Swati Maheshwari Takes Us Back To Our Roots Through Rustic Art
In the world where we are literally suffocated with chemicals, Swati Maheshwari and her aunt Sunita Jaju brings a breath of fresh air with their organic personal care products by the name “Rustic Art.” Devoid of chemicals, Rustic Art products are eco-friendly and 100% natural making it one of the preferred choices for the health and environment conscious Indian customers.
In this interview, one of the founders of Rustic Art- Swati Maheshwari shares with us their love for nature and the ups and downs of their journey so far as entrepreneurs.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I like to call myself an Environmentalist and I believe in power of nature. Caring for nature and environment has been part of my upbringing. With this passion, I pursued M.Sc. in Sustainable Development after a break of 15 years. After in depth study, I was determined that I wanted to work towards betterment of environment and Sustainable Development.
What inspired the beginning of Rustic Art?
I am extremely sensitive towards environment and use of synthetic chemicals has always been a big NO. I advocate use of alternatives like soap nut powder to wash clothes or utensils, natural clays for bathing and so on even today. I wondered there must be other people who would have similar thought and decided to come up with Rustic Art – modern, organic and natural product range in a market that is saturated with uncountable big and small harsh and harmful chemical based brands.
What were the initial challenges you faced while starting Rustic Art?
The biggest challenge we faced initially was with packaging and designing. Being new into this business, we had various issues like damage in transport, leakages, high logistics cost etc. Developing a retail market in 2011 for a new category like organic personal care was difficult as well.
Another challenge was meeting customer’s expectations. My aim has always been to educate a customer about why our detergent won’t lather to why the effect of hair conditioner is not same as one that is of a synthetic product.
To this date, I share my personal mobile number with customers and even answer the customer care number myself.
Do you think Indian consumers are increasingly becoming environmental and sustainability conscious when it comes to buying personal care products?
I believe that we are going back to our roots. Now consumers believe in using the products that are less synthetic and more natural, just in different packaging.
I definitely see upward trend in this market. The consumer is becoming more aware of what goes into making of the product they apply on their body. Consumer today wants to be assured that a particular product is ethical and safe to use.
What was your happiest moment as an entrepreneur?
The entire process of growing as business and brand has been joyful. Looking back I realize how far we have come but every customer query, every bit of criticisms, endless learning and appreciation makes me very happy.
What are your plans for expansion?
We are in process of setting up our own manufacturing unit. We also plan to come up with new product range in near future.
Do you have any message for other women who wish to pursue entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is for all. It is not gender biased. Every person who is passionate about something should definitely work towards making their dream become reality.
You can check out Rustic Art’s authentic personal care products here.