Sheryl Sanbberg says,
“You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive”.
In this week’s #FridayFeature focusing on the #WonderWomen segment, we’re proud to present a woman, who battled against all odds to establish a business empire, all on her own. Meet, Neelima Thakur, entrepreneur and founder of Shine Herbals, who went from being a trainer of English Communication & Personality Development, to becoming a businesswoman. What’s her story and how did she take such a major career leap and change? Let’s find out in her words.
“I was born and raised in the metro city of Mumbai but had to move away after marriage. I used to teach language in schools and colleges out of my love towards the English language.
But still I did not find that much contentment as the work majorly involved just finishing the syllabus and doing a lot paper correction. Somehow this didn’t bode well with my language loving self. To involve myself more into it, I then started taking classes for IAS candidates and bank employees for improving their language efficiency. This kept me engaged and I had a good work life balance going on till my kids became adults and my elder son had to move out for career growth.
I started feeling lonely and it was also around this time that my menopause kicked in, which led to erratic mood swings and I was slowly advancing towards depression. My marital life hasn’t been smooth sailing, and since the beginning I had to face a lot of hardships. One day I mulled over the circumstances and thought I had enough of drowning myself in self-pity, so to come out of this cocoon, and to keep my mind occupied and family life undisturbed, I randomly prepared a mix of natural oils and tried my hand at something unique to tackle hair related issues which are faced by almost every person irrelevant of their age.
I sent one of my first finished products to a Facebook friend who not only appreciated the quality and results of the oil but was also kind enough to introduce these products to her friends to support my business. Looking at the growing demand, I then started the Facebook page of Shine Herbals. This gave me an opening to reach many new customers who are now like my own family members, supporting my business growth. I gradually focused on improving the product quality by adding hair friendly herbs that helped in solving multiple problems. Good exposure was provided to me through Facebook groups and my regular customers’ recommendations.
Once the profits started coming in, I was able to buy a Smartphone which gave yet another boost to my business growth. No, it was never easy and there are new challenges to be overcome every day, even today, but I have learnt and grown as a person, along with the business. Initially I could not find proper bottles, packaging boxes or even a trustworthy shipping company, as almost every courier company refused to accept oil delivery. But without losing hope and with constant efforts, I have finally made my business stable; slowly, steadily and surely. A simple effort to vent out depression creatively turned out to be a successful venture with social networking. The awards and recognition, along with the positive customer recommendations and reviews, have helped keep me motivated to keep Shine Herbals going. My aim for Shine Herbals is to make it a platform which supports differently abled women and widows to gain decent income through my business. In terms of ambition, I want to increase the reach of my products to a few more countries like Dubai, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
I started on my own and am happy with my success so far. I have never been a numbers person who looks at success through profit and products sold annually or monthly but having touched close to 4000 happy customers in less than 4 years and adding almost 17 products to the Shine Herbals umbrella name, does give me a certain sense of fulfillment.
Doing this business is nothing less than swimming against the tide, but thanks to God and a few good souls who helped me out, I have been able to grow gradually despite all the hurdles.
If someone asks me, I proudly and happily say about myself, “I am a 53 years young homemaker, a mom of three growing children, a trainer of English communication & Personality Development, and I enjoy spending time in gardening, writing blogs, stitching and managing my business.”
To know more about Neelima and her range of products, or to try out one of her many herbal oils, follow the link below: