I have seen many ladies who have taken the entrepreneurial plunge after becoming a mother and some of these mompreneurs have made it big due to the burning passion as well as the gap in the market. One such Mompreneur is Chinmayie Bhat who discovered babywearing and fell in love with this age old method of wearing your baby.
Read on to know her beautiful story.
So Mommy, tell us in detail about your life….What did you do before becoming a mom or even before you got married?
I worked as a graphic designer for a brief period after college and took a break from work when I became a mom. When my first baby was a year old I started food blogging and I loved it! It brought together my love for food, storytelling, photography and design. I was always passionate about food, sustainability, and conscious living.
“Everything I have done in the past and what I am doing now revolves around these basic interests of mine”
Tell us something about your life while you grew up? Family? Siblings?
I grew up in a town called Puttur close to Mangalore. Small town life was slow and peaceful. My parents and my brother have always been supportive and enthusiastic with all my ideas. My mother and I especially share a beautiful relationship, I can talk to her about anything. It is also great to have been able to work alongside my brother, Krishna. He is an amazing photographer and has been a huge part of the Soul team.
Tell us something about your schooling and college…I did my schooling in my hometown. I moved to Bangalore when I was 15 to study fine art and design, after which I worked as a graphic designer for a while.
Tell us something about your life as a Mommy with 2 kids and a Founder at the same time? Life is always hectic, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. As a mother with two young children, my schedule is always changing, but for now, we have a great routine in place. We start our days early and by 7.30 my kids leave for school. I focus on my work completely till 2 pm. I work from home on most days but go to our factory and office based on where I am required. I spend my evenings with my kids, and I get back to work if required after they go to bed.
How did you come across BabyWearing? I first got to know about babywearing almost a decade ago, when I had my daughter Alaru. She was a high needs baby who wanted to be carried all the time. At that time I bought a carrier from a popular retailer available in India, but it was not comfortable for her, she got hot and sweaty, and just cried all the time. I wanted to buy a ring sling for her, but it wasn’t available in India at the time, and it was expensive abroad. Since she was growing up fast, I was unsure of investing in one. But when I was pregnant with my son, I knew I needed a ring sling, and was well researched about everything babywearing. My son was worn almost every day of his first year!
Tell us your Soul Story…how did you start Soul Slings and how did you take it forward?
I started Soul because I fell in love with carrying my son in a ring sling, and wanted every parent in India to have access to the same feelings of closeness and liberation, that I had. I started a Facebook page with an album of ring slings, which my son and I modelled for. I couldn’t believe it when all of them sold out in a few days!
All mompreneurs struggle with managing the finances and most importantly getting funded. How did that happen for you?
Soul has been entirely self-funded till now, growing fairly rapidly over the past 5 years, especially with my husband co-founding and handling the financial side of things.
“We feel we are just at the point where we are ready to open to investors, so the future looks exciting!”
How did you manage to grow Soul in the foreign market?Soul has grown very organically from day one, in India and around the world. We have taken the time to understand and connect with local babywearing communities, whichever part of the world they are in and I feel this has held us in good stead with our customers.
What is in store for Soul in the future? What will it stand for? Really excited to know more
We are always looking for ways to grow Soul. We now have six websites to cater to our local and global audience. The most exciting thing to happen for us this year is the inauguration of our first ever retail store in Singapore. Singapore has been really good to us, we have a warehouse and now a store there and we couldn’t be happier with the response.
“This year we took our commitment to green choices and sustainability one step further with the launch of our children’s line of clothing made from 100% organic cotton – One Earth. We hope to grow One Earth to reach parents across India, and the world, because our babies and our planet deserve our best.”
How is it being a Mompreneur? What are the perks?
Having my own business means that I can work on things that I love to do, every day! I can be home when my kids are back from school, and spend quality time with them, as I’m working from home.
How is your typical day like?
My day is filled with managing my home, getting my children ready for school, and then getting my pending work done- just like any busy working mom!
I do take time out just for myself – I start and end my day with a long walk and enjoy my quiet time once the kids are in bed for the night.
How do u balance the day with the kids and plus work, and personal stuff? It is not always easy, but I have a great support system at home and at work, in my husband Ravindra. He has been my pillar of strength from the day I came up with the idea of starting Soul. He manages our production facility in Bangalore and so much more. He is the co-founder of Soul, and has been instrumental to the success of the company.
Tell us something about your pregnancies? Was each pregnancy totally different?
I honestly think that no two pregnancies and birthing experiences can be the same! With Alaru, I had only known the conventional/mainstream ideas of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and parenting. I was much more informed about alternative choices the second time around.
How has technology changed mommyhood?
“I think having social media, virtual networking, and so much information readily available at your fingertips has a huge influence on motherhood. Like everything else, it’s up to us to use technology wisely but it has definitely been a boon to me personally.”
Any books that you have read in recent times and would recommend for parents.
I don’t find/make time to read too much honestly!
Any series that you are currently watching? Any movies that are on your must-watch list?Same as the above!! I must say that I love any shows/movies/documentaries that are about food!
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