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Name: Shalini Girish
Business: La Elegante
Location: Mumbai, India
Industry: Apparel & Accessories
Reason for starting? Having taken a break from work after my pregnancy, I realized it was difficult to get back to a regular 9-5 job. Although my days were full taking care of my son and home it just was not filling my soul. I had my daughter three years after my son and the next ten years just went by without me even realizing it. The days were truly fulfilling, exhausting, filled with happiness, but as the night fell there was this ache to do something more than just this. A domestic life was great, but I was itching for more!
Related: Read about another mompreneur here.
How do you define success? There is no real definition to success, it’s a mix; 20% passion, 10% dreams, 10% commitment, 40% hard work and 20% luck, together makes it a 100% success. But true success, if one has this mantra on a loop. Take away one element of this, and it all comes crashing down.
Biggest success: Having my clients tell me that they schedule their day in such a way so that they keep themselves free at 10 am, when my new product uploads are posted. Every time I take a break from work and I am back, it’s bliss to hear my clients tell me that they missed me and that they are glad I am back in business… A client once told me getting their favorite product before it gets sold out on my page is like booking first-day first-show tickets for a Rajnikanth movie, which is almost impossible. Every Indian will tell you that.
Recently I bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and got introduced to her friend who was with her. One thing led to another and while discussing work and what we do, the friend says, “Check out the page, La Elegante, they are just too good.” To say I was grinning ear to ear when I acknowledged that I own La Elegante is an understatement. All of the above defines success to me.
Related: Our Definitions of Success: Meaning Over Money
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? The biggest challenge is to continue providing trendy products at affordable prices to my customers on a daily basis. First is the keeping abreast with new products part, which involves being up to date on current trends in the market; second is the procurement; then comes the photography of each product. Being a novice in that area is a huge challenge. Then the coding happens. With over 10,000 products, it’s a challenge to code without errors. Then comes the accounting and taxation part. Once posted, I process the orders received, which usually takes the whole day. An average of 400 odd messages everyday is not easy to get to. Packing and delivery of the product is the last chain in the wheel. That sums up the day, just as the new day dawns.
Who is your most important role model? My mother. A self made lady, who started her career as a corporate accountant and then shifted her career into teaching soon after she had me. She retired as a Principal in a school with over 35 years of teaching behind her, and while teaching others continued to learn herself too. A very strong, passionate person, that is my mother. I owe what I am today to her.
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Edited by The Story Exchange