Make new friends and be present in that moment. Your business will always be there and taking a little vacay can actually make you more productive at your company.”
Who knew that creating skin care to pass time in a small beach town would end up blooming into a business and brand with a mission to change beauty standards? Rekha Panda, is the founder of RAEKA Beauty, a skin care brand using New Generation Ayurveda Technology that features the World’s First and Only Turmeric peel-off facial mask. Rekha wants to bring better ingredient standards and practices to skin care.
She left her home in Austin, Texas shortly after college to venture out into the world like most young adults. Missing home and having very little to do far away form the city, she took a simple pass time and turned it into a mission she is now passionate about. Rekha has a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice Legal Issues and Adjudication and is currently attending law school. With little background in business, she has successfully grown her company and was nominated Entrepreneur of the Year from the Texas Women in Business Association. She has been featured on ABC, NBC, and Austin’s local EASTside Magazine. Earlier this year, RAEKA Beauty became available at We Are Onyx and launched with Ipsy last month and will be featured in their Glam Bags June 2018. She is working with top retailers to be the first Ayurveda brand of skin care to be available at department retailers.
Where did the ideas for RAEKA Beauty come from?
It all started from creating skincare for myself. I was making at home products and was suggested by a friend to take them to a local market and sell. At first, I was hesitant but figured I had nothing to lose and went for it. As I went through different conversations with customers, I learned that there was very little awareness of Ayurvedic ingredient based skin care. As i did more research, I also became educated about the strict standards other countries had on skin care and cosmetics compared to the United States. This is when I had the “aha” moment that I needed to start a brand that would change the conversation around regulation of ingredients in the beauty industry while providing safe and Ayurveda based ingredients.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I have 2 calendars. One is a schedule and list of goals I need to accomplish regarding business. The other is a marketing calendar where I have different ideas for marketing I would like to execute. I wake up and check the calendars, interact with fans and potential consumers on social media, and try to make time for coffee connections. When I have a break in my schedule, I am researching for PR and other branding strategies. I never really have a break.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I get ideas daily. Whether it’s branding strategy, marketing, new product ideas, or just PR. Once I have made a decision on what would be best for the RAEKA Beauty brand, I do the research to find possible ways to make it happen. The universe has been kind to me and has placed the right people in my circle and brings those who can help me turn those ideas to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Western society is finally becoming very intend and aware of the holistic healing system. This means everyone is in search of products that are safe, natural, organic, and are more willing to purchase Ayurveda. It is exciting to be a part of this growth and to be involved in production of skin care that uses New Generation Ayurveda to give you great results.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I tackle each goal day by day. If I ever run into a road block, I remind myself not to panic and that everything can be solved. It is just figuring out how. I take risks and am not afraid to call out bad practices that the beauty industry holds. I believe that people deserve great skin care with truly safe ingredients.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t beat yourself up about not doing everything right. In the end, everything unfolds just as it should. Life’s lessons help you grow to make a difference. Instead of resisting, just embrace where life takes you.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I used to be like everyone else and wanted to work smarter not harder. With my company, I realized it wouldn’t be where it is now at such a fast rate if I didn’t work hard. Many fellow entrepreneurs outsource everything from website design, logo design, branding, and PR and think that it’s the best way to get things done. However, that’s not always the case. As a founder, I think getting your hands dirty and being heavily involved in the roots of your company can help you later work smarter and more efficiently when you delegate work to others. You already know what to expect so you don’t have to guess.
I outsource work and projects when it is needed but ultimately, I prefer doing it myself.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I recommend everyone to take a break and go enjoy life. Make new friends and be present in that moment. Your business will always be there and taking a little vacay can actually make you more productive at your company.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Go with your gut. Really know your company/brand better than anyone else. Trust your gut to help make decisions and thoroughly evaluate the advice of smart people with experience before making those decisions.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My first set of products were of okay quality. They had very littler shelf life and didn’t have that “wow factor”. As time went, I realized I wouldn’t use them much myself and it was obvious why they weren’t selling at a rapid pace. I over came this by ditching the old products and innovating a new and revolutionary product instead. Now it’s the world’s first and only of it’s kind!
What is the one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Learn to recognize the different values various people can bring into your life. Whether it be related to your personal life or business, identify who to build relationships with. Build relationships with people you typically wouldn’t because life is funny and can surprise you with the unexpected.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I needed a break from working so much and like most women, I needing shop therapy! I bought a shirt at Nordstrom for $100 but with the Nordstrom card, I got $60 back in notes. That just felt great!
What is one piece of software or web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
My company targets a wide range of audience and Instagram hashtags really help reach those potential clients from around the world. It brings visibility to my brand and allows casual social media interactions. That’s so important in the millennial age.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
A friend and business strategist of mine gave me a book called “The Invisible Selling Machine” by Ryann Deiss. It’s a short read that really explains the art behind email marketing. You don’t have to spam your customers everyday but you need to be aware of their needs and email accordingly. This books helps master that.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.