Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Brigade that Builds Brands: Army wife Gunjan Mishra's hand-crafted jewelry & accessory brand 'Pink Pitari'

Hello everyone! Welcome to another story from The Brigade that Builds Brands series – an ongoing interview feature that turns the spotlight on the #faujiwife / #militaryspouse entrepreneur, who crafts her own brand and makes it work through frequent postings, long stints of single parenting, several social commitments and unavoidable breaks that happen due to erratic internet or when you’re packing up or setting up house at a new base. Today we have Gunjan Mishra over at the blog - an Army wife, passionate crafter, mompreneur & the gal behind Pink Pitari - her handmade jewelry + accessory brand. We love the practicality and happiness with which Gunjan approaches this work + military life balance. Hope you find her words just as inspiring as I did.

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

G. I am a stay at home mompreneur who turned her crafting hobby into a home business. I mainly create jewelry and accessories, though my work is not limited to jewelry making. I also bring in a lot of art and craft forms into my work because that’s just what I love to do, a variety of creative things. I love to express myself through writing on my personal blog. I began my ‘work from home’ journey through content writing which eventually gave way to full time crafting. Currently, I am based in Kanpur. I will complete 9 years of my being a fauji wife in December 2018.

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

G. When I realized I could not do a steady job due to my husband’s frequent postings, I decided to pursue my hobbies instead. Initially, I was only pursuing the hobbies, but gradually I realized I had a strong desire to take it to the next level. Meanwhile, I was already blogging which led me to content writing. It kept me busy but my passion for crafts wouldn’t let me settle for content writing. However, I was still clueless about what it was that I actually wanted to do and how to do it. By pure chance, I discovered jewelry making. It really appealed to me, made me crazy in fact! Things eventually fell into place and Pink Pitari came into existence 2 years ago. From sourcing materials to dispatching orders, my work involves a lot of things which I do myself mostly and yet never felt like I am working, it keeps me so happy. I do it honestly and diligently and take a lot of pride in it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Brigade that Builds Brands: Air Force wife Cashmere Lashkari’s energy healing brand & creative ventures

Hello everyone! I’ve been very sporadic on the blog and the internet – #fauji life beckons. I’ve been accompanying my husband on his many work trips across the country + gearing up for yet another move. Between this and finding my new homeschooling mojo (when the kid can't go to school, the school comes to him!), work and writing have kind of been plonked on the back burner for a bit. But I’ve popped back in for my favorite series – The Brigade That Builds Brands. This week, we’re featuring Cashmere Lashkari , fellow Air Force wife, Reiki healer, entrepreneur and writer.

Here’s how Cashmere has always found something interesting to do wherever they are posted, and continues to build a light-filled brand.

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

Cashmere: I am an Army daughter and an Air Force wife. I’ve called more than a dozen cities home and have loved exploring each one of them. For the first two decades I saw the services from the child’s perspective and the last two decades from the spouse’s perspective. Life on both sides has been interesting with its own challenges. Currently I am in Pune and loving being on a “home posting.”

Living at home, literally since we didn’t shift to the MES accommodation, has opened up a number of new vistas for me. I am currently juggling the hats of a Spiritual Workshop Facilitator for Reiki and the Law of Attraction under my brand of Healing Energy 888, a Life Coach to create Work- Family balance for Women Entrepreneurs, and an Editor/Writer for a newly launched publication house called ActiveMuse.

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

Cashmere: I am an HR Trainer by academic qualification, and a certified British Airways travel agent. Like a good fauji biwi, I have enjoyed my ladies club meets, husband’s nights and met my welfare obligations. However I have also constantly been working as a trainer and blogger, doing whatever work became available in each station we were in.

I have been writing stories since I was 7 years old and have been published in Salute, Good Housekeeping, Chicken Soup for the Indian Teenage Soul, Diplomatist, and Asian Age. I also self publish on the Kindle Store and have four books out under my pen name Candy Laine. I am working on book number five.

Cashmere with her Reiki students

I began Healing Energy 888 (www.HealingEnergy888.com) after completing my Reiki Grandmaster qualification. I offer Reiki Healing, Tarot Readings and Law of Attraction coaching. I started practicing Reiki in 1998 and over the last couple of decades have offered my service to a number of friends and family members. I began my Reiki teaching workshops in 2015 when we were posted to Delhi. Now I continue the spiritual workshops at the Wellnessence center (https://www.facebook.com/wellnessencepune/)on Salunke Vihar Road in Pune.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Brigade that Builds Brands: Air Force wife Meghna Johar's 'wood be lovely' story of a handmade brand

Hello everyone! How have you been? I’ve been a bit slow on the blog, taking time out to travel back after a long trip, clean up the dust that Delhi is known for, and get back into the groove of the daily routine. Today, I’m back with another edition of The Brigade that Builds Brands. This series is all about Fauji wives who create businesses or stay uber creative while juggling all the social + family commitments. Please meet Meghna Johar, founder & creator of a handmade décor brand WBL by Meghna and Air Force wife. It truly “wood be lovely” to find out more about her unique brand and story.

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

M. Through my joy called WBL by Meghna, I I enjoy my occupation of  creative expression in wood, upcycling and interior design. WBL which started out as “wood be lovely” has many impressions now. Some of them being “wood brass and all things lovely” , “wood be lively” , “wood by and large”....
I am presently based in Delhi.

I so cherish my two decades plus years as a fauji wife.

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

M. My initially creative hobby has slowly evolved into a business. It has been an exciting and challenging run up until now and the urge to continuously grow creatively has kept me going.

I started my venture in 2010 with a carton full of woody goodies, a shoe string budget and a head buzzing with ideas! Gladly haven't looked back since.

Monday, August 27, 2018

New Ideas for the Blog

I haven’t posted on the blog for a little while. Every now and then, I need to disappear down the rabbit hole of quiet, away from social media and the virtual world, to think and fill my well. Also, we’re just back from a very long sojourn, cleaning up the dust and settling back at home.

But all through this, I’ve also been thinking of ways to get more creative at this blog. While I generally only post a couple of times here, what can I do to showcase my love for everyday Indian saree style, my passion for military spouse entrepreneurship, and my admiration for the arty-writerly-crafty lifestyle?

I’m thinking of new columns that feature some of that love. In the months to come, I hope to interview & feature authors, artists & crafters; shake up things in the saree style section; and, continue shining the spotlight on #fauji wives who carve out businesses from the boondocks. Maybe, I’ll also throw in some work-from-home posts – because really, there are so many myths shrouding that arena.

So, dear readers, be ready to see more collaborative posts as we journey through this blog. I hope you'll collaborate, read and enjoy the new posts that I'm about to roll out.

In the meanwhile:

I’m also brainstorming for my online wellness & green living magazine, Gorgeous Girls Go Green. Slow living and its impact on the environment & our health is my current obsession. That, and more about simple ways to stay well & go clean are on the list.

I’ve also been creating and teaching workshops on the above topics (mindful eating, holistic wellness, green living). 

There’s lot’s to do, but I’m taking my blogging, writing & teaching journey, one small step at a time.

What have you been upto?

An announcement: I’m looking for a Social Media Intern to help with the social media aspect of this blog’s & GGGG’s posts i.e. help post it on various forums and channels. This is perfect for a college student interested in writing or the media, or someone who is simply good at social media. If you’re interested in this or know someone who might enjoy this, please email me at chandanabanerjeewrites@gmail.com.

#blogging #blogideas
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