Q1. Tell us about yourself, your family.
Hi !! I am Chanda Rajput from Mumbai, I am 54years of age, a homemaker for the past 32 years of my marriage, and a mother of two.
I am also challenged with my profound hearing loss in both ears for the past 25years. My husband is retired now, and my kids are grown up and have become responsible adults. I thought it was the right time to start something of my own. And I am really enthusiastic to share it with you all.
Q2. How did you come up with the idea of ‘Homecare Products'?
"I believe honest self-care and love are basic rights of every individual ". And during my childhood days, my mother used to encourage us to use homemade remedies like applying Multani mitti for skincare and Shikakai for hair care. So from a young age, I was keen on using homemade remedies for taking care of my skin and hair routinely.
I had also done a certified beautician course before my marriage because of my interest in the same. So I always had this idea of making safe homemade remedies for skin and hair for others too, who seldom get time in their busy routine for self-care at home and who miss their mom's homemade products since they were safe and effective.
Q3. From a housewife/mother to an entrepreneur? Tell us a bit about your journey.
My Journey was a bit challenging when after being a housewife and a mother I faced severe constant hearing loss in both ears which affected my communication with everyone. As years passed my hearing loss got more profound, I couldn't hear the doorbell, the phone ringing, couldn't listen to the tv or the songs on the radio, and most importantly I couldn't hear my kids calling me mummy. Losing the power to hear your own name, affected my confidence and I was really depressed initially when I didn't know how to cope up with it.
I stopped interacting with people since I use to fear my speech was not clear because the hearing loss gradually affected my speech too. But due to family support I started using hearing aids, I still could not understand without reading the lips but it improved my speech. I started building confidence also by doing power yoga, meditation, taking daily walks, and overall taking care of myself again.
My daughter taught me to use social media platforms to interact with family and friends since I couldn't talk on the phone, video calls and messaging helped me a lot in communicating with others and expressing myself. I felt included again.
I would also like to share this personal moment of happiness and hope, So from childhood I loved dancing but after hearing loss I had lost confidence to perform in front of others like I did when I was young. But then once my niece requested me to perform on her sangeet. Initially, I thought I won't be able to perform, but then I practiced hard to perform a solo dance at my niece's wedding. I practiced daily sincerely after finishing all my household work at night. And without missing a beat I performed a solo dance at my niece's wedding even though I couldn't hear the lyrics but only understood the beats.
Throughout my performance, my daughter was cheering as we did for our children when they performed in school. After the performance, the smiles and applause I could see from all my family and relatives were most rewarding to me. This was an encouraging moment for me since I discovered with practice you can achieve anything. So then slowly and steadily I came out of my shell and started enjoying whatever life served me on my platter.
With this renewed confidence I recently started following my love for homemade products to create something for others too. Initially, I didn't start it to become an entrepreneur but just to make others feel good about themselves. But with support and appreciation for my products from my family and friends, I thought of expanding my services to others who were interested in safe homemade products.
Q4. Given a chance would you change anything in your life?
Yes, I would like my younger self to be more bold and strong in making decisions without self-doubt and concern about peer pressure.
Q5. If you have to give one piece of advice to someone who’s looking to reinvent themselves, what will that be?
Believe in your ideas,
Prioritize your health
and Love yourself.
Note from Chanda's Daughter, Nikita Rajput:
My mother had a humble start in the business from sharing it with family members to then selling it to their friends and neighbours. Majorly all the sales were done by sharing pamphlets and a list of products (face & body cream, herbal hair and body oils, hair mask, gels, soaps ) on WhatsApp groups and individuals.
This Diwali I came up with the idea of a Diwali combo that had Abhayga oil, Ubtan soap, and Ubtan powder for the first-morning bath on Diwali. Maharashtrians have a traditional custom to have bath with Abhaynga oil and ubtan but since people don't make it at home these days due to lack of time, I found it could be a good idea.
So currently we are taking direct orders from my office colleagues, friends, other society ladies. It's still small but the aim is to build it into something for my mother, which can enable her to take decisions independently, learn about basic finance (which as a homemaker she already does, since she balances the economics of the house in limited resources), but fail to take interest in banks and investing facilities.
I have also uploaded our products (as a vendor) on Mitti ke rang(e-commerce platform) created by Amit Jain for women entrepreneurs, But it's on hold for now as we are working on our operations/backend accounting systems to be in line with the new taxation / GST policies. I am also using this opportunity to put in place systems and processes that can set my mother to success.
But my main and utmost aim is to encourage my mother who's faced many hardships in life presented by her own people as a non-earning member of the family. A concept I just can't stand by, and as a daughter I have to do everything possible to set this right.
I truly believe, financial dependability is a major reason why many women are stuck in wrong situations and lose their confidence.
Together we can bring change !!!