Camille Henning from RIK Babywear

Name of your business:

Camille Henning, Founder of RIK Babywear
Camille Henning, Founder of RIK Babywear

RIK Babywear (Facebook Page)

Tell us about your business…

We design and make kids clothes for children from 6 months to 5 years. The clothes are light 100% casual baby wear to accommodate the hot climate and keep your baby heat rash free. The clothes have funky prints and are super comfortable and practical for your little ones.

What motivated you to start your own business?

My son had bad heat rash and I couldn’t find thin enough clothes so I started making some for him… One thing lead to another and voila 🙂

Which have been the biggest challenges when starting your business?

Figuring it all out… I know nothing about this industry, so where to get fabrics, zippers, good tailors, etc. was a lot of field work and trial and error. And only now, we are shifting to a manufacturer based in Jaipur.

How did you overcome these challenges?

Determination, patience and balls…

How did you find your first customers?

My first customer was a close friend and she is the one who encouraged me to sell the clothes I made for my son. She is my good luck fairy.

What is the most effective way to sell your products/services?

Trunk Shows or Flea Markets -but definitely face to face.

What is the most exciting part of running your own business?

The creativity I can put into it all… I love seeing the clothes all finished and on a happy little baby jumping around having a blast in comfort and style.

What is your least favorite part of running your own business?

All the paperwork… not fun but has to be done.

How do you stay motivated during difficult times?

Keep thinking of the end result and what it will look like and how I will achieve it. Don’t sulk in the now.

Who inspires you?

My Son, India, my friends and the world that surrounds us.

What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs?

If you have an idea, try it out. Start small, see how it goes and little by little it will develop (or not). But at least you tried! But if you start off thinking too big, it will discourage you to start.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Camille!

You can check out the Facebook page and Instagram account of RIK Babywear for more details beautiful pictures.

Supriya Paul from Josh Talks

Name of your business:

Supriya Paul, Founder of Josh Talks
Supriya Paul, Founder of Josh Talks

Josh Talks (Website: www.joshtalks.com)

Tell us about your business…

Our belief is that People with a Passion can change the world. Our goal at Josh Talks is to communicate this belief to the youth of today to inculcate in them the drive to be successful. The medium that we are using (as of now) is events. We host events where we call speakers from diverse backgrounds of art, sport, entrepreneurship, social activism, stand up comedy and more onto one stage, to share their personal life story. Over the past 15 months, we have held 6 events across 4 cities in India and covered over 80 stories of individuals like Boman Irani, Papa CJ, Vicky Roy (Rag-picker to Photographer), Sheetal Jain (Daughter of a Sex Worker to Drumming Maestro) and more.

What motivated you to start your own business?

While I was in college, I was confused about what to do with my life and I was making decisions based on what other’s were doing because I lacked exposure to the possibility of doing things that are out of the box and yet make a living out of it. This is what motivated me to start on my own business and make sure that other people don’t face the same problem ever.

Which have been the biggest challenges when starting your business?

Convincing people to sponsor our events has always been a task, since both Shobhit and I are only 22. Other than that, communicating our belief to college going students is always a challenge. To have them skip a movie to attend our event because they are going to learn something is a tedious job, but now they realize the value and the process has become easier.

How did you overcome these challenges?

By just keeping at it. Mailing new companies everyday. Cold Calling. Attending lots of events to be able to get in touch with the same people again and again. Actually showing them our reach and how we can add value and not just overcharging them for anything.

How did you find your first customers?

Through Social Media and by conducting lots of campus oriented activation in colleges.

What is the most effective way to sell your products/services?

Tickets through websites like Bookmyshow, Explara etc. Other than that: Facebook.

What is the most exciting part of running your own business?

While running your own business, you realise that each action you take, has a direct impact on the end result. You are accountable for every little failure but also for every little success and the pride and joy that comes with every successful moment is just overwhelming. You set your own targets, you meet your own goals, and you celebrate your own goals. Each moment gives you such immense joy!

What is your least favorite part of running your own business?

Having to do everything yourself, at least in the beginning. From sales to marketing to PR to coordination, you are responsible for every role, and sometimes concentrating on so many things makes you lose your focus.

How do you stay motivated during difficult times?

Food! Good food is the answer to everything! Just kidding, knowing that in the end, what you produce is going to impact a lot of lives keeps me motivated. It is my social responsibility to do what I’m doing well enough so that someone who attends our event, can take back something from it, implement it in his/her life and contribute to changing the world in some way or the other.

