GLADYATOR: Meet the twins making a mark in the sustainable fashion field.3 minute
In a time where Climate change is being debated upon, there is a company which takes the most used thing, and makes it safe for the environment, your clothes. Coral Doe was started in 2018 by Aqsa and Tuba Sajjad to make comfortable clothing that is sustainable and ethical. They intend to be 100% sustainable by the end of 2023 and are working well towards it.
The company and the team intends to go a step beyond and create awareness among its users about the need of the hour, sustainable fashion.
We spoke to Aqsa, Coral Doe’s co-founder, and here is her take on being an Entrepreneur and her aspirations.
- Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
For me, it's about getting to do something I love every single day. It may sound cliche but as a person who suffered from depression, anxiety, and mental health issues, it was very important to my well being to have a reason to wake up and work hard every single day. Coral Doe has brought meaning to my life and has given me something to work for.
Plus, the thought of working for someone else's dream has always been suffocating. It only made sense to become an entrepreneur.
- What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
Gary Vee. He's a huge motivation and encourages you to focus on all aspects of your life: professional, personal, and all others.
- What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
Growing my business to 2000+ customers in under a year has been the most rewarding experience. Sometimes, I truly can't believe we did this.
- What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
I read somewhere: These 5AMs will make you a legend one day.
This has stuck with me since the day I read it. But it's important to take it with a grain of salt. Sometimes, hard work and waking up at 5AM isn't the way to go about it. Sometimes, you have to work smart rather than hard. Also, another good advice is to keep at it and to try to sustain your business in every way if it's something you love. But also to know when to quit. Not all businesses are sustainable and the world isn't ready for every idea yet.
- What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Word of mouth is always the best way to market your brand. Instagram content and ads have also been great for us.
- What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well.
Every sale and every customer matters, as a small business owner. It's always lovely to see customers going out of their way to support, review, and comment.
- Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business? If yes, please describe.
Gary Vee's videos are a brilliant resource.
Any tool that'll keep your finances organized is important. Invest in a good accounting software. Finances are everything.
- Have you faced any failures? How did you overcome that failure and what did you learn from it?
Everyone faces failure. You either learn from it or you go backwards.
- What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I go to the gym and I read a lot of books. When you have your own business, it's hard to draw boundaries with work. Work never stops. It's always important to force yourself to take a break from work.
- What is the Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
Expanding into new markets.
Learning more and more business literature.
Diving deeper into sustainable manufacturing and trying to move other brands towards it too.
- If you were to give an advice to a 16 year old you, what would you say?
Find a supportive circle of friends. Invest in people and friendships. It'll go a long way in life.
- How can I be a good leader?
Put your team first. And lead with compassion.
- The last question, what keeps you up at night?
The thought that maybe I should be doing more and working harder (Not a healthy thought at all. I always have to remind myself to give myself credit)
8 Ways to stay positive and motivated during this pandemic3 minute
If you are like me, you are probably experiencing more stress that usual. Work is different, the Wi-Fi is acting up, and your social life has come to a halt. Stability and predictability are two words that we are unable to resonate with anymore. After a certain point, all of this can get to you. Fear can make you feel powerless. While you cannot control your feelings, thoughts and the Wi-Fi, you definitely can shift your attention towards the things you can control and help restore your sense of confidence.
Make a list of things that you think are in your control (They could be uneventful or extraordinary) and work on them, every single day. I would like to share with you, my list:
- Start a virtual book/movie club: Start your own book club on WhatsApp. Add all the bibliophiles on your contact list. Or if you’re a movie buff, create a group to watch and discuss movies.
- Enhance your skills: Work on advancing your skill! It could be something as mundane as taking up an excel course or something fun like baking. Try to complete at least two online courses this quarantine!
- Work out: You probably saw this coming. But one cannot stress how important it is to work out especially during uncertain times like these, when your anxiety is at its peak and your thoughts don’t let you sleep. Learn new home workouts every day and let the endorphins and serotonin flow into your body.
- Interact (virtually) with your long lost friends and family: Life can get really busy and to be honest it has been. Until now. And we are unable to cope with all the time we have. Talk to all those people you lost touch with and wished you hadn’t (This does not include you ex. DO NOT TEXT THEM!).
- Learn a new make-up routine: I personally feel like, the time I spend wearing make-up is all for me. It is the time I have chosen for myself. It could take you fifty minutes or fifteen minutes. That is YOUR time, you are looking in the mirror and focusing on yourself. So create a new look and wear some mascara because, why not?
- Write a blog on Glo Community: You probably did not see this one coming. But really, put all your thoughts (happy or sad) into words, not only will it help you learn a lot about yourself, but also help you gain awareness of your reality. You will be helping contribute to the WHO Covid-19 fund!
- Limit your news intake: While it is good to be informed at all times, the amount of information can be a double edged sword. So be aware, but also learn to disconnect.
- Do your bit: Last but not the least, everybody reading this is probably doing their part by washing hands regularly and staying home unless absolutely necessary. Every small effort is going to add up and will have a huge impact.
Do not lose hope. Stay positive, stay motivated and please be safe. We are all in this together. 😊
Being 8 Months Pregnant Didn’t Stop This SHERO From Delivering COVID-19 Test Kits To The Nation2 minute
In the battle against coronavirus, India has been criticised time and again for a poor record of testing people. Amidst all of this, there is change set to be brought about, a large part of which is accredited to the one and only virologist - Minal Dakhave Bhosale.
Ms Bhosale headed the team that designed the coronavirus testing kit (called Patho Detect) in India and is also the R&D chief of Mylabs discovery, Pune. She had just been informed of a pregnancy complication in february, right after which despite personal circumstances, willingly took on the assignment of designing the coronavirus test kits.
Up until now, India had to import COVID-19 kits from Germany at Rs.4500 per kit, but the molecular diagnostic company has been successful in creating a kit that is now able to test 100 samples and costs Rs 1,200 - literally a quarter of the cost of COVID-19 testing kits that were being imported.
Besides being relatively much lower than kits imported from outside, the team also achieved COVID-19 testing in just two and a half hours compared to other tests that took no less than 6-7 hours.
What is most fascinating about her story is that Ms Bhosale managed to complete her assignment on time and while being 8 months pregnant, only a couple of hours before she delivered her baby daughter.
In the words of Ms Bhosale (to BCC) : “ It was an emergency, so I took this on as a challenge. I have to serve my nation”. A true inspiration to women across the world and a real team player - a thousand salutes to the women who put her nation first in the most critical of situations.
Minal Dakhave Bhosale- A real life hero, A SHERO, as one may say.