Meet the SHEROES - Shabia Walia
Her products are ‘all natural’ and are meant to help pamper the everyday woman! Because, every woman deserves some pampering. Our Shero today founded her own company after a chance incident and she now heads a successful business,
Let’s hear what Shabia Walila has to say,
How did the idea of Tattva by Shabia Walia come about?
My husband travels a lot courtesy his cinematography profession. He once got me a wonderful body scrub from Fiji which I eventually ran out of..
After hunting a lot for something similar, I came across one by a popular brand which was ridiculously expensive. That’s when I thought to myself - I thought to myself, ‘A Sugar Scrub can’t cost so much! Everybody should able to afford this pampering if she chooses to.’
That’s when I decided to try to make my own body scrub. Most importantly I could do my bit by reducing the extent of harsh chemicals from my family’s lives and those of others who would choose to try my products.
The aim was to make them with natural ingredients. So, on 12th January 2014, armed with a few jars and ingredients worth a thousand rupees, ‘Tattva by Shabia Walia’ was born.
We debated on a lot of English names for the company but the name ‘Tattva’ (meaning essence and truth) came to me one day and I thought it fit best.
Now we have a range of natural body products from cold process soaps, lip balms, body butters, body washes, anti aging creams and much more.
What are the challenges you face while building your network and product chain?
Every business requires an investment and fortunately for me, Tattva has sustained itself from day one. However product expansion, courier logistics, licenses do take a large part of your time and energy.
We started as a home business and slowly grew to a professional outfit purely by word of mouth and customer support. From being only local in the first few months, we now deliver all across India.
Retaining customers and exciting them with new and superior quality products whilst not losing sight of why you started it, is also an integral part of our business philosophy and challenge.
How are your products different from others in the similar market sphere?
We use only natural ingredients and stay away from chemicals as much as possible. SLS, parabens and sulfates are a complete no-no for us.
We don’t mind having a smaller range which is safe and natural rather than have a large one where we compromise the trust placed in us by our loyal customers.
For example cold process soaps take a long time to dry but that hasn't deterred us from adding them to our product range.
What are the long term goals for the business?
We want to capture a niche market where people value handmade, natural products and respect them for what its worth.
We would like to take our products abroad as well where the awareness for natural products is far more than what we have in India currently.
Having a large scale manufacturing unit, getting an organic certification, recycling our jars and reducing use of plastic, and making 'Tattva' a force to reckon with both in India and abroad as far as the natural body products market is concerned are some of my long term goals for the company.
What challenges do you feel women entrepreneurs face in India?
Women at large, be it an entrepreneur or working woman have a lot on their plate compared to men.
But their ability to multitask takes care of a large part of it. Women entrepreneurs are sometimes not taken as seriously as men as they are considered to be helming family and kids and very often there is a pre- conditioned mindset that we may not be 100 percent attuned to our goals, which sadly is not the case.
But with determination and consistent focus, you can do it. Once a man understands you are the boss and you will have it no other way, he respects you for it. Initially when I dealt with male vendors they used to look at me as someone who was pursuing a hobby or pastime.
But over the months when they saw my business growing, they started taking me far more seriously. Now I am an important client, not just a woman.
Getting your workers to be loyal to you, diligent as you are, multitask as you do is another uphill task.
I believe if your intentions are right, your product is good, and you give its marketing the right spin, its bound to make its mark. Innovation is the name of the game and today the online space is a huge boon for new entrepreneurs like me. How you use it to your advantage is what sets you apart from the rest of them.
Finally there is no one in this world who will believe in your product more than you do. So make it the best, believe in it and then let your customers shout out loud for you. That’s my mantra!