Who inspires you?

When it comes to the Indian Entrepreneurial Ecosystem- People like Sairee Chahal & Swati Bharagava inspire me.

What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs?

Believe in what you do, and express that belief to others. Communicating your vision to others solves most of the problems and communicating it effectively, leaves no scope for self doubt. I feel that we as women, over-think everything, and sometimes that can get the worst out of us. So it’s important to feel strongly about what we do and do it well, and leave no scope or time for over-thinking things.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Supriya!

You can check out more  details here and please share some social media love with the team of Josh Talks via Facebook and Twitter.

P.S. You should also check out our blog post about the Josh Meets Women Change-makers event on 08 March in Delhi. We will give away 5 tickets for free. And all you have to do: tell us which woman in India inspires you and why.

Josh Meets Women Change-makers on 08 March 2016 in Delhi (…and we are giving away 5 tickets for free)

Did you know that my mom never wanted a Mother’s Day gift from me but you be happy if I wish her on International Women’s Day? 08 March should be a special day to all of us. A day to point out the many struggles women all around the world face. A day to remind ourselves of the obstacles we as women overcame. And a day to celebrate our success.

Josh Meets Women Change-Makers on 08 March 2016 in Delhi
Josh Meets Women Change-Makers on 08 March 2016 in Delhi

 

Josh Meets Women Changer-makers is all set for this year’s International Women’s Day: 6 women will share their stories: the ones of struggle, obstacles and success. And you have not only the chance to listen to their stories but also to ask questions.

For more details of the event, visit their FB event here. I am super excited that we are running a FB contest and we will be giving away 5 free tickets for the event. All you have to do? Tell us WHICH WOMAN IN INDIA INSPIRES YOU THE MOST? WHY? So, head over to our FB page and comment your answer below the FB post. Good luck!

Josh Meets Change-makers on 08 March 2016 in Delhi
Josh Meets Change-makers on 08 March 2016 in Delhi
P.S. If you don’t want to leave it to chance, you can Apply for a ticket here: http://bit.ly/WomenOfTheWorld Once your application is selected, you will have to pay a fee of Rs 250 to guarantee your seat. Applications Close at 11pm on 29th February, 2016.

Ruchi & Shikha Durlabhji from Code Silver

Ruchi (left) and Shikha (right) - Sisters and Founders of Code Silver
Ruchi (left) and Shikha (right) – Sisters and Founders of Code Silver

Name of your business:

Code Silver (Website: www.codesilver.in)

Tell us about your business…

Code Silver introduces a dazzling collection of unusual designs, unique concepts and exquisite artwork – an unusual melange of unusual items, objects d’art and one-of-a-kind pieces. Code Silver brings its ensemble of gift items in silver and silver plated.

What motivated you to start your own business?

We launched keeping in mind the dearth of quality silver gift items in India. We realized that the scope for such a business is huge in India.

Which have been the biggest challenges when starting your business?

The biggest challenges were learning about an industry we had no idea about, getting craftsmen, manufacturing issues, hiring the right people.

How did you overcome these challenges?

We worked extremely hard to overcome our day to day problems. We started tackling each problem to overcome them and find solutions.

How did you find your first customers?

We contacted people we knew and participated in exhibitions.

What is the most effective way to sell your products/services?

We have stores and are launching our online portal soon. Exhibitions are a good way of promoting the products, too.

What is the most exciting part of running your own business?

It is a creative and design based business which makes it a lot of fun. We often play around with designs and products.

What is your least favorite part of running your own business?

Sometimes, we get inquiries for products which we don’t find exciting at all. Working on such products is our least favorite part.

How do you stay motivated during difficult times?

During difficult times, it is our belief in the products and the line of business that keeps us motivated.

Who inspires you?

Our parents.

What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs?

Go out and do what you enjoy doing – and never ever give up!

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Ruchi and Shikha!

You can check out more  details here and please share some social media love with the team of Code Silver via Facebook and Twitter.

