Under an entrepreneurial roof
A bunch of women from all walks of life came together to create a space where they share resources and responsibilities and help each other grow
Rethna Bhai started her entrepreneurship journey in her sunset years. During the pandemic, she retired from her school teacher job and decided to do something creative with all her free time.This is how she started a business selling plants. At 62, Rethna now owns a plant company. “I feel happy and satisfied. Age shouldn’t stop anyone from following their passion. Starting this company has brought a lot of joy into my life and it keeps me engaged,” says Rethna, a native of Venganoor.
Divya Summy, who has set up a fashion designing label for kids after ten years of corporate life echoes similar sentiments. She took a break from work after childbirth, and this helped her explore her passion. “I was always into fashion and wanted to pursue my calling. But I couldn’t when I was younger,” says Divya.
So what do a 62-year-old plant business owner and a corporate employee-turned entrepreneur have in common? The space they share. They are embodiments of entrepreneurial women’s power, coming together and pooling resources. By sharing the space and rent, Divya, Rethna and six other entrepreneurs are giving wings to their dream
The concept was put together by their friends Anna Thomas and Jyothi Rajendra during the pandemic. For budding entrepreneurs, finding a space is always a challenge, considering the high rent in the city areas. “We decided to take a space and share the rent,” recalls Anna. Soon they saw their collective grow, as many other women entrepreneurs joined them.
The space, now called ‘Woman & Home’ at YMR junction hosts unique articles. The Iris beauty Lounge by Saumya Vinod, Aamiz Plantaz by Rethna, Divya’s ZiLittle, Anna’s store Candle with Care, ‘Bhamini apparels by Jyothi and her daughter Vanee, Chithra Muraleedharan’s label Vararoha, Yadvi jewelry and hair accessories store by Aparna Sampath, Mini Ajay’s ‘Miias’ ready-to-wear kurtis — the space has something for everyone.
Woman and Home began as an attempt to help each other, says Anna. “It was a way to get through the crisis brought about by the pandemic. Many women were working in the confines of their homes and creating a lot of things. The idea was to give them space. Getting a space together helped us cut costs and pool resources. We are helping other women in the process too; Entrepreneurs are outsourcing the work to widows and single mothers,” says Anna.
According to Divya, having such a space has helped her find her true calling and showcase it to the world. Divya chooses the fabric and designs the dresses which are then stitched by women tailors at their home. “I feel like I should have done this earlier and taken up my fashion journey,” quips Divya.