“The current lifestyle of a modern girl or woman while she is swinging in between the boardroom, her home or her child’s PTM leaves no time for her. So much so that, more often than not, we forget that our periods are due the next day,” says Rashi Bajaj, the Founder of Being Juliet.
Rashi addresses this issue through Being Juliet, which runs on the subscription model. It provides a monthly box, which is a customised assortment of sanitary supplies coupled with small thoughtful gifts, to make every young girl and woman feel loved, wanted and cared for on her most trying and painful days.
Not new to the startup scene, this is her second venture, first one being Carpet Couture, where she makes customised rugs and carpets. Married to an obsessive entrepreneur, her husband nudged her towards entrepreneurship and Rashi took the plunge. Carpet Couture was born of her efforts and there was no looking back after that. “To be very honest, my husband’s enthusiasm and drive altered my attitude from an easygoing person to a go-getter entrepreneur,” she says.
A small-town girl, Rashi has always been a geek interested in academics from the time she was living near Varanasi. She has studied and worked across the entire country as her parents sent her to a boarding school in Nainital, and later to Welham in Dehradun.
High scores saw her sail through to Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi University for B.Com (Hons). In college, Rashi discovered the world that existed beyond books, and what college life was all about. But thanks to her father, she continued with her higher education. A first generation entrepreneur himself, her father had impressed upon her the importance of higher education and discipline that would be achieved by working for a corporate.
She finished her MBA from Pune and joined Infosys, Hyderabad for about a year after which she got married and moved to Delhi.
Both her ventures, Carpet Couture and Being Juliet, were meant to fill the void she felt was in the market. Most people warned her about starting up, saying it was not advisable for both of them to take the entrepreneurial way as one of them needed a stable job.
After a lot of thought, we both disagreed. My husband, as it is, was in business and could understand the drive. Hence, we both started. With two startups life can get challenging with respect to cash flows and stress. But one needs to stay strong, and this is what I did. I haven’t cracked the formula, but my strategy is to take each day as it comes. Plans are nice, but one needs to stay a little flexible. There are days when family needs priority, and I have to attend to that. The key is to stay positive.
Today, her first venture functions smoothly, and Rashi is happy focusing all her energy on Being Juliet.
The most challenging bit for Rashi was to makes customers see the value proposition of the concept and “to convince the first brand to give yet another startup an appointment. I was proposing pampering women during periods by sending them a box full of goodies (and sanitary supplies) five days before their periods (to save them from the last minute run/hassle to rush to pharmacy). For traditional marketers, this wasn’t a regular route to promote their products. However, once they sat down, understood the concept and the value it brings on board for women, they loved it.”
Rashi has found great support in her family and life partner. “During the growing up days, I always saw my mother play a rock-solid support for my dad, who would work 18 hours a day in his business, and always stayed positive. This somewhere became a part of ‘being.’ With my husband as well the scenario was the same- these individuals have had a great impact in the way I run my business.”
According to Rashi, society is undergoing a transition where a woman’s career is gaining importance. But as a woman entrepreneur, she still feels that some challenges are specific to women like travelling late at night, via flight or inter-city cabs.
Rashi is looking forward to make more and more women feel pampered, and the best motivation for her comes from her clients who have been writing to her with positive feedback. “Sometimes the emails that we get are so overwhelming that I simply want to go over there and hug her!”