Malcolm X said,
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
In our #WisdomWednesday blog focusing on the #WonderWomen segment, we present the story of a woman who believes that education is the answer to every problem out there be it poverty, casteism, corruption or crime. Meet, Sharda Chandrawat, who follows her heart and her strong beliefs, on the professional front, via not one, but two fields of work. She is Head of Communications at Project Nahi Kali (a Mahindra Group CSR initiative) and the Founder of The Kalpa Tree.
At her job as a Communication Head, Sharda strives hard to provide free education to girl children; and via The Kalpa Tree, which is a home décor and styling venture, Sharda pursues her passion for aesthetics and art-related + DIY stuff.
How does she manage time between these two varied fields of work and what motivated her to plunge into these? Let’s find out in her own words.
“I am an English Literature and Psychology major and frankly I had no interest in branding or communication during my college years. It was however during my college final year that I realized the importance of marketing and the impact a thought-through communication plan could have on people’s mind and that’s when I knew that I had to enroll myself for an MBA program. There has been no looking back ever since.
I would say the home décor and styling came as a part of the package. Even when I was a child, aesthetics were very important to me. My room looked quite different from the rest of the teenagers in my group as I focused a lot on styling. I was always inclined towards art related stuff and engaged myself in a lot of DIYs. During my college years I even designed a few dresses for my friends and family and during my MBA too, I designed a few of my friends’ stores; one was a furniture store, and another was an apparel store in Jaipur.
While I always carried this sense of styling and decor with me I never thought of taking it to a public forum until the nationwide lockdown happened and I had more time to focus on this. I like the whole idea of décor and am extremely passionate about styling spaces, and that’s how The Kalpa Tree was born. The name Kalpa Tree, is derived from the popular wishing tree- a tree which is known to fulfil ones wishes. Since I was giving wings to my wishes and passion, the name Kalpa tree seemed like a perfect choice.
Right now, the biggest struggle is maintaining a balance between my corporate life and my passion project The Kalpa Tree. But somehow, because I love them both equally, I’m able to focus on each of them without compromising on any.
The turning point was realizing the realities of the education sector. My first job was into banking sector and I also used to volunteer a lot during those times. It was one such exposure that lead me to thinking about how our education system needs to hit a refresh button and there on I left my banking career to work in education sector. However, I soon realized that education wasn’t accessible to all and how a lot of children never got the opportunity to go school and I decided I wanted to do something about it. You call it will of God or sheer luck that soon after I got an opportunity to work as a part of Project Nahi Kali and I absolutely love what I do here helping little girls get an education. I have always believed that education is the answer to every problem out there be it poverty, casteism, corruption or crime.
My mom is my biggest motivator; I have learnt patience and perseverance from her that we barely see in people these days. The journey so far has been good and my only future plan is to be a better version of myself. I however, plan to take The Kalpa Tree to new heights and open a décor studio and store sometime in near future.
My biggest learning has been that,
There are no shortcuts in life.
Besides home décor and education, my other passion is food. I am a big foodie and I like to try out all kind of cuisines.
My passion for art gave birth to The Kalpa Tree which is my dream project. I like to mix colours and challenge the routine décor scene with my quirky yet class décor ideas. I also do a lot of home décor and improvement DIYs and am a proud plant parent.”
To drop in a message to Sharda, check out her home décor and styling posts via her passion project The Kalpa Tree, follow the links below:
Sharda’s home décor work has been featured on quite a few online platforms. Here are links to some of the most noteworthy out of these:
Other personal and professional social media profiles: