This Women’s Day, join us as we honour women who have been #SeizingTheSpotlight! It is an unprecedented digital campaign by Digital Door Jaipur featuring women entrepreneurs of the city who have been tenacious and fearless in everything that they do! They have, with sheer hard work and determination, grown thriving businesses, and this is our humble effort to shed light on some of the incredible women entrepreneurs who have done their part in expanding Jaipur’s economy. Let’s celebrate their strength, self-reliance, and success! This Women’s Day, let’s not ’empower’ women, let’s commemorate them.
Sonal Sawansukha is the founder and owner of Jewel Saga Jaipur , a jewellery brand which is the perfect amalgamation of art and design. She believes in pushing boundaries and taking up new challenges
She has been working for more than 15 years, overcoming the challenges of scaling up the business, positioning the brand, coping with the marketing conditions, and she has sailed through all thise challenges with conscious efforts, and learning as she goes along.
Sonal urges other women to find or build a very strong support system around themselves to be able to give everything your best, whether it is work, family, or health.
Richa Singh is the co-founder of Hidden Treasures Jaipur , a selective lifestyle exhibition that showcases weavers, startups and established brands under one roof. Staying true to its name, ‘Hidden Treasures’ is a platform for the undiscovered to become discovered by new markets.
She recalls how difficult it was as a young mother to leave her baby behind and go to work. Her mother-in-law was her pillar of strength, managing everything at home for her so she could go out and work for her dreams. She lives by the quote “She believed she could, so she did.”
She urges other women to follow their heart and passions, and not quit because of stress or pressure of priorities.
Saloni Bhandari is the co-founder of Hidden Treasures Jaipur , a selective lifestyle exhibition that showcases weavers, startups and established brands under one roof. Staying true to its name, ‘Hidden Treasures’ is a platform for the undiscovered to become discovered by new markets.
Having worked tirelessly for almost three years, Saloni has learned that in order to succeed, she must know how to say no and stick true to her own vision. She knows the power of staying strong and believing in herself and her passion, as well as trusting that things will eventually fall into place.
She urges other women to hold their ground and believe that they too, can and will fly! Her mantra for life is simply to ‘live and let live’.
Sangeeta Boochra is a business magnate, and a veteran designer of the nation. She is the Creative Designer and Director of Silver Centrre as well, which boasts 45 stores and has 10 more in the pipeline. Coming from a design background, she gave the brand a new face and approach altogether.
Born in Rajasthan, but brought up in Assam, when she returned to Rajasthan upon marriage, her love for its arts and crafts was reborn. She combined her design education and the in-house silver jewelry business, and gave a whole new meaning to the family business. She has also started a community development programme for master craftsmen.
Her hard work, passion and dedication soon took its own course and brought great name and recognition to the company. Such was the impact and growing demand for her designs that the company soon began to get invited to various prestigious shows and fashion weeks in India.
Shriya Pardal Singh is a well-recognised make-up artist and hairstylist in Jaipur. She believes that the key to success is always to work harder but then live even harder. She juggles between her professional and personal lives but makes sure to balance both with the same passion. There are thousands of trends going viral on the internet, daily but she makes sure to not get swayed by them. She likes to experiment, but she is an old soul and walks her own pace.
Speak to the women entrepreneurs out there pursuing their passions, Shriya says, “Dream, and plan to execute. Learn from your mistakes, and know that it is okay to not be perfect. Be kind to others and yourself. Work hard and go out of your comfort zone while not forgetting to love your family and friends. Use criticism for constructive development but don’t pull yourself down, and remember to believe in yourself, even in the toughest of situations.”
Saloni Panwar is the creative brain behind the success of the world of Gulabo Jaipur . Hailing from Jaipur, she takes inspiration from the colours and fabrics around here to create magic with her designs. Eclectic prints and vibrant colors, and flares are what you encounter when you enter the world of Gulabo!
She believes that you never stop learning lessons from life or new experiences. She knows there will always be people who will try to pull her down and that has made her all the more energetic and ambitious to go in the direction she loves.
One of the quotes that she lives by is “Never say never, and never say always.” She urges other women pursuing their passions to “dream and do”.
Rutvi Jain , of Jaipur Rugs is tenacious and always willing to learn. Hailing from a jewellery background, she initially found it daunting to approach the carpet industry, which was entirely new to her. But she took it in her stride, and has successfully immersed herself in the process entirely.
One of the challenges she faced was that no one took her seriously initially because of her young age, but she sailed through that challenge because she was confident in her work, her knowledge, and herself. She has a keen eye for design and a niche understanding when it comes to the needs of the modern consumer. She helps architects and designers in curating the right product for their discerning clients.
Rutvi urges other women to learn each day and deliver to the best of their abilities as success comes with consistency. One quote she lives by is “Learning never exhausts the mind.”
Shipra Goyal is the founder and owner of Chrisalis India , a renowned multi-designer store in Jaipur. She wanted to break the idea that designer wear is expensive and inaccessible to most. She knew that people prefer going to bigger cities to buy designer wear when they can get similar or even better products in Jaipur itself. It was with this vision and drive that she started Chrisalis, and has been successfully working for 14 years.
Shipra urges fellow women entrepreneurs to convert their passion into their profession, as it will always go a long way.
Pooja Miglani lives by one of Oprah’s quotes: “On my own I will just create, and if it works, it works, and if it doesn’t, I’ll create something else. I don’t have any limitations on what I think I could do or be.” She is the creative brain behind Buddha Tree by Pooja .
She did not have a background in fashion when she ventured into the fashion world, but she had the passion and natural flair to make up for it. She was adamant and slowly but surely learnt the tricks of the trade.
Pooja urges fellow women entrepreneurs to keep an open mind, stick to your passion and dreams but be flexible and open to change.
Suman Soni of House of 64 Facets is a spirited woman who, despite obstacles, achieved her dreams and her independence. She urges other women to not put themselves down and go after their dreams, saying, “If we women want to achieve something there is no one who can stop us from having it.”
One of the quotes Suman lives by is “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” said by CS Lewis. She has truly proven the quote right by pursuing her passions in life. Two women who inspire her are Ritu Kirdhal and Kangana Ranaut.
Neeru Soni of House of 64 Facets , is an artist who has followed every passion and desire that she has had, from working as an art teacher, learning Hindustani classical music, volunteering as a music teacher, performing as a vocalist all over India and abroad, to working as a fashion planner and merchandiser, and being a certified fitness instructor.
She believes in living each day consciously as if it was the last day of your life and becoming the highest and truest version of yourself. She wants to be able to inspire people and touch as many lives as she can.
Neeru would be starting her own music and kick boxing studio very soon in Jaipur.
It will be called “The boxing Nightingale”.
Geetanjali Kasliwal is an architect, a champion of crafts and sustainability, the founder of the Anantaya Decor store, and the co-founder of AKFD Storey , an interdisciplinary lifestyle design store based on traditional craft practices.
She’s been a part of the jury in CEPT, NASA Convention, KCT Sculpture Park Art awards, Pearl academy, and a speaker in Bangalore Design Festival, Amravati Design Festival, World craft council, National Crafts seminar amongst others.
Geetanjali has built her companies around green and eco-friendly Actions, community-building, sustainable livelihoods for local artisans, and fair trade. UNESCO has awarded AnanTaya the Seal of Excellence from 2007 through 2016 for many of their designs. A mother of three girls, she actively promotes women’s empowerment and social responsibility while mentoring the next generation.
Her core belief is to ‘Be an agent of change with an eye on future while being deeply rooted in her distinctive past’.
Apra Kuchhal is a social entrepreneur whose vast experience of 19 years in the social sector and women empowerment have won her many accolades. She has had to work hard to be taken seriously because if women are too young, or petite, or polite, they are easily dismissed. Being a perfectionist, she has always believed in giving everything her best.
She urges other women entrepreneurs to believe in themselves and keep moving ahead. She also emphasises on the importance of having a mentor in life as it really helps. One of the quotes Apra lives by is “Nothing remains permanent. This too shall pass.”
Yogita Totuka , of P.C. Totuka & Sons , is a determined and driven individual who was the first woman in her family to work. She worked hard to break through and create an identity for herself in the already flourishing family business.
The power of the positive has been her driving force as she believes that one should search for a positive even in a negative. One of the quotes Yogita lives by is “Hard work and success are synonymous.”
Devyani Bhatnagar is a student counsellor who has been working at Sanskar Jaipur with high-school students since 2003. One of the challenges she faces in her work is bridging the communication gap between parents and the students, but she tackles that with patience and understanding.
Devyani says to other women pursuing their passions, “Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.” She urges others to be optimistic and look for the positives even in a bad situation. One of the quotes she lives by is “Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself” said by Rumi.
Smita Sanghi , the founder and owner of Joypur Jewels ,a jewellery store that showcases exquisite jadau jewellery gold plated in silver.Even though she encountered countless challenges with karigars, finishing of products, and meeting deadlines, she sailed through them with a smile and the confidence that hard work always pays off.
She urges other women to never feel like something is impossible, because women themselves can make anything possible. Smita measures her own growth by how much she challenges herself everyday.
Upasna Bajaj Kumar , the founder of Clarks Amer Farmer’s Market in Jaipur, is a versatile and spirited woman. When she started doing the markets, she only had 4-5 vendors and about 10 visitors. One of the challenges she faced was getting people to step out of their houses on Sundays. However, she stayed true to her vision and kept doing the markets every single Sunday and now, there are people who wait to be a part of The Farmer’s Market.
One of her biggest inspirations is her grandmother, who taught her that when one faces challenges in life one should not fight them but just find a new way to stand. Upasana urges other women to believe in themselves as that is what will help them achieve their dreams.
Bela Agrawal Badhalia , the Director & Consultant at Adbhut Interio and Adbhut Jewels has been the driving force of the brand and has successfully placed Adbhut on national and international maps. She was Chairperson Ficci Flo Jaipur in 2013~14.
