School life is a fantastic part of your journey; you learn arithmetic that you never use, learn the physical exercises that you never carry forward, build lasting memories that you never forget, make amazing friends whom you would never let go.
Whenever I look at my DAV girls Whatsapp group, the list of names would always flash the memories of the group of us in Striped Salwars with white dupattas, double braids that we style to with different hair clips, goofy smiles when our crushes pass by. While I still struggle to find my footing in life, slowly but surely searching my soul to find my calling; I realize, some of these girls have transformed elegantly into magnificent women, handling the responsibilities of home, work, and life in general, with a clear head and a kind heart.
They don different hats that life offers them- daughter, wife, mother, employee, artist, entrepreneur; and precious few of them takes that extra mile to wear it all, at once. One such remarkable woman in Charanya Rangarajan.
Charan, as we call her, is a doting mother for her kutti Rithwi, a loving wife, a caring daughter, a protective sister, a devoted employee, and an inspiring entrepreneur who does all of it to perfection. I remember seeing her shy FB posts back in 2014, where she started putting up salwar materials and other assorted accessories for sale; From there it's no turning back. I have been amazed by the quality of the products she delivers and the fantastic, loyal customer following she has. "That is the beauty of having a home business. Your constant encouragement comes from your customers" she said when I asked her about it.
When I asked her how Sparklerz started, she said with a small smile, "Sparklerz was started in the year 2014. Initially, I started it to save some pocket money for my daily expenses, but gradually It turned out to be a passionate hobby. At the start, I was selling only to friends and relatives, slowly the word spread and now I have a bunch of amazing customers turned friends who turn to me for their apparel/jewelry shopping!"
"It does always start small, doesn't it?" I mused, "I see that you put up an astounding line of products in Elixir Organics, how did that idea come about, what is your vision for it?" I asked, my interest piqued.
"Elixir is my recent venture about homemade skincare products which are 100% homemade, chemical free and preservative free. I started elixir with a goal in achieving clean and healthy skin using eco-friendly products. Nowadays, even the food we eat contains a lot of chemicals, we cannot control that. But at least we can control what we feed our skin. Our skin goes through a lot from morning to night, it deserves the best pampering which is through natural way. My vision for elixir is putting out natural and eco-friendly products on stage that helps everyone achieve clean and healthy skin without burning a hole in their pocket. At the end of the day, skin care products should help the skin breath, not suffocate it more with harmful chemicals and preservatives. Our next goal is to extend our collection to kids friendly products!" she said, oozing confidence and determination. This woman no longer looked like the Charan from I school I remembered, she had somewhere turned into a formidable force that I was beginning to admire. But how can one do so much? Especially when she has a child that's not even a year old? And, that was the question I blurted out next.
"All credit goes to my family who supported me and stood with me through all thick and thins. I have been working in corporate for more than 5 years, and a mom for a year. Frankly, I am able to juggle between the responsibilities due to support from my family who help me manage my time. I work in a full-time job due to financial commitment but being a mom and entrepreneur has become my passion, they are like my lifelines without which I cannot get by. Entrepreneurship is like my escape from reality which keeps me sane in this fast-moving world. There is no dull day in my life as these three balances it equally."
"It's quite a blessing to have an amazing family that supports you no matter what" I agreed. Though it's an absolute advantage, the fire and passion all come from within. Where does the woman get all her courage? Damn! I could never lift a dead cockroach with a broom for the fear that it would come alive by some horrid miracle. "Weren't you scared about any of it?" I asked, "I would lose my mind and all my sleep, bothering about the things that could go wrong!" I said.
"The most critical part in a startup is earning the trust of people, through which we can expand our customer base and gain some repetitive and permanent trust. Still many out there hesitate to shop products online, as they find it hard to trust an unknown person with their hard-earned money. It takes a lot of patience and hard work. But once the trust is earned, there is no turning back, that is the biggest victory. Pocket-friendly prices and earning the trust of people will help any small-scale venture become a huge success!" her voice ringed with absolute conviction.
When a woman has a firm idea, a clear goal, the courage to take a sure step forward, with all her innate compassion and empathy intact, she becomes a role model. And, I took it as my imperative duty to share the message this treasure of a woman wanted to share to the womenfolk around her, "What is the message you want to share with the women out there?" I asked.
My only message for women is,
Be independent and believe in yourself especially even after getting married. There is nothing a woman cannot do these days. Try to be an inspiration for the ones close to you. Being independent has a lot of perks, it gives undeterred confidence to cross all hurdles in life
I could only nod my head in wonder, hoping that I could do a decent job in presenting her story to my small world. I did what I can, leaving you guys to be the judge of it!