I was born and brought up in Jammu and came to Delhi for my college here, I studied fashion merchandizing and started my career in the fashion industry and worked in it for 28 years.
In the midst of it, I also went for work in Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. I got married in 1995 and we were blessed with a beautiful daughter in 1997. I paved my way to a senior position in the fashion industry. And then I decided to start Aaranyam, I wanted to make something that was personal, handmade and completely natural, something that made the customers feel connected, an experience completely different from the mass market produced products. Having suffered from skin sensitivity and psoriasis myself, I knew how exhausting it can be to keep trying new products. Bottle after bottle and yet not find anything that helps you. I just gave it all up one day and started making some ubptan and creams and scrubs for my family and myself. It was only when my daughter started to persuade me to get into soapmaking that I decided to take things a step further. That’s how Aaranyam came into existence. I have always stayed true to my philosophy, everything is natural, toxic free and handmade and I wish to always keep it that way.
As a child, I was average in studies and was not very bothered about my marks. However, I always wanted to be just like my farther, his authenticity and influence and how he commanded respect the moment he walked into a room…that is something that I always wanted for myself. I didn’t know what I’d do…I had no specific goals in that context, But I just wanted to work and make a living for myself and here I am today.
As a person I am a nature lover, I love to trek and I love animals and I also love to cook! I am not religious; However, I luckily paved a path for myself into spirituality a decade back and there’s no looking back ever since. I am grateful to have a beautiful family, a doting husband and a loving daughter, We have been a constant support for each other.
Tell us about yourself, your background and what you do currently
I have worked in the fashion industry for around 28 years. My daughter was really keen on getting into soapmaking, she always showed me beautifully handcrafted soaps from Pinterest and said “we must make these!” One day, I made up my mind and fully got into researching about these artisanal soaps as I have this habit of getting into the depths of things…how could something so basic be so beautiful? I learned everything that I could and we convinced ourselves to set up a stall in a Diwali handcrafts mela, but I guess existence had better things planned for us, and here I am almost two years later running a brand of complete natural skincare products.
Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote
I am very passionate about women empowerment. As someone who never gave up on her career, even after childbirth, I always believe that there is no limit to what a woman can accomplish. My dream is to hire women from the rural region for our artisanal work and grow as a brand along with them.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
I haven’t reached that destination where I can be contented enough to call myself successful, I still have a long way to go, However, one of the biggest challenges that I faced was not giving up on my dream, It is quite difficult to make the world understand that you dream of having success as a woman and don’t need permission for it. I knew what I wanted for myself and for my family and I stopped at nothing. There were a lot of financial constraints involved, emotional too, and in times like these, I did not have the privilege of having the support and faith that one needs, but that didn’t stop me…it mustn’t stop anyone for that matter!
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
Irrespective of what I have achieved in my career, my biggest achievement was having my daughter, nothing can beat that. Watching her grow up into a capable young woman, teaching her the things that I myself wasn’t taught…that is my biggest achievement.
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
I would be living a retired life. I would have migrated to some hill station, away from the world and all the hustle and bustle, and to answer the question, I would be gardening, and admiring the beauty of the hills.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My father played a key role in shaping my personality, He was a very accomplished man during his time and he still is. I always admired him and wanted to be just like him when I grew up. I remember trying to wear his formal shoes and trying to walk and talk like him. He made me aspire to have a career. He always taught me to be independent and be aware that I have the ability and the strength to do something.
What does the future hold for you?
I’m just grateful for where I’m at! I’m in no rush to figure things out. Right now, I am just embracing the unknown and letting life play its role. I just give it my all each day, working hard, trying to build the brand and leave the rest to the existence, Life’s been good and kind so far and I wish it stays the same ahead.