 

What to do when you are overwhelmed by too much work

 

Did that ever happen to you? You have a long list of to-do’s, a couple of deadlines coming up in a few hours and you have no clue how to get it all done in time? You feel so overwhelmed by everything that you can’t even concentrate on getting your work done…

Well, that is exactly what happened to me yesterday. I spent a wonderful Sunday with my husband and zero work (I didn’t even check my emails). I had a few things planned for the day that I needed to get done before the week starts but my husband surprised me with lazy Sunday brunch (remember it was Valentine’s Day) and I just loved spending the whole day with him and not turning on my laptop to get to the work items that were pending…

Fast forward to Monday morning: I didn’t wake up on time (I was suppose to sit at my desk by 6.30am to work on the things I ignored the previous day) and as soon as I woke up, I had a call with one of my suppliers who couldn’t deliver an item on time. Are you kidding me, Monday morning? Before I even turned on my laptop, my mood was already ruined and again I saw my to-do-list with way to many tasks to complete in a single day.

Being overwhelmed by too much work and too little time, I started multi-tasking (the worst thing ever!)… With 20 windows open in my internet browser, a couple of excel sheets and a Skype call, my laptop too was overwhelmed and crashed. Oh no! I didn’t know whether I should shout or cry…

And that is when I realized that I had to calm down and re-focus on what really had to get done today before I could attempt any of my work.

Sounds familiar? Well, here are 3 things that I did yesterday that helped me to overcome my stress and helped me to focus on my work again:

  1. I de-cluttered and organized my work space –including my laptop desktop. Chaos on my desk symbolizes the chaos in my mind and when I clear the physical clutter my mind can focus better. (But make sure you don’t waste too much time doing a physical clean-up: I suggest max. 10 minutes)
  2. I went to the gym. I suggest you do 30 minutes of cardio exercise. I love to sweat out my stress. As a warm-up, I suggest you listen to your favorite songs and dance.
  3. I cleared my email inbox: one email at a time. Often we have so many unread emails in our inbox and many of them can be answered/worked upon within less than a minute. Ignore the emails that overwhelm you or need more time to act upon and instead focus on the quick ones like paying your phone bill, confirming a meeting, etc. Imagine you can reduce the clutter in your email inbox by 20 emails in 20 minutes.

And suddenly, I felt back in control. I then took my to-do-list and marked the items that could not wait for tomorrow and wrote them on to a new piece of paper. Prioritizing is very important –especially when you run your own business and you have to play multiple roles. Know exactly what MUST BE DONE and what are add-on items on your list that can wait or be done by someone else.

Writing the ABSOLUTE MUST DO’s on an extra list (and keeping the other list away) helped me to realize what I need to focus on.

Please let me know in the comments below if these tips help you as well and also if you have some more advice for everyone who feels overwhelmed by too much work.

Reemma Dalal from Mix and Mingle

Reema Dalal, Founder of Mix and Mingle
Reemma Dalal, Founder of Mix and Mingle

Name of your business:

Mix and Mingle (Website: www.mixandmingle.in)

Tell us about your business…

Mix and Mingle was created to fulfill Mumbai’s need for a fresh outlook on its social scene, particularly for the discerning singles crowd. It provides an opportunity for singles to meet new people and expand their social network in a safe environment-something that can be challenging for those who have a demanding job, are new to the city, or just simply reserved.

What motivated you to start your own business?

My business partner Jemma and I, were in between jobs when we thought of the idea of Mix and Mingle. We were friends even before we started the company, and used to go out a lot to various events, lounges, bars and clubs. We noticed that the average age group of people who were on a night out were quite young. We thought of organizing an event that specifically catered to singles 30 years and up. It is generally harder to make connections at this age when many of your friends have either gotten married, have kids or moved away. Also we knew quite a few single people in their 30’s and wanted to bring them together in a fun and relaxed environment.

Which have been the biggest challenges when starting your business?

Although the mindset of single people is changing over the years, many are still intimidated by the idea of attending a singles event. They still feel that it’s safer and more comfortable to meet someone either through their friends, family or parents. Some singles feel that attending a singles event means putting yourself out there and possibly looking desperate.

How did you overcome these challenges?

We have been trying to change the mindset over the years by providing a comfortable, safe space for like-minded people to meet. We make it a point to screen everyone who attends our events to avoid having people who do not belong in such an event. In our monthly newsletter, we try to address issues that single men and women face and suggest tips on how to tackle these issues. We have also started organizing workshops on different topics related to singles. We realize that it can be difficult for singles in Mumbai since we constantly face criticism or judgement from family or friends if you are not married at a certain age. We wanted to create a space where they feel safe, they are not judged and they can actually be themselves and meet like minded people.

