How have you all been? I hope you enjoyed reading the interview with Melani Rayen. Thank you for the overwhelming response on #mwiseries. How many of you shop online for your kids? I am sure most of you would. One of my favorite shopping sites is Indieprojectstore. Founded by Shilpi Sharma Bedi and Sathyabhama N, the products from Indie Project store are curated to create a unique space for children. They support Indian parenting community, by offering products which are an outcome of a robust belief system and passion for doing things differently.
They make the cutest outfits for both boys and girls in the softest and most comfortable fabrics. Oh! Did I tell you, they also make twinning outfits? I know you are gleaming with happiness, aren’t you? Let’s see what Shilpi has to say about her entrepreneurial journey.
Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
I’m Shilpi (One half of Indie Project Store, my business partner Satya is the other half). We are a teeny tiny family of four, which includes my husband (Abjit), an almost 3-year-old man-cub named Zane, our 10-year-old fur baby Layla and Me.
How did the idea of Indie Project Store come up? What inspired you to be an entrepreneur?
I had always wanted to have access to a ‘market-place’ or a ‘mommies-market’ that sells kids/babies products with unique sensibilities. Products that are true to Indian roots, handcrafted, old school, something straight out of grandma’s closet, made by mothers, with a mother’s touch & heart, for other mothers (and their children). The idea was always to build a community rather than business, a one-stop solution for modern parents with very grounded and natural parenting approach. So you can say I became an entrepreneur out of sheer need to find the best products for my child.
If not the founder of Indieprojectstore, what and where would we see you as?
Professionally I have spent more than a decade and a half in human resource development. Managing “learning & development’ departments for MNCs, freelancing as an Instructional designer for NGOs, handling lifestyle, etiquette and social skills training programs for International brands (I’m a certified Image Consultant). So if not IPS then most likely, I would have continued in the learning and development field but probably for little people (I’m obsessed with kids).
How tough or easy was it for you to decide to be an entrepreneur?
Ever since my move from Bangalore to Hyderabad after marriage, I had been freelancing and working for myself, so growth as an entrepreneur was pretty organic for me.
How has your journey been? What did you enjoy the most being an entrepreneur?
I’m overwhelmed by the response to this simple endeavor of ours and love every bit of this journey. My most favorite part of this job is bumping into beautiful people, who remind me of how much kindness and warmth still exist around us.
You are an entrepreneur and a mom, how do you juggle all these duties?
Being your Boss allows you remarkable amount of flexibility, my work schedule is usually planned around my son’s schedule. Also, having a business partner helps, I cannot imagine managing Indie Project Store without Satya’s (My business partner) support.
What is your morning routine? What is the first thing you do in the morning?
We are planning to homeschool our son, so currently mornings are my time with my tiny; we do few hours/minutes of random activities depending on his mood before he moves on to spending the day with his father. First thing I do in the morning – Be grateful for all that I have and say a word of prayer.
Do you get time for yourself? What is your mantra to relax and unwind?
It’s hard to get the so-called ‘me time’ with a toddler and an aging pet child, but I get by just fine. I sneak in a few late nights of Netflix binge now and then, but when I need some significant unwinding, then it has to be sand in my feet, sun in my face and a good book for my soul.
What is that one thing/person that keeps to motivated?
The passion for what I do keeps me motivated. I love my work; the ability to make a difference in other people’s lives, either by supporting a small business or creating income generating avenues for social enterprises/ NGOs or even just making an outfit that puts a smile on someone’s face is a huge motivation factor for me.
Do you have meltdowns? How do you handle such situations?
All the time, I handle them by talking. Yes, I’m a talker; get it off your chest, kind of person.
Whom do you attribute your success? Why?
A lot of what we could accomplish was because of our work ethics and attitude. We never lost sight of our values. We have treated our customers, business partners, collaborates and even competitors with utmost respect and positivity consequently we received everything back in ten folds.
What are your goals for 2018?
2018 is all about expansion, as a team, we are relentlessly working towards reaching out to more and more like-minded parents who can benefit from a platform like ours both as customers and sellers.
What is your advice to people who want to be entrepreneurs?
Keep an open mind; every competitor can be a possible collaborate, and every interaction is a brand-building prospect. There are more than enough opportunities for all of us; we just need to have a progressive outlook towards things and keep doing our best, rest will fall into place automatically.
If you are looking for comfortable yet stylish and elegant clothing for your kids, Indieprojectstore is the place to be! Follow them on Instagram and Facebook and don’t miss on their cute outfits and nursery decor. Thank you, Shilpi for being a part of this series. You are indeed a fantastic mompreneur.
Lots of love