The last couple of decades have witnessed Marwari women breaking stereotypes, setting foot in entrepreneurial vistas and supporting each other. Here’s a mother-daughter team and a perfect example of how women can derive strength and inspiration from each other and embark on a journey of love, growth and creativity together. Sujata and Vaishali Sharda saw a dream grow from a seed and nurtured it over the years to bring to light their own brand Mellow Herbals, born out of the sole intention of making Ayurveda accessible to everyone.
Born and brought up in West Bengal, Sujata originally hails from Nohar, Rajasthan. Belonging to a business family, she grew up in an environment of finances and entrepreneurship that gave her the business acumen and pushed her to launch her own brand. Her husband, VK Sharda, hails from Chirawa in Rajasthan. The Shardas currently live in Bhiwani, Haryana.
The Birth of Mellow
Mellow is the brainchild of Sujata, a homemaker and mother of two. “Decades ago, I was looking for a solution for my daughter’s hair fall problems. After a whole lot of research and experimentation with various natural formulations, I developed sesame hair oil, which was a true hair elixir. The oil yielded astonishing results and was an instant success!” says Sujata about the commencement of her journey.
Her quest to find the cure to ailments with Mother Nature led to the launch of Mellow. When she initially founded Mellow in 2008, she had no intention of turning it into a business. She simply wanted to curate formulations that addressed the need for a premium brand for unisex skincare.
Then one thing led to another, and an idea grew into a full-fledged business. They established a factory headquartered in Chirawa in Rajasthan. “Mellow in its purest essence is the amalgamation of mother nature and the goodness of Ayurveda. Through our products, we strive to bring our customers closer to nature, and hence the tagline ‘closer to nature’,” she adds.
Vaishali recently joined hands to expand the business and combine it with modern aesthetics. Currently, Sujata handles the research and development, formulation, production, backend and operations, and Vaishali takes care of the marketing campaigns and strategy.
While the Sesame Hair Oil is one of their most popular and loved products, the other noteworthy products include Marigold Face Wash, Rose Water, Anti-Wrinkle Cream, Lip Treatment, and Body Lotion.
The mother-daughter team share a great bond and unconditional support to each other. “We have bonded well over the years, towards the pursuit of growing the brand. We understand each other very well now. It gives me immense pleasure and joy to see Vaishali taking care of the marketing activities, as there is no one better than your own family member to take the family business forward,” says the proud mother.
She humbly admits that Vaishali has helped her understand the art of being true to the core of the brand. So, in spite of being in a fast-paced market and competing with new age brands, they can never forget Ayurveda and Mother Nature—the basis of Mellow’s roots, philosophy and inspiration.
The doting daughter is grateful to her mother for the values and beliefs that her mother has instilled in her. “It is imbibed in me to be a good human-being before anything else. One of the core values that my parents taught me is that I must work for the betterment of fellow human-beings, serve our community in every possible way, and contribute to the betterment of society,” Vaishali relates.
While working with a close family member, especially your mother can be the most satisfying and enriching experience, it does come with its own set of challenges. She elaborates on the same, “My mother is a perfectionist, and when my way of working is not up to her standards, she gives her feedback. So, there is a little back and forth when making decisions.”
Sujata makes it a point to keep up with the constantly changing trends and technology. “Every generation has its advantages and drawbacks. Our generation followed the path that our parents had predetermined for us. But today’s children are a lot more independent, educated, smart, and have their own opinions and beliefs. They want to carve out their own path, which is good, in a way.”
She adds, “I admire the new generation for being tech savvy and love adapting to them. Thanks to the Internet, I can read about various topics and am able to find solutions and answers to the ailments. Without this, we wouldn’t have been able to succeed rapidly or get in-depth knowledge.”
In an era when having even a single meal together is a thing of the past; it is commendable to learn that the one thing that they have practiced is to always have their meals together when they all are at home.
Mother-daughter duo, Sujata and Vaishali Sharda
Being a wife, mother and a successful entrepreneur, Sujata talks about how she strikes a balance between family and work. “It is important to strike the right balance. I am fortunate to have an extremely supportive husband, who has been there by my side throughout my journey. Mellow wouldn’t have been possible without him. He is the backbone of the company.”
In her personal space, Sujata likes to live a simple and disciplined life. From waking up as early as 4-5 a.m., heading for a long walk in the midst of nature and practicing yoga and meditation, to having a healthy breakfast and sattvic lunch, she likes to be close to Mother Nature in every possible way. She loves to collect different types of textiles, and also enjoys cooking a variety of cuisines.
Vaishali too likes to start her day early with some Pilates or yoga. She goes for a walk or prefers to unwind with her family or friends in the evening. She insists that right now, her life revolves around Mellow and that is where a majority of her time is being spent.
Vaishali is fond of music and is formally trained in Hindustani classical music. While she doesn’t really enjoy cooking, she’s a foodie at heart. She also loves dogs and is passionate about animal activism.
Mellow Rose Water
Seeds of Tomorrow
Sujata and Vaishali’s current goal for Mellow is to take Ayurveda to every household in India to make people aware of the Ayurvedic way of life so that everyone can benefit from it. Their long-term vision is to take it on the global map—to not only bring the wisdom of Ayurveda but also Ayurvedic lifestyle to the world. The dynamic mother-daughter duo is also set to launch the brand on other well-known platforms.
With the intent of making Mellow and the beauty and benefits of Ayurveda accessible across India and the world, Sujata and Vaishali are not only taking us back to the wealth of natural products and ingredients that our country boasts of, but also inching closer to all things pure and pristine.