Become a mompreneur… Pretty Pokets
Tell us a little bit about the woman before the hyphen-mommy came along.
15 years ago, in 2002, I came to the United States of America for my Master’s program. It was just surreal because I was a girl who had never gone to a different city alone, and there I was moving to a different country. I finished my Master’s program and joined Corporate America in 2006. Life’s beautiful chapters started unraveling. I got married, soon we welcomed our son and later our little princess- our daughter.
How did you integrate motherhood into your life? What has been the biggest change? What has stayed the same?
As they say, once you are a mom, you are always a mom. You cannot integrate motherhood into your life. You have to integrate your life into motherhood. Motherhood happens, and life has to fill in itself. Once our son was born, our priorities changed. Nothing was the same. Life became even more challenging I was working remotely and
When did you know you wanted to become a mompreneur?
The choice to become an entrepreneur was accidental. My family has never owned a business. I launched a career as a hardware engineer. I continued working after my son was born. Life became a balancing act between “work-life” and “mom-with-baby” in the fast-paced tech world. While working as a hardware engineer, I had an opportunity to mentor a girls’ team for a Tech Challenge (2014). Teaming with young ladies in the design process just reignited my creative spirit. Thus, I started working on coming up with a solution for a personal pain point I had as a new mom. I wanted a diaper bag which is practical and elegant! When I could not find one I decided to make one. I transitioned from the corporate world and entered the entrepreneurial world in January 2016. Precisely after a year, in January 2017, I launched my first version of the diaper bag and named it Vimaneaa diaper bag. I quickly sold the first version of the bags. But the name was not making any sense to anyone except me. So, I re-branded and relaunched the Pretty Pokets diaper bags early this year.
How do you go about designing and sourcing Pretty Pokets?
The Process of designing and launching Pretty Pokets was incremental. It happened over the period of 4 years. I came up with the features I wanted in the diaper bag and how I would like the diaper bag to look. Once I had the design on paper, “I am not a designer by the way” I went on a wild-goose chase on the internet looking for people who could work on making a prototype. This was around 2014. At this point, you might be thinking, “What in the world I was thinking”. They say ignorance is bliss. I did not wait for perfect designs drawings or expert help. Had I just hung around with the idea I would never have made the bag. I was determined to get the prototype done so I could validate it myself as we were expecting our daughter very soon. I’t say I got the perfect prototype, but it was good enough to show it to a manufacturer. After a much search, I found a manufacturer and launched my first version of the bag (Vimaneaa Diaper Bag). It was still not the bag I envisioned and after a re-spin, I re-launched Pretty Pokets diaper bag.
How does being a mom influence your choices in consumption?
Wow, once you are a mom, you tend to put everything under a microscope. I take great care in choosing the right products (whether it’s toys, food or any other products) for kids and the family. I am not too picky. Because you only have so much in your control. You have to trust the product, but I make sure it is right for our family. I am always looking for products from new businesses as well as brands. I also share stuff with my friends and do take some pass downs. Raising babies is expensive. Thank god we are done with diapers for life! After two kids I realized, that being a minimalist keeps you sane.
What is the thing you’d like new mommies to know, that you wish someone would have told you?
Whenever I would be stressed about taking care of the baby, I was told that life would get better once the kid is 2 years or 3 years. But it only got challenging. I wish I had known that I should not wait for things to get better. Once you are a mother, there is never a downtime. You have to create your own time. I would say, don’t wait for things to happen. Take control of what you want to do now. Whether it is getting back into the workforce, going on a vacation, going to a movie or losing weight. Today is the day.
What has been the biggest challenge since launching Pretty Pokets?
Two main challenges one is bringing the brand awareness (since we are new) and balancing motherhood and work.
What is the most important value you want to transmit to your child and why?
There are a couple of values I would like my kids to embrace. To be grateful (I always remind them how important it is to be grateful), be crazy and realize that one has to help oneself (because no one will). It’s essential to be crazy because amazing things start to happen. You have to be crazy enough to start something or do something.
Please share with us a guilty-pleasure or mom confession!
I am obsessed with “Pride and Prejudice” No matter how many times I watched it. I don’t get much time to watch TV. But if I do, I sit down with a cup of coffee to watch.