Startup Diaries: From Farm Life to Glam Life
SkinYoga is the brainchild of sister-trio: Radhika, Jagriti and Deepika. They were born in West Bengal in India and grew up in a 20-acre farm in Gujarat where they grew their own vegetables and milked the cows for their daily dairy.
Later, they moved to other countries in order to pursue their respective college degrees. The transition from farm life to the concrete city life inspired them to create SkinYoga and to share with the world the importance of leading a yogic lifestyle.
Birth of the Start-up
We three sisters returned to India after finishing our higher education almost at the same time from three different parts of the world (London, Boston and Paris). We individually tried our hands at various careers but did not enjoy them nor did we succeed. We were determine to put our learning to practice and decided to join hands and pursue our entrepreneurial journey with SkinYoga. This was the best decision of our lives!
- We were determined to create our own identity and livelihood. This was our biggest driver.
- We came from a business family background and hence entrepreneurship was in our DNA.
- Since we grew up on a farm and led a raw and organic lifestyle, picking natural remedies as our business idea was the easiest thing for us.
- Having lived in different geographies, we truly felt that a business in natural products was bound to flourish.
- Closely interacting with people from across the globe gave us the confidence that we could market a product internationally.
Finding Our Feet
1. We conceptualized the idea and brand:
“SkinYoga is a 100% Natural skincare brand targeted at individuals across the globe to experience purity and luxury in its minutest form. We aim to create products inspired from ancient times to be adopted in our modern day lifestyle. We formed SkinYoga to create solutions for people who want to embrace a yogic lifestyle because we believe that including more nature into our daily lives will lead us to peace and purity of mind, body and soul.
2. We tested our best 5 products to help us pick one for our first launch. We took baby steps initially before offering anything to the customer. We knew our brand was everything!
3. We identified our main suppliers and also our back-up suppliers. This kept us secure because as a new business, suppliers could take us for granted and push our deliveries over a bigger client.
4. We started work on branding and on our website. None of us came from a Tech background so we chose to opt for only the best service provider and one that was happy to work with a start-up.
5. Within 6 months of conceptualizing, we launched our product and shipped our samples across the globe for test marketing. We sent our products to over 30 countries for FREE just to understand the logistics and laws of exporting skincare.
6. And FINALLY, we were ready to sell!
Our Initial Challenge
Since we were in the luxury skincare market, it was very difficult for us to get real users to try our product because people were skeptical about investing money in a new brand.
How we converted our Challenge into an Opportunity
After the 2nd month of our launch, we decided to come out with our miniature sample product. The idea was to give our prospective users a taste of what their investment would feel like. This proved to be an excellent marketing tool for SkinYoga.
Distributing free samples and getting testimonials from real people with their honest feedback helped build a strong foundation and trust for our company among our network and drew new customers organically.
Having no budget for marketing, we felt this was the best way for us to spread the word.
What our start-up means to us
Our business has given us a unique identity. We love and treasure the confidence that came to us after we started our own business. We love directing our energy and efforts towards something that we own! SkinYoga is our baby and everything going into it has to be the best! Once you begin your entrepreneurial journey, you too will experience this feeling!
Importance of Keeping Friends and Family in Check
From the very start of our entrepreneurial journey, we made an effort to balance our work and personal lives. It’s very tempting to ignore your family and friends when you are working passionately on your start-up. We kept our friends informed about what we were doing and continued to attend parties and weddings.
In difficult times it was bliss to go back to some of these friends and share our problems with them, get advice and unwind from the hectic work life of an entrepreneur.
"Follow your heart and make your business your own reflection" – SkinYoga.
If you are in a business that you are truly passionate about and that you love, you will never quit. Even in the times of utmost difficulty and depression, you will naturally think about how to alter the situation towards your business viability and not about closing it down.
Additionally, if the core values of your business are in sync with your own belief system, day-to-day business activities will be smooth because at every step of the way you will be your own Wikipedia.
Radhika, Jagriti and Deepika are the co-founder sisters of SkinYoga. Radhika is a fashion designer from Central Saint Martins College of Arts in London and has worked with the likes of Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Burberry. Jagriti brings with her impeccable business education from world-renowned universities of Babson College, London School of Economics and Political Sciences and Harvard University. Deepika a passout from Speos Institute of Photography in Paris and a photographer by profession completes the trio by giving an aesthetic touch to SkinYoga.
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