Sarulatha Gajapathy Bohozena

Sarulatha Gajapathy was the mother of a young toddler working in the corporate world, working long hours and dreaming of doing something of her own. In her spare time she started sketching out clothing designs with positive messages embroidered onto them. In 2020, as the Pandemic was raging, she knew it was her moment to take the leap and start her business. Gajapathy launched Bohozena and has expanded the company’s growth immensely in just over a year. Her online store offers a wide range of tee shirts, yoga apparel and accessories all sporting positive sayings and inspirational quotes. Today the Dublin, California-based entrepreneur is staying focused on her goals of increasing online sales while also distributing to local boutiques across the country.

Gajapathy‘s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:

What was your reason for starting your business?

I wanted to design products that inspire positivity, bring a smile to people’s faces as well as provide comfort and happiness. Every design has a positive message that helps to relieve anxiety and promote positive thinking. As a lover of self-love and positive vibes, I wanted to start a brand that reflects this mindset and displays it to others. Our goal is to create stylish apparel with inspirational and positive quotes that add cheer to our customers lives and make for unique gifts.

How do you define success?

Success is creating a positive impact around me and trying to become a person of value. Aim high and build a dream around that and set goals. I feel accomplished in creating personalized gifts for our customers. Designing the products with their personal style is more than just a gift. It becomes a special connection and i’m overwhelmed in meeting their expectations. 

Tell us about your biggest success to date

Our definition of success is defined by our customers’ satisfaction and aligning with our production partners. We have the capacity to produce high volume and establish ourselves as a brand in various marketplaces. Our designs are also sold in local boutiques across the USA.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?

I’ve been working in the corporate world for the past ten plus years and started designing as a hobby. As a mother of a toddler, working long hours and traveling was very challenging. Initially I spent long hours illustrating the designs and delivering them within a shorter timeline. Everything has been a learning curve. Since we launched we have been addressing the online customers and local business demands. Automating some part of the work like finance and shipping has mitigated some of the workload. 

Have you experienced any significant personal situations that have affected your business decisions?

The Pandemic has affected me, along with everyone else in the world as we launched our business in 2020. This is partially what pushed me to launch my brand to promote positive sentiments in a dark time. I have focused on doing the things that allow myself to do better and dream bigger.

What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs?

Trust yourself, set your goals and stay focused. Surround yourself with positive, successful people that inspire you! 

How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?

I go for a walk. I talk to friends and family that I know support me. 

Who is your most important role model?

I get inspired from other female founders and some of my friends who have been successful in their respective industries. I attend various network meetups and events and listen to stories of entrepreneurs who paved similar paths of creating their own business. 

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