The Story Exchange, Rupal Bhinda, Ebb & FlowYour Name: Rupal Bhinda

Business Name: Ebb & Flow, LLC, a maker of home fragrances and bath products

Type of Business: Health & Beauty/Home & Housewares

Business Location: New York, NY, United States

Twitter   @ebbandflownyc

Reason for starting
Working in the fashion industry I would give gifts to my clients during the holiday season. To stand out from the rest of the gift givers I started packaging handmade soaps. During the year I would get requests from our clients to make these soaps as gifts for them to give. It became such a demand that we decided there was a place for us to bring our love of scents, while encouraging customers to take a moment away from the daily grind for a little Ebb & Flow.

How do you define success?
Success is being able to live comfortably off of the life choices that I have made while being able to share that joy with the family and friends around me.

Biggest Success
Our biggest reward has been getting into larger, more well known stores such as Fortnum & Mason, ABC Home & Carpet, and recently having our products sold over seas to Japanese department stores. Recognition on a larger scale is sometimes the affirmation that one needs to keep moving forward.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
When we started it was a small affair, and we had chosen our packaging materials by what we could find nearby. As the company started to grow we realized that there wasn’t such a big supply of the paper bouquets that we place on each product. We slowly started to use up a dwindling supply of these flowers. We were forced to start hand-dying the flowers for continuity. It was a time consuming project that started as a last resort. Eventually we were able to source a company abroad that not only makes these bouquets, but we are now working with them as we bring new scents in to create our own colors. The continuing growth of Ebb & Flow has luckily created a large enough demand so that we can met their minimums and has opened us up to any new scent that we wish to create in the future. When this no longer was a limitation, it became a new avenue for creativity.

Who is your most important role model?
A family friend has been an important role model in my life. They had come over from India to start anew. They have been able to build, from the ground up, an image of importance and wealth. He and his wife together started their own company and have become very successful. Along they way the did not forget where they came from and who was supporting them from the beginning. Today they always choose to support small businesses and continue bring all their family and friends with them along the journey.