Spreading style in a socially responsible way

Krittika Khandelwal — Founder, Soothi

Krittika represents a new brand of entrepreneurs who dream with a purpose, for the larger good. She is the Founder and “Chief Everything Officer” of Soothi. (www.soothi.com). Krittika conceptualized & launched Soothi, an eco-fashion brand that brings to market stylish products that are made with substance and offer development opportunities to emerging communities and underprivileged women. These are ethically sourced, philanthropic jewelry — a collection of casual and meaningful pieces made by artisans world over.

Krittika was born in a small town in India and then moved to the United States at the age of ten. “This has afforded me the opportunity to see life in two distinct perspectives”, she says. From the very beginning, her interests were geared towards the artistic and creative side, but she always felt that her practical sensibilities were limited by creative skills. So, when she had to decide on a field of education, she chose Marketing. “It was a great blend of art and science”, says Krittika.

Krittika has done her Masters of Science, Marketing from Georgia State University. She has worked in the marketing domain for Sparks Grover, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, McKenney’s, Inc. and Siemens Energy and Automation.

High point in career

“I like to think that I am still waiting for that high point. However, I am really proud of fact that I took the leap and started my own business. It’s terrifying to leave the comfort of the predictable and somewhat stable environment and try to forge ahead on your own.”

Most challenging assignment so far

“Soothi is the most challenging thing I have ever worked on. On the one hand I am trying to finding quality supplier half way across the globe and on the other I am coordinating brand photo shoots and dealing with buyers. I need to have an understanding of everything from accounting and finance to sales strategy and web design. However, I have to say this is also the most exciting thing I have every worked on.”

Greatest inspiration

“I find inspiration in the story of other entrepreneurs. Many of them are disrupting industries and making massive impacts on our world. These are young, driven individuals that are simply choosing the road less travelled.”

Most important milestone in life

“I don’t have that one milestone, instead I have many small moments and achievements that make me happy. I suppose I would be able to better answer this question once I have experienced much more in life.”

Women are the better halves. What does it mean?

“In my opinion it is just an antiquated term that needs to be retired. In order for any relationship to succeed both halves have to be the better ones.”

Experiences on being a woman entrepreneur

“I am lucky enough to be an entrepreneur in a country where many other successful women have come before me and broken down a lot of the barriers. However, internationally when you are dealing with mostly male supplier there is a clear bias, but if you are confident and prepared you can overcome it.”

How do you believe in making dreams come true?

“By working hard, being practical, and not giving up.”

Setbacks and Lessons learnt

“From not getting the promotion to finding out I didn’t negotiate hard enough, I have faced many setbacks. In the beginning they were heart breaking and discouraging. With time I learned that everything happens for a reason and setbacks and failures are the best learning opportunities.

They are also an opportunity to pause and evaluate the path you are on. Setbacks have a way for making me look at things from a different angle and notice things I might have missed when I was blindly focused on just succeeding.”