How did you find your first customers?

We find our customers through Facebook, Meetup, Twitter, Instagram and also word of mouth. Many of our clients like attending our events and recommend their single friends to do the same.

What is the most effective way to sell your products/services?

Social media. We are present on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Meetup.

What is the most exciting part of running your own business?

1) I can be my own boss and I am not answerable to anyone. 2) I can find my own work and life balance. 3) l can choose people I want to work with. 4) I can challenge myself. 5) l can connect with my clients. 6) I can follow my passion

What is your least favorite part of running your own business?

My least favorite part of business is routine back end work, updating database, following up with payments, following up with clients before the events to make sure they are going to attend our events.

How do you stay motivated during difficult times?

By keeping my head up high. The toughest challenge can help us grow the most. Appreciate and be grateful and if you want something you can make it happen.

Who inspires you?

My mother –she is a reiki master and spiritual healer. She helps me to stay positive at all times.

What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs?

Follow your heart. Your heart will lead you to the place you are supposed to be and if you really truly believe in something, you will make it happen. But you have to believe in it, because you live it and breathe it each day. If you are not passionate about it and you don’t love it, it’s going to present a lot of challenges especially when you get to the hard stuff.

Thank you for sharing your story with us, Reema!

You can check out more  details here and please share some social media love with the team of Mix and Mingle via Facebook and Twitter.

 

3 Events our Team will attend this weekend

What are you doing this weekend? The team of Entrepreneuress.in will not only participate in the 10km charity run on Sunday organized by Footsteps 4 Good… We will also spend the Saturday getting inspired by the stories of entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists, artists, photographers, surgeons, and many more.

Yellow Talks 06 Feb 2016 in BKC, Mumbai

We L-O-V-E all things startups and are super excited to hear the stories of speakers from various fields like Art, Finance, Science, Healthcare, Entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists, Technology, Photographer, Sports etc.

Sounds interesting? Come and join us for these events. Check out the details below.

Yellow Talks on Saturday 06 Feb 2016 in BKC, Mumbai

Startup Grind: Jitendra Gupta (Founder Citrus Payments) on Saturday 06 Feb 2016 in Lower Parel, Mumbai

Footsteps 4 Good Charity Run / Walk on Sunday 07 Feb 2016 in BKC, Mumbai.

Take A Step. Change A Life.

Watch this space!

Soon, you will find many inspiring stories of female entrepreneurs in India here!

If you are a woman and starting or running your own business and would like to be featured, please click here and fill out the Female Founders Form.

Are you looking for co-working space in Lower Parel (Mumbai)?

Co-working space 1

A Fashion Tech Startup based in Lower Parel (Mumbai) has 6-8 extra desks available in their  brand new creative office space as they postponed their hiring efforts. Lucky you 🙂

Conference RoomCo-working space 4

The office was designed by a renowned architect and it’s a ready to use, plug and play set up – all you need is your laptop & charger. There is also a conference room for meetings, a restroom and pantry.

Co-working space 2 Co-working space 3

PRICE: 8500 INR per desk/month (preferable min. 3 months commitment)

For more details, please get in touch with Nina via email: 468nina (at) gmail (dot) com. Only serious enquiries (Spammers are super uncool!)

Co-working space 5 Restroom

 

 

10 tips to start a successful week (plus one extra tip)

1. Everything starts the week before

In order to start a successful week, you have to end the previous one in a successful way. Try to keep your email inbox empty. Answer all the emails that need to be answered before you leave your office on Friday afternoon (or if you work from home, before you shut down the computer and enjoy the weekend!). Clear up your desk and office space and prepare for a great start on Monday morning. Don’t wait for the new week to start to plan it. Instead, take half an hour before you shut the office and plan your goals, targets and meetings for the week ahead.

2. Sunday Funday

sunday funday

Have fun, enjoy your weekend. That’s what Sundays are for. Spend your time with friends and family and do the things you enjoy most. Go for a bicycle tour with your kids, meet up your friends for a girls’ spa afternoon, go shopping with your mother, and dance the night away with your husband…  And when the weekend comes to an end: do something relaxing, have a good night sleep and remember: You run your own business. You get to do what you always wanted to do. So, don’t complain about #mondayblues. Instead, celebrate the beauty of a new week ahead of you and THANK GOD IT’S MONDAY!