She is also Co Founder & Chairperson of Silgo India ,which is first listed company of Silver jewellery in India. Under her leadership,Silgo has a social initiative called “ Dyuti” that aims at initiating, creating and sustaining women entrepreneurs in the jewellery industry .
She looks at challenges as opportunities to learn and grow
Bela says to other women entrepreneurs, “Don’t give up. Entrepreneurship is a tough journey. Learn, don’t hesitate to ask for help, collaborate and grow. Believe in yourself.”
Shikha Durlabhji is the founder and owner of Code Silver, a brand which crafts exquisite silver and silver plated work. Starting the business with simply 2 karigars, Code Silver now boasts 120 artisans, all because of Shikha’s determination and tenacity. She made sure every single detail was taken care of in-house to provide the best possible design and quality to her customers. Code Silver caters to esteemed clients like Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Juhi Chawla,Taj Hotels, Oberoi Hotels, Google, IPL & many more.
One of the quotes she lives by is “Stay humble, lift someone up, be kind & don’t ever forget people who helped you along the way – a grateful heart is a magnet for miracles!”
Divolka Gyanjee is the founder and owner of Salt Food Fest , one of the biggest food fests in Jaipur that allows people to explore the various segments of the culinary industry under a single roof. She was already passionate about food when she was working with her husband’s family business Gyanjee Caterers, and eventually Divolka started The Pink City Food Fest with the aim of increasing food culture in the city and increasing exposure towards new cuisines and food trends.
She advises other women entrepreneurs to, “Just keep working. Never stop working.” She believes that simplicity is the ultimate form of living, and her nani, who became an entrepreneur at the age of 60, is Divolka’s biggest inspiration.
Natasha Singh Chauhan is the founder and owner of Tangerine Boutique Salon , a boutique salon wherein every moment centres around well-being and luxury. After studying fashion communication at the Symbiosis Institute of Design, she immersed herself in a styling career, engaging in stints with leading magazines like Elle India and fashion designers, that ultimately led to her calling – opening the salon of her dreams.
Together with her mother, Nanda Singh, Natasha conceptualized and brought Tangerine to life, a venture she proudly calls “a product of passion, expertise and creativity”. Trained at Vidal Sassoon London and B-Blunt India, Natasha is preferred by the who’s who of Jaipur for their styling needs.
Nidhi Manihar Toshniwal is the founder and owner of Crafts Etcetera ,a brand that crafts organic lifestyle products to replace single-use plastic. Also Crafts Etcetera supports women from underprivileged back ground and small local businesses. Nidhi is also the Founder Chair of COWE Rajasthan. She is inspired by an ever encouraging father and supprtive Mom in law.
She has never hesitated to take advice, guidance and accept responsibility for a mistake. She believes that for women entrepreneurs, the trick is to find the right work-life balance and setting their priorities right. Nidhi says, “There is no substitute for hard work, dedication and commitment towards your work.”
Neeta Ramrakhani is the founder and owner of Nitaara , an exquisite jewellery brand. Even though none of her friends or family were in the jewellery business, Neeta ventured into the jewellery industry and started her own brand, because she had an undying passion and a penchant for jewellery. .
She took the step out of her comfort zone, and with sheer hard work and determination, she has her jewellery collection on all the leading e-commerce platforms and offline fashion stores. Speaking to other women entrepreneurs, Neeta says, “Don’t take any impulsive decisions, do a lot of research before getting into anything and have faith in yourself.” .
She is truly by how technology and social media have changed our lives, and is in awe of influencers who started off with nothing and have earned name and fame through their creativity on social media.
Richa Khetan and Ratika Khetan are the two sisters who started Cauldron Sisters back in 2015. They started with selling exotic food gift hampers, but their love for food instigated them to start culinary workshops, food deliveries and slowly it turned huge as restaurants and cafes started approaching them for consultancy.
They advise other women entrepreneurs to not carry around the guilt they feel when they go to work, leaving family behind. One should always be proud of the work they are doing.
Sujata Bhandari is a wedding planner,Events and a stylist for shopping.Being a woman in a male-dominated industry initially created challenges for her involving labour and a lack of professionalism, but she did not let anyone’s behavior or judgement affect her or her work. She kept a cool head on her shoulder and her sanity intact.
Sujata’s biggest inspiration is Princess Diya Kumari, and one of the quotes she lives by is “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. Just be yourself.”
Priyanka Totuka, of PCT and Sons , and the co-founder of Pink Box Events which curates popups for kids and mommies. One of the ways in which she sails through the challenges that life throws at her is by going with the flow and taking things as they come.
One thing she says to other women entrepreneurs is, “If you know what you are doing is worthy, then no one can stop you, not even yourself.”
Isha Kotahwala is the co-host of an exclusive high-end lifestyle exhibition popup Funky Fish and started an exclusive kids and moms-to-be exhibition Bump and Baby events. To other women entrepreneurs, she says, “The size of your dream must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. Believe in yourself and nothing can stop you.”