Entrepreneur: Nitika Sonkhiya
Business Name: Reverie Box
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 74
We are familiar with the persuasive advertisements of skincare products that we often see on television when we switch channels. But we hardly think about the ingredients used in such hyped products.
Do you know?
Most of the skincare products that claim to have conquered the market are made with ingredients that could even ruin the skin.
Nitika launched her business out of her love for top quality and safest beauty products. Founded in 2016, Reverie Box, her brand, is the first organic and cruelty free beauty subscription box in India.
“To us, that means no animal testing, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, sulfates,” she says. Let’s find out more about Nitika and ReverieBox as she unfolds her story.
1) How did you get your idea for this business?
I was always passionate about skincare, beauty and was always in the kitchen on weekends to find something that I can put on my skin. I was always the one in my friends group who use to give beauty and skincare advices, on what to apply for acne, blackheads and pigmentation.
However, at the same time I was also scared of using skincare products available on local beauty stores as they were full of harsh and toxic chemicals which I found were harmful for my skin like for example Sodium lauryl sulphate which is a detergent and surfactant and is used in so many skincare products as it is inexpensive and a great foaming agent, but SLS is also known skin irritant, It is actually a pesticide and herbicide.
It is a penetration enhancer, meaning that its molecules are so small they’re able to cross the membranes of your body’s cells. Once cells are compromised, they become more vulnerable to other toxic chemicals that may be with the SLS. It is also a pollutant, It is toxic to fish and other aquatic animals and has the potential for bioaccumulation (meaning it accumulates in the bodies of the fish.)
I never thought of converting this into a business as I was not so brave back then, but one day while sitting with a friend who wanted to start a business we got the idea of converting my passion for beauty and skincare into Business.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
The global organic skincare market is to reach 24 billion by 2024. Organic skincare market in India is estimated to grow two-fold in next five years and cross the mark of Rs. 1,000 crore by year 2020.
Increase in the disposable income of urban middle class is also a key factor to the growth of organic skincare industry. Rising health consciousness among the urban Indian consumers is the key factor behind the ample growth rate of natural and organic personal care products in the region.
Additionally, growing awareness regarding the ill-effects of harmful synthetic chemicals, sulphates, parabens, fragrances, etc., has also been fueling the growth in the market.
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
My dad was very supportive and was really happy to see what I had decided to get into, but my mom was a little skeptical and suggested me not to waste my time and to do something productive, she wanted me to become a bank PO, or to go for Govt exams.( which was not my cup of tea).
My dad always told me one thing, that even if I fail I will end up learning something new. Business and a brand take time to set up and one should not be scared but should work hard.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
Our biggest mistake during the early days was to buy more than what we could sell, and I learnt that it was very important to have a sales channel before you invest in buying the products outright. One should never short sell the brand. Even if you are new, the world sees what you show them.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
we have always promoted our brand organically and by word of mouth, the biggest problem here is the reach and traffic. Paid marketing has been very expensive for us as we do not have any external funding. But we will overcome this as we have started working with celebrities like Dia Mirza, Namrata Soni who like our products and support our cause.
6) What habits contribute to your success?
Dedication, optimism and happiness. Its all in the mind. Even when I have a sad day, I train my mind to be happy and motivated, because its all in the mind, if I tell my mind that I will be successful, there is absolutely nothing that can stop me to achieve what I want.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
If given a chance again, I would distribute the available funds in a better way. And would utilize the resources more effectively.
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
Don’t Focus on the Finish, Focus on Your Next Step. Break your long-term goal into small actionable’ s that can be achieved on a daily basis. Don’t spend time thinking and focusing on the goal, just work on the next step.
9) Where do you find inspiration?
Everything around us is an inspiration, my family, friends, each one of us who is in this world is special.
10) What is your favourite book?
I am not a book person. I cannot sit quietly at one place and read.
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Don’t think much, time is less, start putting your thoughts into actions. Ask for help when needed. And stay positive.
There is always a need for something new in market. Otherwise we would not be having a thousand brands for a same product category. Imagine the awkward situation where we have only one smartphone all over the world! A gap is actually a customer pain point and it can only be filled with a solution!
As an entrepreneur, Nitika was always seeking a solution to one of the most ignored concerns of the market – the quality of ingredients used in beauty products. She ensured that her products would not use toxic ingredients that are hazardous to the skin.
The top-notch quality of her organic products helped her build a loyal clientele across the country. As Nitika says, to be successful in business you must put your thoughts into action as soon as possible. Because you cannot take your ideas for granted as your competitors too might be thinking of something similar. So the best time to realize your goal is now!
Thank you Nitika for stopping by share your wonderful startup story.
You can follow Reverie Box on Instagram here.