Friday, November 15, 2019

The Brigade that Builds Brands: Home Baker, Food Blogger & Army Wife Payal Kharbanda on turning a hobby into a biz

Hello friends! Today, I’ve invited Army wife, home baker and food blogger, Payal Kharbanda to The Brigade that Builds Brands series. She spills the beans on how she used her passion for cooking to bake up a delicious food blog & baking business. A fashionista by qualification, Payal is that lady who always finds a way to use her skills, interests or training to create meaningful work opportunities from wherever she is posted. I hope her story inspires You to create a work-from-home small biz that you’ll enjoy working at J.

*For updates on the #workfromhome series & #milpreneur inspiration, do follow us at @chandanamilspo on Instagram + check out the "Be your own Boss from Anywhere" series on Youtube here.

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

P.  I am Payal Kharbanda, married for almost 13 years to the olive greens. I have two beautiful daughters and belong to Delhi (presently also based in Delhi). I am a fashion student from NIFT. I come from a business family. I, now am a food blogger (#365dishesonmyplate) and a home baker.

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

P.   I have been in the fashion industry as a merchandiser and continued freelancing post marriage, but different setups and organizations had different plans for me. I have worked as a kindergarten teacher, worked with a placement company and an entrepreneurial venture in fashion merchandise. But I always felt that there is something missing in my previous ventures.

I was inclined towards cooking and baking was a happy place for me. So when my younger daughter started school, I pursued my creative interests and started a food blog (#365dishesonmyplate). This blog is a challenging experience for me, as i am sharing family and fusion recipes based on the wide experience the olive greens had provided me.  This blog further enhanced the creative entrepreneur in me and I finally took a professional baking course. The course proved to be a turning point in my life and that’s how my third baby arrived #365bakestories.

home baker small biz
Payal's scrumptious home-baked treats!
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?

P.  Being from the fashion industry, I always had a creative bent of mind. Our social setup provided opportunities which allowed me to explore and enhance my creative side even further. I was exposed to multiple opportunities of events, job profiles and given platforms where I could showcase and hone my skills.

CB. How do you market your business and products while moving from base to base, place to place, and often to remote areas?

P.  Baking as a profession relies heavily on word of mouth. I initially started baking for friends and family. And now have branched out into a wider circle of clients to whom I publicize by word of mouth, social media (WhatsApp, Instagram & Facebook) and my blog.

military wives
Social commitments are part of every MilSpouse's life
CB. How do you juggle that load of social commitments & welfare activities + postings and stints of solo parenting that are an integral part of the fauji lifestyle, while nurturing your passions and meeting work deadlines?

P.  Juggling and prioritizing work is an integral part of a woman's life. Be it for children, husband, house, social commitments or work. I feel I have been blessed in the fraternity as it has always provided me a support structure to enable prioritization and execution of my work.

CB. As a creative/entrepreneur + fauji wife, is there something that you cherish very much about being part of this community? And is there something you feel must/can change for the better?

P.  As a creative entrepreneur and a fauji wife, the opportunity to meet, interact and socialize with people from all over the country is an invaluable learning experience as it opens up our minds to various cultures prevalent in our country.

bked goods
From Payal's home bakery
CB. What tips would you give to fauji wives out there who’d like to pursue a career in your field while living at small and busy bases (many still believe or led to believe that you can either be a fauji wife or a professional, and that’s not true)?

P.  I believe that with the advent of social media, the world has become a very small place. With support of your better half and correct prioritization of tasks (home, social, children ,work etc), a lady can hope to achieve her dreams with due hard work, passion and commitment to the task. Lastly, one should always have faith in themselves and persevere towards finding happiness in and around you.

Thank you, Payal, for coming over to the blog! (Connect with Payal on Instagram at @365dishesonmyplate + her blog here).

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#mompreneur #milpreneur #workathome #homebaker #baking #faujiwife #armywife #MilSpouse #entrepreneur #thebrigadethatbuildsbrands #chandanabanerjee #payalkharbanda #365dishesonmyplate #foodblog #blogger #homechef


  1. I know Payal since school. She is best at what she does. All the best Payal.

  2. You've shared some excellent information about food blog. I'm happy I came across this post because it contains a lot of useful information. Thank you for sharing this story.
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