As a social entrepreneur, I started Sudara to empower women [& their children] to experience freedom from the brothels of India through sustainable employment. Women in poverty generally don't need handouts, they need jobs and an opportunity to succeed.
I stay motivated by… staying closely connected to the mission of Sudara and keeping my family and my faith my first priority. When I am grounded in love, I can show up better in all areas of life.
Three adjectives that describe me are… passionate, tenacious & scrappy.
If I could have dinner with one person it would be… Jesus because he changed the course of humanity and I want to live my life like him in service of others... & he was also a wild feminist in his time!
The most exciting innovation to me is… the self-driving car- I can't wait to own one in the future... just imagine how much time I'll get back in my life... napping while my car drives me [& the kids] to appointments sounds like a dream!
What motivated you to become an entrepreneur? Is having your own business something you always wanted?
I was motivated to start Sudara based on a trip to India where I was brokenhearted at the plight of the women and children I saw first hand trapped in the brothels with no hope for a better future. I know I've always had entrepreneurial tendencies, but because I wasn't motivated by starting a business just for the sake of increasing my own personal wealth, it took a cause I was REALLY passionate about it motivate me to take the plunge. They say being an entrepreneur is for people who quit a secure 40 hour a week job to work for 80 hours a week not knowing if you'll get a paycheck and that is very true in the early days... But I was happy to do it because I knew the mission is too important not to give 150%. I've been able to get back to a more healthy work/life balance, thanks to an awesome team.
How did you come up with your business idea? What inspired you?
I took a trip to India, and was confronted with the injustice of sex trafficking. I saw it first hand, and there was no way I could not do something to get involved. The women of India and their resiliency inspired me to use my privilege as an American, educated woman to help put a spotlight on the issue that at the time was not getting any attention, and help be part of the solution. When speaking to a group of women trapped in the sex trade in India I felt a divine inspiration that these women needed a job and if I could sell pajamas made from the beautiful Sari material that the women were adorned in, the profits generated from the sales would help with job creation and training so they could have a different opportunity and life. The India textiles are so gorgeous and unique, I thought they would surely sell. The design and inspiration of Sudara products are based on a beautiful part of the India culture, versus the dark side of trafficking that I was being exposed to.
Do you have a fixed work routine? Is it important to have one? Any tips for our readers?
Yes I do have a [fairly] fixed work routine. For me, it's important to have a routine so that I can balance my work with the personal needs of my family: being present for my husband and children. I rise early and get into the office by 6am [my husband takes the morning shift and gets the kids off to school] and leave by 3pm so I can pick up the kids from school and be available for afternoon activities and have that time of connection to life, homework, sports & music lessons, etc. I also like to cook so preparing dinner is a way for me to focus on other interests and prepare a meal that is very central to our family time- the dinner table. For us, it's the one time of the day that is sacred and we're all present to share in each other's lives. The routine ensures that family time does not get pushed aside by feeling like I have to be present for work 24/7.
What are your short/long term goals?
My short-term goal is to ensure Sudara grows and thrives so that the mission is accomplished and more women and children are experiencing a life of freedom that all human beings are created for. Long term I would love to see Sudara's business model being adopted by more companies so that the supply chain of manufactured products [across the board] are being tended to with the utmost care and thoughtfulness to ensure that slave labor is no longer acceptable and consumers demand a fair supply chain from ALL brands. I am an activist at heart and my long-term goals will always be for the greater good of all humanity.
What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?
My personal comfort, time and financial security. I definitely had less stress and more disposable income and time when working in corporate America, prior to starting Sudara. I have less margin and time for hobbies and relationships outside of my family given my attention and focus on the mission fo Sudara.... but it is 100% worth it! I've never felt more determined and energized than I do when working hard and giving it my all for a mission that is so much greater than myself.
What is your biggest dream? Why? Describe your biggest vision for your business.
That my kids will inherit a world that we are making progress in "righting" some of the greatest social and environmental injustices of our time. I want my generation to be one where history books will write that we were honest and brave enough to face the hard issues and not shirk our responsibilities to future generations. I dream to leave the world in a better place [both socially and environmentally] than when we "inherited" it. I'd like my business to be part of the solution for one of the issues I care most about: true freedom and equality for all.