“When the going gets Tough, the tough get Going” and Shabia’s journey proves this proverb so right! Hers’s yet another super inspiring story of a woman who chose not to let difficulties pull her down, on the contrary made way for herself and her dreams through those difficulties and came out as an “Achiever” …
I have lived by the motto ‘Work hard on your dreams, or someone else will hire you to work hard on theirs’. I started working very early in life, my father having walked out on us when I was about 10 years old. We didn’t have much but we weren’t deprived either. My mother taught me and my brother one thing, ‘work hard and you will never lack for anything’. And work hard we did. Between me and my mother we gave tutions to about 80 kids everyday. My day started at 5 am which included school, teaching kids and then studying for my own exams. Despite the lack of time, I topped my school results every year always being in the top three.
I funded my entire education till graduation and when I was in the 12th standard, I was given an opportunity to teach due to my excellent public speaking skills. At one point along with studying science in National College, I was also teaching in 5 coaching classes all over Mumbai.
In 1995, my graduation year, I went to a production house for a game show audition and was called inside by the producers because they liked my confidence. They offered me a job and I became assistant researcher for their various game shows. Since then I have worked on several shows like Surabhi, The Good Food Guide, Movers and Shakers, Breakfast with Zee, Siddhanth, Rihaee, Ek Thi Rajkumari, Mile Jab Hum Tum, Yeh Tera ghar Yeh Mera Ghar etc and with channels like Star Plus and Big Reliance. I have worked literally in all capacities as a creative director, writer, producer, director, creative consultant, script head etc.
After the birth of my baby Sia I looked at a lot of options which would enable me to work as well as spend time with her. Whilst my search for the perfect occupation was on, I penned a bestselling book called ‘Mamma Mania’ which was launched by Konkona Sen sharma and has been widely appreciated.However TV beckoned me again and even today I continue to work as a consultant and script head with various channels and production houses.
My most recent passion is ‘Tattva by Shabia Walia’ a companu which is aimed at providing Organic and Natural Body Products which are absolutely chemical free and safe for adults as well as babies. The journey to starting ‘Tattva’ has been an interesting and eventful one.My husband travels a lot courtesy his cinematography profession. He got me a wonderful body scrub from Fiji which I ran out of in December last year. After hunting a lot for it or something similar I came across one by a popular brand which was ridiculously expensive. I thought to myself ‘A Sugar Scrub can’t cost so much. What if my maid or a middle class person wants to use one? She should able to afford this pampering if she chooses to.’ Thats when I decided to try making my own body scrub.
Egged on by my husband and father in law, over the next few days in January 2014 I read, researched, experimented and made my first ‘Cocoa Almond Body scrub’ for myself. It smelt divine, I didn’t need to use a moisturizer after using it in the shower and best of all, it had no chemicals. Now I have always been concerned about the enormous amount of chemicals we put on our body everyday courtesy body products we use. I told myself, “If I could do this as a business venture I would be killing two birds with one stone. I could stay close to my 5 year old daughter Sia and do this at my own pace and time and most importantly could reduce harsh chemicals from our lives and others who would choose to try my products since I was planning to make them with absolute natural and organic ingredients”
I told a few of other mothers that I would give them some testers to try and they could give me feedback but they said,”If you are making them, we will buy a full jar”. And that was it. On 12th January 2014, armed with a few jars and ingredients worth a thousand rupees, ‘Tattva by Shabia Walia’ was born. We debated on a lot of English names for the company but the name ‘Tattva’ (meaning essence and truth) came to me while I was asleep, re-instilling my faith that this indeed was a God- driven venture.
My father in law and I discussed the pricing, My husband became the guinea pig to try all that I made and the first day of making an announcement about the ‘Cocoa Almond body scrub’ on Facebook, we had sold scrubs worth 3000/- rupees.Today we have more than 10 categories of products ranging from Body scrubs, Face Scrubs, Lip Balms, Body wash, Face Wash, Baby Care, Foot scrubs, Body lotions, Face creams, Cold Process Soaps etc.
Over the past 4 months our client base has grown to over 200 families. All our customers are repeat customers who keep coming back to us for our quality products. We deliver all over the country now and are available online through Facebook, Twitter, Our website www.tattvabyshabiawalia.com www.naturalmantra.com, an organically certified site which stocks only natural products and www.babychakra.com ,a website which stocks products recommended by mothers.
Support has come in all forms with people wanting to tie-up, people offering us space to start a manufacturing unit, investors who want to fund us but despite all this we are taking slow but sure steps lest reckless growth hampers our quality. As an entrepreneur my joy comes from my products and nothing should or can take me away from the very reason why I started ‘Tattva’.
After the birth of my baby Sia, ‘Tattva’ is my second baby. Its fulfilling, It keeps me awake yet I sleep peacefully knowing that I have made a good product that day. And at the end of a hard day in the television world which has been my career for the last 20 years, ‘Tattva’ is what serves as my stressbuster and restores the spring in my step each day.
My dream is to someday own an organic farm where all that goes into ‘Tattva’ products is grown by me on my own land. So that the chain is complete from beginning to end. What grows on my soil reaches my end consumer, thats my ultimate goal and I will achieve it soon, God willing.
Till date, I have never moped on what life didn’t give me. I have always been thankful for what I have. My past, my struggles, my dreams and my faith in making them come true, have made me what I am today. There is no teacher like life. I work hard and leave the rest to the God. I am totally focussed and immersed in my work. There is no place for negativity in my life and I run away or cut off from negative people.
Gratitude towards the universe has been my biggest strength. What you give is what comes back to you is what I believe in and it has served me well through my entire life. I have not earned a bio- data from all these years, I have earned goodwill and thats my biggest achievement!