This SHERO Is Defying Ageist Norms By Starting A Venture At 52!

Last updated 21 Aug 2017 . 4 min read

Housewives seldom receive the respect and appreciation they deserve. Their contribution in managing a household often goes unnoticed for the sheer conception of it being their ‘duty’. SHEROES connects with women who are weaving their own stories with a fresh start, the threads of which were once left to devote their time to home and family.

Meet Mrs. Bindu Chopra, who found her soul path at the age of 52, when she started selling handmade soaps from home. Today, along with her business partner and friend Ruchi, she has about 13 varieties of homemade soaps that adorn the shelves of her soap studio - Ahad - which means incomparable, just like her work.

She was always keen on keeping herself busy and tried multiple things. She couldn’t stick to one thing for long due to her husband’s travelling job. But whatever she tried her hands on, filled her with immense joy and received appreciation too, which has been a motivating factor for her.

“I have never considered my age to be a problem. I thoroughly enjoyed what I did and I put my heart and soul into it.” She soon realised that aromatic soaps, face washes and perfumes have always been her passion. She would buy anything that caught her attention - irrespective of whether she used it in the long run or not!

When asked about her family’s initial reactions to her venture Ahad she tells us, “My family wasn’t really optimistic as they felt that people would find my products overpriced. It was indeed a challenge to sell something from home, at almost the price of a renowned brand. But in my heart, I knew that the product was good, it was handcrafted and anyone using it once would stay on.” And that’s exactly how it turned out to be.

She started with small homemade soaps weighing 20 gms and today, she has 13 varieties of homemade soaps weighing 100 gms and 125 gms, 12 kinds of creams that are aloe vera based, ubtans, Multani mitti face packs, coffee scrubs and much more.

The difficulties she faced while starting out, didn’t deter her spirits. Many a times, she stayed past midnight writing names of the soaps on stickers and filling jars with ubtan. But the end result has always been rewarding for her.

She has no fear of competition as she believes in her craft more than anything and works out of passion at her own pace. “Having dedicated years to keeping the household running, it was important for me to give myself the time I deserved. The songs in my heart matter more than the dust on the furniture now. My work gives me space and keeps my creativity alive, which I realised, was dying somewhere at home”, she says.

It took her about a year to build a customer base since there was no advertising or marketing of her products involved. Surprisingly, her customer base took its initial roots purely on the basis of word of mouth, thanks to her family and friends. She now has around 158 women alone on a whatsapp group of clients!

Every stranger who has walked in at Ahad has stepped out as a friend and it’s nothing less of an achievement for her. She’s grateful to all her clients for having faith in Ahad and her.

Discussing about the ageist perceptions of our society and whether she had to break any stereotypes, she says, “When I started this venture, people came asking as to why I was working so hard when I have a well settled, retired husband and a son who is doing so well for himself. Which always makes me wonder, why do we look at a woman with a different perspective when she starts working in her 40s or 50s? There is no rule that defines the age bracket to start working! My work helps me grow at so many levels. There is a continuous learning process at my work. I interact with so many women each day and I receive more in terms of getting time from them and sharing their smiles.”

This is a personal narrative written by Mrs. Bindu Chopra, the creative force behind Ahad.

*Edited by Nirupama Nair

SHEROES - lives and stories of women we are and we want to be. Connecting the dots. Moving the needle. Also world's largest community of women, based out of India. Meet us at @SHEROESIndia

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