Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Brigade that Builds Brands: Meet Navy wife & handmade entrepreneur Rupinder Kaur

Hello, dear readers! I’m back after a longish break – a surprising, out-of-the-blue break, where I launched a whole new career as an artist, making and selling quirky, cure, out-of-the-box artwork (here's my Jugnoo Story Art FB page). I was also recovering from some health issues, and giving all the required TLC to my spine ;-). I’m back here again, with new ideas, new challenges (i.e. balancing writing, art, homeschooling my son & my military spouse portfolio), and the gumption to nudge more of you into the ‘Boss Lady’ life as a self-employed, work-from-home, fauji wife.

self-employed entrepreneur

I’m launching a brand new series every week with posts designed to help you banish those issues and create your own Girl Boss life, from anywhere in the country! Do subscribe to the blog to stay tuned. And, don't forget to join our new group: Be Your Own Boss From Anywhere.

Today, I’ve invited Navy wife and Jewellery Designer, Rupinder Kaur at The Brigade that Builds Brands, to share her creative journey as she juggled military life, motherhood and a business. Without further ado, here’s what we chatted about.

For those who are new to my blog: The Brigade that Builds Brands  is an interview series about Fauji wives who create businesses or stay uber creative while juggling all the social + family commitments.

CB. Please tell us something about yourself – what do you do, where are you based and how long have you been a fauji wife.

R.  By education I am a trained Hindustani classical vocalist and also have completed my B Ed. I spent my initial 10 years of married life looking after and raising my two lovely daughters. In 20114-15 I realized that I had some time to spare. Also my husband’s job took him for long sailings and to utilized my time gainfully I got involved with NWWA and also started making utility items from paper weaving. I started my brand ‘Recreation – The Inner Voice’ in February 2015. The page has been a huge success for me and today I have more than 800+ followers of my page.  My paper weaving art was a huge success but regular transfers thereafter ruined some of my artifacts due to their delicate nature and this made me think that I needed to do something different.

So I started making jewelry with a difference. I started investing my time in learning about fabric art and making jewelry out of jewelry. I also started hand embroidery and crafted my embroidery into jhumkas and neck pieces which were liked by my inner circle of friends. I started exhibiting my art within Naval community and also got chance to display my art during Kala Ghoda festival in 2017. NWWA, at Mumbai, was very supportive of my effort as well as that of other artists. Since that time there has been no looking back and my effort has been recognized by art lovers across India.

I am presently at Delhi. I am married into Naval family since 2002.

small business
Rupinder's handmade jewellery

CB. Fauji wives make their home in an assortment of obscure places across the country. Our lives are about living in the moment and doing what we can, when we can. Can you share how you stayed creative or found work that satisfied you while moving across the country?

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

How this "closet illustrator" & writer became a working Artist - A peek into my artsy journey

The classic case of “life is what happens when you’re making other plans” actually happened to me on my birthday on March 30. 

Just as I was reaching the 5,000 word mark of my second in-the-works Kindle book, I morphed into an artist. A “for real” artist, who paints for a living and plays with beautiful colors and brushes for all her “working hours”.

So this is what happened. I was taking a break from writing, after having published a bestselling Kindle book “The Work-At-Home Military Wife”, and was hoping to recharge my batteries and get more ideas for my next ebook “Self-care for Women”. The best way to indulge in self-care myself was to bring out my paints and brushes, and paint the joyful pictures that I knew would rejuvenate me and fill up my well with happiness.

I shared the photos of those finished paintings on social media and these led to a few initial queries from moms who wanted to buy my artwork for their kids’ rooms. All of it snowballed into ‘Jugnoo Story Art my cute + quirky art venture, where I fuse my passion for painting & stories.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Brigade that Builds Brands: Novelist, ex-Army officer & Navy Wife Sajita Nair draws inspiration from her military life

Hello everyone! Today, I've invited Sajita Nair at #thebrigadethatbuildsbrands. She is a former Army officer, a Navy wife & an acclaimed novelist. We talk about how the #military life can actually spur a #Milspouse to create meaningful work for herself.

C. Please tell us something about yourself – what do you do, where are you based and how long have you been a fauji wife.

S.I am a former army Captain and writer based in Bangalore. My father served in the Air Force and I have been married to a Naval officer for the past twenty years. Hence I have experienced life in the three arms of the forces.

C. What has been your business or creative journey been like: how & when did you start your venture?

S.Post my tenure in the army, I began to work towards my dream of being a writer. Initially I published short stories, articles and travelogues in reputed publications. Only when I gathered enough confidence, did I attempt writing a full-length novel. My debut novel ‘She’s a Jolly Good Fellow’ was published by Hachette India in 2010 and follows the life of two pioneer women officers, trying to find their place in the male dominated army. 

C. Were you in a different profession and re-trained for the current one? If yes, can you share how/where you learned the skills required for your current profession?

S.I learnt everything about writing, on the internet. Formatting query letters, researching information, editing written work and presenting a polished piece of writing to the editor – I learnt all these from various websites. For serious learners, there is no bigger guru than the internet.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Brigade that Builds Brands: Army wife Shreya Sharan Pawar builds two businesses on the move

Hello everyone! For every #militaryspouse #entrepreneur I meet, I meet 10 other talented #military wives, who tell me that being their own boss from military bases in boondocks is impossible. Today, I speak to a young Army wife, who shows us how you can not only build one but multiple brands on the go. Meet my #bizbuddy Shreya Sharan Pawar and let's find out how she does what she does.

Shreya Sharan Pawar

 C. Please tell us something about yourself – what do you do, where are you based and how long have you been a fauji wife.

S. I was an army kid and became an army wife in 2012. I am currently based in Wellington, Tamil Nadu but we will be shifting once again by mid April. As of today, I don’t know where I will be 6 weeks later.
I am a solo entrepreneur and have 2 business ventures which are very different from each one.
My first venture is“Burst of Happyness”  - a brand of vegan, handmade & natural bath and body products.
My most recent venture is Business Mentoring for creative Indian women where I help them build a business around a passion or a hobby.

C. What has been your business or creative journey been like: how & when did you start your venture?

S. I have always been a creative, DIY kind of a person and my first experience of entrepreneurship was at the age of 11 when I tried to sell handmade trinkets and cards to a local store in Panagarh, West Bengal. Unfortunately, my dreams were dashed coz I sold none.

I never thought of entrepreneurship again till I got married (while studying for my MBA), ditched a high paying corporate job offer post my MBA  and moved to MamunCantt, Pathankot with my husband.

 That's when I started Burst of Happyness as a hobby  from a Captain’s kitchen. It was a result of my own struggle with severe acne and hormonal issues which prompted me to follow a sustainable, green and a natural lifestyle. Soapmaking was a hobby I had picked up along the way to avoid hormone disrupting chemicals present in most bath and body products. I combined my background in adverting + my MBA in Marketing and my soapmaking hobby to build a business.

I started my other venture - Business Coaching - 2 years back. The reason for launching this was because a lot of women started to approach me seeing my progress with Burst of Happyness. So, I use this platform to share tips, tricks and all the lessons I have learnt as a solo woman entrepreneur in India.
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