ups are really hard, every successful one had terrible hurdles and setbacks that they had to overcome but if you are really passionate about your idea validate it as quick as possible and just do it. In business you have to be courageous, don’t be afraid to jump off the entrepreneurship cliff. Take every opportunity that comes your way and get comfortable with the unknown.
Biggest cheerleaders in my life
The first person that comes to my mind is my four year old son.
He spends his after school hours in office with me and stays till late night without a complaint.
He understands when I tell him ‘My brand and he are my two babies’ and he is being very supportive of me even at this very young age.
I even involve him in small tasks in warehouse like counting the numbers of garments, sorting the garments colourwise etc which is a win win.
And of course raising a kid along with running a business takes a country.
My mother-in-law who takes care of my kid in my absence and feed us with sumptuous nutritious food for every meal of the day it’s a God sent.
My son is now
My support system consist of my parents, Siblings, and my staffs.
Not to miss my main man my husband who has been my pillar of support and co-founder of our business.
Running a business together as a couple has its own pros than cons and we are embracing every part of it. The perils for him is that, I became more workaholic than him and gave up on nagging him for vacations.
The best advice I have ever got
Which came from my dad – as women, we go on an emotional rollercoaster so tells me to channel my energy whether it is positive or negative, frustration or passion, and focus it on the work and not to sweat the small stuff.