A mother-daughter duo building a global soap brand and other top stories of the week

This week SMBStory covered an inspiring journey of a mother-daughter duo who started their soap brand from home and are on a mission to make it global as well as other small and medium business stories. Take a look here.
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One small courageous step can pave the way to fulfill long-lost desires. 

This week on the occasion of Mother’s Day, SMBStory interviewed mother-daughter duo Pratiksha and Vama Sangoi building a global soap brand, as well as the journeys of other small businesses.

Here are their stories:

Pratiksha and Vama Sangoi - Soap Chemistry

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many people, including homemakers, to embark on an entrepreneurial journey to pursue their passion. 

Mother-daughter duo Pratiksha and Vama Sangoi began their soap business from home amid the pandemic and are now selling their products globally.

In an exclusive interaction, Pratiksha and Vama talk in detail about their journey of starting Soap Chemistry out of their home in Dadar, Mumbai. 

They also reveal how, in a span of a little over one and a half years, they launched 60 different product ranges and SKUs including soaps, body wash, body scrub, whipped cream soap, body salts, moisturisers etc, selling it to the customers not just across India but also in the US. 

Soap Chemistry competes with the likes of Khadi, Aveemi Herbal, and Ghar Soaps. According to Vama, transparency and ethical sourcing is what stands out for Soap Chemistry. 

Read the full story here

Harshwardhan Patwardhan - Chappers

The art of making centuries-old Kolhapuri chappals, the hand-crafted leather slippers that are tanned using vegetable dyes, seems to be dying in recent years. 

Harshwardhan Patwardhan, a 30-year-old entrepreneur, says,

“We have known Kolhapuri chappals for ages. The making technique of these chappals remains the same as it was centuries ago. However, given the lifestyle changes, the design and comfort of these sandals also need an upgrade.”

Around 2013, Harshwardhan was working with his father in the transportation business. During this time, he started thinking of stepping out of the family business and start something of his own. 

While he was yet to come up with a concrete business idea, his love for Kolhapuri footwear drew him to Kolhapur. Here, he met the local artisans and closely observed the manufacturing process of the sandals. And the idea was in front of him. 

He decided to work towards making the iconic handcrafted footwear recognised globally by adding an element of comfort and luxury. This led to the birth of the footwear brand Chappers.

Chappers was started in 2014 in Pune with Kolhapuri chappals, but today, the brand also deals in loafers, mules, moccasins, and more. Harshwardhan has also launched one of India's first 3D footwear customisation platforms. 

Read the full story here

Other top picks of the week:

Lavanya The Label - Pooja Choudhary 

After completing her Master’s in Business Administration from Chiba University, Tokyo, Pooja Choudhary was eyeing India’s coveted Civil Services examinations. 

In fact, when she returned in 2017, her parents enrolled her in a coaching programme in Jaipur, Rajasthan, so she could study and clear the country’s toughest competitive exam. 

However, destiny had other plans. 

Pooja realised that Civil Services were not her cup of tea and decided to explore a business opportunity. 

Since Jaipur and a few other cities in Rajasthan are known for textiles and apparel, Pooja decided to launch a women’s clothing brand, Lavanya The Label, in 2019. 

Today, Lavanya is a popular brand in women’s fashion segment. It has 167,000 followers on Instagram, with a pan-India presence, and sees Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru as its top cities in India that generate the most orders. Lavanya also exports to countries like the US and Australia through its website.

Read the full story here

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

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