3. Manage your household like your company

Let’s be realistic: As a female CEO you not only run your own business –you run a household, too. Husband, children, in-laws… Hopefully, they are all very proud of your business success but I am sure they (and you too) often fall back into traditional gender roles and think women are the ones who should take care of cleaning, cooking, etc. But I tell you a secret: You can’t do it all alone and you shouldn’t. Just like in your company, you shouldn’t be doing all the ground work yourself, learn how to outsource your household tasks. Order groceries online, employ a maid to keep the house clean and tidy, prepare a meal plan to ensure healthy and happy eating habits for your family, etc. I suggest you write down all chores –however big or small – and discuss with all your family members (kids, parents, grandparents) who can take care of what and what needs to be outsourced. Do invest in keeping a maid or cook if that frees time for you to spend with your family after a busy day at work.

4. Your home represents your inner self

Ever heard of the saying that a cluttered house means a cluttered mind? Though I think creative chaos can help you succeed in life and business, you should keep your house clutter-free and organized.

Like Kahlil Gibran said “Your house is your larger body”, I truly believe that there is a connection between how you feel and how it looks around you. Follow these simple but effective house rules to have a clean and beautiful house: 1. Have a home for everything you own. 2. If it takes less than one minute, do it right away. 3. No dirty dishes in the sink before you go to bed.

I promise you, your home will look much more organized and cleaner and you will feel inspired and confident to take on the world.

5. Exercise: First thing in the morning

We all know it: Physical activity is important for our bodies, minds and souls. Regular exercise increases our focus, decreases stress, makes us feel happier and more relaxed, boosts our energy and helps us sleep better at night. At still, this is one of the things during the day that we always postpone. In the mornings, we rush to work; during the day there is no time to even think about exercising; and at night, we are exhausted and want to spend that little time we have with our loved ones. Well, keep your alarm 15 minutes earlier, jump out of bed, turn on some music and get your body moving. There are endless fitness videos on youtube that you can follow or if you want to start your day calmer –try yoga. I usually hit the gym at 6 o’clock in the morning. Whatever it is for you: Get your daily exercise done first thing in the morning before you get busy in the daily routine and disaster management of a startup CEO.

6. Meditate before you leave the house.

meditation

Take a couple of minutes to ground yourself. This will help you to stay focused and be a strong business woman however stressful and crazy the day may be(come).

There are many different methods and ways in which you can meditate. The important point is that you focus: focus on yourself, on the moment, your opportunities. Visualize yourself as a happy and successful businesswoman who gets stuff done.

7. The holy hour in office

Reach office an extra hour early on Monday mornings and get some of the big and strategic things done before people arrive with their #mondayblues. You are the CEO of this company, you love what you do. Always remember: YOU love Monday mornings! Try to nurture the same feeling in your employees. Make it fun for them to come to office after a weekend of joy and happiness with friends and family. Turn on some music and dance the Mondayblues away –then kick ass and get awesome work done.

8. #iHeartToDoLists

to do list

I am a big fan of writing to-do lists. I need to get everything out of my mind and put it on old-fashion paper before I start my work. And yes, to-do lists can be dangerous when the act of writing things down and crossing them off becomes more important than actually getting stuff done. So make sure you take limited time (maximum 30 minutes) to prepare yourself with a powerful WEEKLY to-do list and then get started.

I suggest keeping only one MOST IMPORTANT TASK for each day and two SECONDARY TASKS OF IMPORTANCE. Everything else is “nice-to-get-done-today” but not essential to feel productive and accomplished.

9. Kiss the Frog

Most people call it ‘eat the frog’ and with that they mean to do your most difficult (which is usually your most important) task first. I call it Kiss the Frog because I believe in the beauty of life: and who knows –your frog may turn into a prince.

kiss the frog

We all know the syndrome of getting 20 things done in a day –but not that one thing we are supposed to do since ages. I promise you if you stop thinking of an old, ugly and stinky toad but instead just kiss that frog, you will feel amazing. This will give you a great sense of accomplishment and boosts your confidence that everything is possible.

10. Reward yourself

Make sure you reward yourself after completing your priorities for the day to keep your motivation levels high: movie’s night with your family on Tuesday, girls’ lunch on Wednesday, beauty parlour on Thursday, etc.

11. Love what you do and Do what you love!

Always remember: This is your life and it is too short to live someone else’s dreams. The only way to be successful is to do what you love.