Each of us have a hobby that we absolutely enjoy and a lot of us think about how we can turn our hobbies into a sustainable business. But many of us never venture out and ACT ON IT because we are afraid. So was Chandni Shah when she started her own line of natural skin care and body products but she didn’t let that fear stop her from pursuing her passion.
THE STORY BEHIND NATURAL PANDA
Hello World! Meet Chandni Shah! This is her story on how she took her hobby and turned it into a business!
Meet Chandni Shah – Her products featured at the Etsy Market in Toronto
“She took her passion for natural alternatives and founded Natural Panda: a social enterprise dedicated to providing it’s customers with 100% natural products designed to nourish the skin. I had the pleasure of interviewing her about her recent launch on Etsy and the products are just fabulous! This is her story….
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself?
A: I’m a 25-year-old homeopathic student who’s passionate about natural alternatives for your skin and body. I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Science degree – focusing mainly on biochemistry – and went on to study a form of natural medicine known as homeopathy. I’m currently finishing my clinical internship at the Ontario College of Homeopathic Medicine, and hope to be a licensed homeopath within the next year.
Q: Did you always want to go into Homeopathy? Was that always the plan after you finished Uni?
A: For many years, I actually wanted to be a pharmacist. Believe it or not, my love for natural and holistic health began at a career fair in university. I was introduced to the idea of achieving your optimal health and wellness through natural food and medicine, and the idea of this definitely resonated with me!
Q: Tell us about your company Natural Panda. What is Natural Panda?
A: NATURAL PANDA is a combination of two of my favourite things – natural products + my love for pandas! I take raw, natural ingredients and turn them into nourishing skincare products- free of any chemical additives, perfumes or dyes. Unfortunately, the giant panda is an endangered species that’s threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation. In order to help save the pandas, a portion of every purchase is donated to the World Wildlife Fund. Combine these two aspects together and NATURAL PANDA was born!
Q: How did you come up with the idea to start Natural Panda? Did you always want to start your own business?
A: As I slowly became conscious of the chemicals I was using, I became obsessed with the idea of greening my skincare routine. The best way to know exactly what goes into your products is by making your own- and that’s what I decided to do. Never had I imagined I’d turn my hobby into a business. To be quite honest, I didn’t even know where to begin. All I knew is that I wanted natural products to be accessible, affordable and still high in quality! With the support of my family and my boyfriend, I decided to try something new and setup an online business that primarily focused on natural alternatives for your skin and body.
Q: What challenges did you face when you started your shop?
A: The past four months have been full of many challenges- from pricing, to shipping, to product formulation. Once you’ve launched your products, the toughest challenge is truly being patient. We often build a momentum and want our company to grow overnight, and mine was no exception. I wanted my skincare business to suddenly flourish, and I’d often be disappointed went it didn’t leave me constantly busy. Over the past couple of months, I’ve learned to take a step back and let my products speak for themselves! Trust what you’ve worked on, the success will slowly follow.
Q: Were you scared to start your own business? What were your hesitations and how did you overcome them?
A: Absolutely! Like me, almost any entrepreneur you meet knows firsthand how scary and exciting this experience can be. So many unknown fears arise within you. What if I fail? What will people say? What if my products don’t sell? To be honest, I was more nervous than anything! The only way to overcome these fears is to approach your business with confidence and consistently deliver what you’ve promised. Getting started is the hardest part, but overtime you stick with it and you watch your business grow. What I’ve learned from this experience is that failures are almost always bigger in our heads than in reality. When you’re starting from scratch, you’re bound to make mistakes – and tons of them! It’s hard, it’s uncomfortable, but it’s a natural part of growing. Learn to be kind to yourself and always push towards your goals, the rest will slowly follow.
Shop her products: http://etsy.me/1UhgUsI
Share her story to inspire others who you may know have an amazing hobby and have always wanted to take it to the next level!