Shruti Katyal, founder of O’HappySunshine is a womenpreneur who designs mom-friendly Clothes suitable for nursing. She is a creative person who turned to be an entrepreneur from being a software engineer. Shruti shares with WOI about her struggles as a new mom and how it motivated her to become a Mompreneur.
If you have a dream, no matter what, go chase it!
My name is Shruti. I have done my bachelors in Computer Engineering from Thapar, Patiala. I am a software engineer by profession but a designer by heart. I am married to my college sweetheart. And, I love being a mom to my beautiful 4.5 years old daughter and a 15-month-old son. I love being a full time mom to my kids. I am a very hands on parent and I believe kids need most care and attention for their initial few years and no one better than a mom can do that. I never say “No” to any help I can get for the household chores but I am all up for raising my kids myself.
I spent a few years working as a software engineer in a couple of organizations before I started off on my own. I always had thing for design. So, I often engage myself in creative projects at home or just spend time in making handmade cards. I started my venture “O’HappySunshine” after my daughter was born.
When my daughter was born, I faced a lot of challenges myself to nurse her in public. I was in Delhi at that time. And, it was so crowded wherever I went – to make a new mom feel intimidated. When I started looking for nursing solutions available in the market, all I could find was nighties. I was very surprised that there were no brands who took care of comfortable and stylish breastfeeding clothes. It felt like I was being forced to start formula feed for my baby. But, knowing the advantages of breastfeeding, I was pretty sure I was not giving up just because of this. That is when I designed clothes for myself. So, I designed clothes for myself and it took away my major worry when stepping out with my baby.
It was truly a roller coaster ride to build a brand, it was exciting and scary at the same time. It’s really impossible for one person to be an expert on everything so it is extremely important to reach out to those who can help. And for me, some of my close friends and family did help with the initial hiccups before we started sailing smoothly.
Being a software engineer myself, I was able to launch my online store with the initial 2-3 designs I created. I was hesitant at doing any formal launch or announcement because I was not very confident about myself at that time. One morning after a few days of going live, I woke up with happy tears because someone trusted me and made the first purchase from my store.
There were a lot of challenges at the beginning, it was just like another baby who needed lot of time and attention. But, with each challenge comes a new lesson. Now that I look back the list is long, every step starting from procuring fabric to finding tailors and then getting the perfect samples ready has come with a lot of hurdles. Initially, I was the one doing pretty much everything – from designing to packaging, handling the orders, customer queries, order tracking and being the model myself. Because, I believe – whatever we do, wherever we go; life throws challenges at us – big or small. But, how we deal with it makes us!
My husband helped me kick start O’HappySunshine, he often believes in me more than I do. And then, both my mother and mother-in- law have been a rock support during my journey. And now, they are pretty much running the show. I am amazed with the strong business acumen they both posses.
With a baby and a toddler at home, there hasn’t been a daily schedule which I am currently following. But, I do make sure to start my day by reading and I do spend time drawing/sketching when my kids nap, it really helps me to be patient and keeps the creative juices flowing. Last year, my husband got relocated to US for his dream job and the time difference has made it even more challenging. My day starts after putting the kids to bed.
Being an entrepreneur is very humbling and an overwhelming experience at the same time.
It has helped me grow a lot as a person. I have started to think more from the customers point of view in terms of comfort and quality. And, I listen to TED talks – I love connecting to people and their stories. I also get inspiration from some amazing moms on Instagram.
The biggest milestone throughout my journey was when I received a call from Vellore Institute of technology. They were quiet impressed by my venture and wanted me to give a TEDx talk on ‘unboxing my mind’ ! It helped me to know myself better and I also got a chance to connect with some very amazing people on the way. The whole experience has been quiet humbling.
Honestly, It has been such an interesting time to go from a place of “oh! I am designing a dress” to “oh! I am actually designing a system which impacts the life of a new mother and her baby!”
I would like to say, ‘Don’t wait for kids to grow, don’t wait for all lights to turn green because that will never happen. The best time to do anything is now. The risks and chances you take become the stories you tell and those you don’t regret for a lifetime!’ – says Shruti.
Thank you Shruti. Your designs seem to be comfortable for any nursing mom and they are ‘in-style’ as well! And, your products are sure to help a new mom to feed her baby in public, with no fear.
We are glad to feature your entrepreneurial journey on WOI. We wish you all the best for your future endeavours. Keep Inspiring!
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