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Rekha Panda | Texas | Strive To Conquer!

Tell us about your journey!

In 2014, I had an addiction to binge watching Shark Tank. The show embodied an American Dream and provided an excitement that the dream was possible. There were so many lessons I learned and ideas that came and unknowingly I was becoming very intrigued. At the time, I was living in a small beach town of Florida and I was curating natural lotions and lip balms as a pass time. I had accidentally made too much and decided to go to the local farmers market and try to sell a few. I was incorporating everything I had learned on Shark Tank. I never knew then it would blossom into the business it is now. Eventually, I moved back home to Austin, Texas and wanted to give back to the world something that wasn’t already available. I am obsessed with the numerous benefits that spices like Turmeric have to offer and thus decided I would create a New Generation Ayurveda line of skin care. We launched the RAEKA Turmeric Peel-Off Masks in April 2017 and we have had a tremendous response from all over the world. We have already been picked up by We Are Onyx and recently signed with Ipsy. Next year, we will be available at one of America’s largest chains of luxury department stores. We are also working on providing face washes, collagen serums, eye creams and a full line of products. We hope to be the first Ayurveda line available at retailers and change the standards of skin care ingredients regulated in the United States. New Generation Ayurveda takes you beyond just organics.

What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business come about?

Like many, I dealt with skin issues such as acne and rashes. My family believed nature was the best science and always encouraged me to use the Indian spices around the home. When I got older and was away from my family, I was spending money on products that simply did not work. If they did work on one issue, it would cause another. I realized the solution was right back at home where the ancient remedies i used, actually worked. I wanted to bring those Ayurvedic ingredients to everyone. Our mission is to bring New Generation Ayurveda to spread safety and awareness of skin care and thus RAEKA Beauty was founded and now carries the world’s FIRST & ONLY Turmeric Peel mask.

What kind of culture exists in your organization?

It is all about comfort and making everyone feel included. We want everyone to know that they don’t have to use chemicals on their body to be beautiful. Nature it the best science and everyone should be a part of it.

In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur?

Exciting. Entrepreneurship is a new space I am discovering every day and it has been a unique adventure on it’s own.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made as an entrepreneur?

When I first began, I had no knowledge of what i was getting myself into. I did not think too deeply into marketing. The common belief is “If you build it, they will come.” I know my product are unique and one of a kind but i was mistaken to think that I could rely on free PR and word of mouth. Also, I was putting my product first and people last. When creating a product and determining a business model, it is so important to have a customer-first mentality. I was concerned and eager about making money that I was forgetting the key a sustainable business has is loyal customers who will buy over the long term.

How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?

I don’t believe you can eliminate mistakes 100% but you can prevent mistakes by learning from other entrepreneurs and business owners. I am apart of many local Entrepreneur societies in the Austin, Texas area so I get advice from other amazing, smart, and talented women who can share their mistakes and stories. It is important to be vulnerable to authentic and real conversation about the struggles of starting a business to fully comprehend your next moves.

What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?

I have had to sacrifice time. Most individuals think that being an entrepreneur is easy and is a luxury. However, it is the complete opposite. You have to sacrifice your social world to work hard. I have to use my time to learn about marketing strategies and tools, PR, SEOs, content marketing, customer relations and a lot more. I believe the biggest reality you have to accept is that knowledge it the key to success and you have to go out there and learn about everything and anything that you don’t know relating to running a successful business.

Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most? Why

Estée Lauder started with just 4 products and was the quintessential entrepreneur who refused to listen to experts or settle for anything less than the best she believed in. She constantly challenged the status quo and did not let others interrupt her vision of skin care and beauty. Today, the company touches the beauty of women in more than 150 counties reflecting Estée’s powerful and authentic convictions and unique point of view. I strive to follow her lead to make a difference and change the beauty industry.

What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?

Regardless of where you are in the world, be vulnerable to your calling and strive to conquer anything, which makes you most uncomfortable. That achievement takes you into new realms of success in whatever you wish to accomplish. Robert F. Kennedy said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” Fear comes with the unknown and starting a business it not for the faint-hearted. Failure and rejection is understandable but allowing yourself become trapped in fear will significantly hinder your progress and success.

Comfort Zone!

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