Today I want to introduce you to Alanna – Naturally beautiful. Started by the beautiful Rasshi Bahel, Alanna is a range of natural, handmade beauty products. In Rasshi’s own words…
Our Product range includes Handmade Soaps, Whipped Soaps, Body Butter, Body Scrubs (Himalayan Rock Salt based and Sugar based) and Herbal Packs for Skin and Hair.
We are also planning to come up with a range of Face Wash, Body Wash, Shampoo, Conditioner and guess what ?! shaving cream for Men 🙂
We have received an excellent response and feedback for all our products, But if I have to pick out our signature products that are unique to us and hot selling, it will be our Lemongrass Soap, Activated Charcoal Range, Lavender n Cocoa-butter Body Butter, Rose Himalayan Rock Salt Scrub, Coffee Brown Sugar Scrub and our Cucumber, Bergamot and Lemongrass Whipped Soaps.
Now does that sound interesting or what? I know Rasshi from work. When she quit the corporate rigmarole to turn Entrepreneur, I was very impressed. I asked her a few questions about it and here they are for you.
1. Tell us a little about yourself Rasshi.
I belong to a Business family in Bhopal. Like most children from that city I too moved out of my hometown for studies. I lived in Bangalore for a couple of years where I did my MBA in Marketing and then moved to Mumbai in 2007. Over the course of 8 years I have had the privilege of working with various big brands like Tata Communications, Lenovo India Pvt. Ltd. and Samsung India Pvt. Ltd. I have handled multiple roles in Product Management, Business Development, Strategic Marketing, Brand Communications and Retail Marketing. I am married and my Husband is an Equity Research Analyst working in Mumbai.My father has his own business, my mother is a coordinator in DPS Bhopal and My sister runs her own bakery called Little Jar.
2. What made you turn an entrepreneur?
I was always keen in skincare and beauty. I remember being totally into it even as a kid. In my teenage years I suffered with huge amount of skin problems and my face was full with Acne. I tried a lot of cosmetics and creams in the market but really nothing made a difference. Then my mother suggested some home recommended natural treatments to me and that’s when I got seriously interested in natural remedies and since then this interest has not left me. I started experimenting various recipes and I even did a course to learn and hone my skills in this field. Though, the idea of turning my hobby into a profession came to me quite recently when I realized that in today’s market if I have to buy any natural products they are too exorbitant and I just don’t have a choice but to either pay a huge premium for my health or go for the chemical based options. I thought what if I can create products that are pure and can be offered to everyone at an easily affordable price. And that’s when it started…..
3. What is your business all about?
‘Alanna – Naturally Beautiful’ as the name suggests is a brand about Natural Skincare and Haircare products that make you beautiful inside-out. All our products are hand crafted and consist only of natural ingredients. We believe that safe and natural products are your right and they should be easily affordable to you. We also customize products that suit your beauty needs and your skin type. We are a cruelty free brand. We don’t test any of our products on Animals.
We are also product of the fact that we are MakeinIndia 🙂
4. Alanna is a beautiful name. Is there a story behind it?
Alanna as a term means beauty, serenity. When I was thinking of names I wanted something that communicates the fact that it’s a beauty brand along with the fact that we are one with nature. I think it does that perfectly. Not to forget that I loved the sound of the name 🙂
5. What your your biggest challenge while setting up your own business?
Though I have worked with various good brands, I have never worked in the beauty industry before. Entering into a completely unknown industry with limited experience was a bit challenging and to a certain extent still is. But it’s something that I actually enjoy, cause it’s my passion and I enjoy learning something new everyday.
6. How did people react when you told them about starting Alanna? Was everyone supportive or did some tell you that you were making a mistake?
Honestly I have been very blessed. When I told my husband, my family and few close friends about the concept they were all very very supportive. They have actively participated in trying my products and giving constructive feedback and criticism.
7. How did the first order feel like?
My first order was for a very dear friend of mine Reema. So it was even more special. The feeling of earning money out of something that you created with your own hands is indescribable. I never felt so alive even when I received my first salary cheque 🙂
8.Based on your experience so far, what advice would you like to give people who want to start their own business?
I feel passion is one, but to asses the market gap correctly is very critical. If you have an idea that really serves a need in the market then there is a very high chance that your business will work. Also, never ever compromise o product quality cause at the end of the day, your product is what speaks for your brand and that will make or break your customers.
9. Any parting thoughts?
Well my motto in life is to ‘Inspire and Be Inspired’. I strongly believe that one should always follow their dreams and take chances with their dreams , no matter at what stage of life they are. It’s never too late or too early
If like me, you are tempted by the lovely pictures and want to know more, then head over to the Alanna’s Facebook Page. You can also download the product catalogue from here