"For me it’s not creating pots, it’s living an experience while creating a sense of bonding."
Tell us something about yourself?
At the initial stage of my life, I followed the traditional path of doing graduation in Bachelor in Commerce with Honors, M.A. Economics (University Topper and a Gold Medalist), and finally an MBA from Rajasthan. I also enrolled in PHD after getting married but, somewhere down the line, I left it as I felt that I could never be a full-time professor. Kick started my career with the Taj group of hotels and remained a management professional for a while but, had to leave my full-time job because of my family reasons. Yet, I did not stop and began teaching marketing and advertising in apex management schools as a visiting faculty and taught for about 15 years. Simultaneously, I rediscovered the painter in me and created my expressions on glass and other mediums. My paintings were inspired by energy cycles- one of the very first kind, consequently, I received accolades from the connoisseurs and the collectors. The creations were showcased at premium galleries - like India Habitat Centre and India International Centre. I always strived to have a unique identity of my own, and never wanted to be a part of the mundane crowd. But how that identity formed took its own time. The journey was enriching, satisfying and had an Everest of challenges. Yet, it was immersing and inspiring, because the goal of being different was always in sight. Whatever I wanted to do, I wanted to excel in it. When I started painting, I remember, the response that I got was just amazing and encouraging. Then, when I ventured into corporate gifts and they were accoladed by Corporates (employee felicitations, seminars give away), individuals (celebrating their personal milestones, festival and return gifts). If I would have wanted to go back to teaching, I was certain that the institutions will still provide me the platform to share my experiences. I consistently strived to make bridges not to burn them. I am blessed that I could successfully manage this all, or in other words nature or energy helped me around to create an incredible value proposition for me, in my life. But yes, I was not full-time into anything, instead, I just prioritized everything. Like, I did teaching for a particular semester, in summers then, in winters, I would do paintings and showcased them on Diwali and other festivals. Once over, I again geared-up myself to be ready for my semester. I firmly believed that I had the innate capacity, capability and competency, to excel in multiple things at the same time.
The birth of EARTHLY CREATIONS?
I was very much associated to gardening and when I observed gardening around, I felt that people were very confined with their thoughts. For them gardening was just limited to grass, trees, flowers and shrubs. According to me, it’s much more than that. When I started my gardening in 1995, I participated in various Flower shows, where my Chrysanthemums swept the shows in winning. Yet somehow, I felt that my garden was incomplete, there was no life in it and there was something amiss. At that moment, I sat with roadside potters and told them to make birds and I hung them in my garden and I realized life coming in. Anybody who saw them wanted to have them and found them really pretty and eye catching. This is how my journey began into a potter’s life and thereafter THE EARTHLY CREATIONS.
What is EARTHLY CREATIONS all about?
EARTHLY CREATIONS is a socio-economic venture where we have adopted 20 potter clusters. It is unique in a way that it provides you with the designs, that create a sense of love, affinity and care with birds and animals. Like we created a smiling pig, so that customers take happiness and sweetness back to their homes. Our aim is that they take greenery into their home, not just an animal and therefore our tagline suggests ‘ love an animal, gift a plant ‘, now and always. The venture has been created for today’s generation to identify animals somewhere and could feel that sense of love with them, as in the present world they don’t get to see all the animals such as jugnu, frogs etc. I am passionate about creating this love and that is why I have created pots in A-Z animals and birds shapes, showcased in my garden. I don’t create animals, I create families, like if I am creating a giraffe, I will create the whole family of giraffe. For me it’s not creating pots, it’s living an experience while creating a sense of bonding.
What are the obstacles that you faced?
First and the foremost obstacle that I faced was to make my friends and family understand about starting something so unique as they used to say ‘PAD LIKH KE YAHI KARNA THA’. Second, it was challenging to convince the potters to make an animal different from what they used to make and to make them believe that money would definitely flow in.
Inspiring words for women?
Here, I would like to share that part of my life which is very crucial. I got married in 1989 and became a mother in 1991. In 2011 my son, was injected a wrong drug by the doctors and he was reduced to a vegetative stage. 18 years, he was nursed up as a 3-month old baby. All this happened with him but, me and my husband never gave-up on him and always believed that someday, he will be fine. I would just say that you should never give up in your life. Every woman has immense of hidden talent, some are bringing it out through cooking, some in bringing-up their children, which is no less and some bring it out in business or their profession.
"Each one of us have an ocean of hidden potential but, you just have to find it, explore it, and then, tap it. One needs conviction, patience and perseverance, to translate your dreams into a meaningful reality."
Is it important for a woman to be financially independent?
I feel a part of respect comes if a woman understands finance. It is very important for a woman to have self-worth. Our society has been built in a such a way that woman ask for finances from her husband, consequently, he harbors this fake feeling of being the sole provider. A fallacy that needs to be debunked now.If a woman is earning, she must be able to manage her finances on her own and should not rely on any other person. She needs to be involved in every stage of finances, be it planning or using it, fully and thoroughly. She should become a financially independent woman.
Earthly Creations redefined the woman of substance in me- one who is determined to be steadfast ahead, listens to her heart, while creating products beyond the ordinary. Achieved a meaningful sense of entity, and created a platform of providing opportunity to the have nots to lead a life of dignity and respect.
For startups, I would like to say:
• By all means, create your institutes of excellence, because entrepreneurship is here to stay. Be there now.
• For me a thought is more important than a person, because focused thinking coupled with a discipline of execution, can move mountains too.
• Lastly- just make your life simple - it’s so simple to be happy, yet it’s so difficult to be simple.
• My management mantra is basic- Prioritizing, organizing and adherence to timelines helped me to be here and I suppose, we all need to relook the way we work, from what we are doing presently to what we ought to do.