#NTPeople Series: Shruti Gupta

I e-met Shruti about two years ago for a commissioned product with her brand Fleck India. Her positive vibes were heard through each phone call, along with her focus, motivation and her thorough enjoyment in her work processes. She has a contagious laughter that stays with you long after you’ve hung up. I’ve been lucky to have worked with her on multiple occasions after and with each conversation she inspires me further. As I went through her answers, I saw how well the simplicity of her life routine bodes into her daily rituals. She also makes conscious decisions to ensure long-term changes towards healthier, sustainable and happier goals - a way of life for all young entrepreneurs these days in trying to balance the conflicting 24/7 hours with personal life. She runs Fleck India with her husband, Nishant as well as the founder of Bramdah, a marketplace for independent retailers and young brands to discover each other and transact confidently - the first of its kind to be launched in the country.

About Fleck India:

Fleck is a 2-year-old brand that believes in elevating everyday lives by adding functional and minimal objects in one's life. They started with the pursuit of creating a ceramic mug perfect for their chai and coffee, which turned into an admiration for Indian ceramicists and makers. From then they have been exploring good materials with great craftsmanship and clean aesthetics while keeping Indian roots in place. They are both on a mission to get modern Indian goods out into the world.

Today, we get to learn Shruti’s self-care routines:

Tell us your relationship with skincare and how it has evolved over time?
I used to be this person who never cared until a few years back. During the first Covid wave, I had some time at hand and I started taking care of my skin. I very much like to keep it simple and prefer natural products. I am not sure how useful they are but I also love homemade masks for skin and hair from ingredients found in the kitchen.

Are there any skincare or wellness tips or rituals that were passed down that you methodically follow?
I think it's my mom's emphasis on drinking warm water first thing in the morning, and washing your face and hydrating before you sleep has been with me forever. I have been lighting a candle for almost 4 years during bath time and before sleeping in my everyday routine - it gives a sense of calm to me.

Do you have a special morning ritual?
I stretch my neck, shoulders and back upon rising in the morning, it relaxes all the muscles and wakes me up. I usually follow up by washing my face and applying Moringa cold pressed oil.  

What is the most challenging part of working with your husband?
The segregation of work and personal life; we often end up talking about work before going to bed which we both of having been trying to avoid since the beginning but it's so hard when you get little time together and you have to discuss all things life and work. 

Have your goals changed over time?
Yes, I ran Fleck and Bramdah alongside my day job for over a year; my day job was being a user-experience designer - a skill set that helped me further develop both my brands. I loved being so busy at the beginning but I exhausted myself pretty quickly. Now I try to focus on both my personal life and professional life and try to find a balance between both. 

What has been a difficult moment for you in this journey? And how would you normally deal with setbacks at work?
I usually take a day off and I try to do nothing apart from reflecting or doing something else that doesn’t involve work. I always help, of course, this won’t be possible if I did not have Nishant and my family to take care of everything. 

Tell us more about Bramdah and what inspired you to start this initiative?
We as a country have great strength in design but very often we are looked down upon as manufacturers and not as creators. I want to change that and bring forward the best of us to the world. 

Who or what inspires you in your work?
My mother is awesome. She is 58 and is relentless about having fun in her life while working hard as ever. She has the zeal to take on new skills or a hobby and I admire her willingness to do so very much. 

What new goals have you set for yourself to achieve by the end of 2022?
It's not much, but I want to give an hour every day to do things that are just for myself and no one else.

This would include painting and working with clay, lately. I also read every day, even if it’s just a page!

#WomenOnTheGo: How do you balance your work and personal life?
I don’t think I have achieved it yet. I struggle with it every day :)

Both Nishant and I have put a stop at 8 pm to any work-related conversation, we do end up talking sometimes but now it’s a conscious awareness. We also have a little routine that involves us cooking together once a week, short walks every other day and whipping up cocktails every Friday!

What one advice would you give young women who aspire to start their own business?
I would say plan everything before you dive in; audience, market and your finances. Once you have it figured out, dive in! Don’t shy away from asking for help from whoever you can. 

Shop beautiful homeware, lifestyle and unique products at https://fleck.co.in/
Instagram: @FleckIndia 
Facebook: @FleckIndia