For most women, motherhood translates into a break from their career and, sometimes, a final goodbye to their professional aspirations. For Mohita Indrayan, it marked the beginning of the next chapter in her life, the chapter where she was no longer the employee but an entrepreneur. It was all the more surprising because being in a regular, stable job is not only more comforting but also easier compared to the life of an entrepreneur where nothing is certain, and uneven working hours can take a toll mentally and physically.
Yet, that is the path Mohita chose. An Economics graduate from Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi, Indrayan always had the creative inclination in her. When most of her friends went for obvious career choices in the banking sector, she enrolled for a post-graduation in apparel marketing and merchandising from National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi.
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This seemed like an obvious choice since she was keen on doing something that would help her indulge her love for colours, creativity and numbers. She worked as a freelance visual merchandiser for some brands until she became a mother to two girls. A trip with the girls to the Disney World in the US brought back a dream she had long forgotten.
"I always wanted to create something of my own," she says. While shopping for her girls in the US, she realised how differently kidswear was viewed outside India. "Back then, high fashion in kidswear in India meant embellishment on the clothes. Flowers and sequins used to be only design elements on a dress," she says. The concept of cut and comfort was missing here.
The clothes she picked for her girls in the US were just basic smart casuals. But these were difficult to find in India. "Mothers like me were missing that kind of stuff--a basic stripe T-shirt without any embroidery--the smart casuals," she says.
That personal experience led her to her professional dream. Soon she co-founded a clothing brand for preteen children--612 League. "Creating something of my own was always at the back of my mind. I just found what and how to do it,"she says.
After discussing the idea with her husband Manu Indrayan, 612 League hit the shelves in 2009. As the co-founder and chief creative officer, Mohita looks after the design process and product movement in the market. However, in her own words, it's the mother in her who brings more to the table than the CCO.
"Will I buy it as a mother?" is a question that always influences what comes out on the shelf. "From getting skirts with in-built shorts and denims with elastic to infusing more colours into the kidswear range, each idea is inspired by my personal experience as a mother," she says.
The life of an entrepreneur is never easy. But here Mohita has turned what society sees as a weakness, to her advantage. "Women are better multitaskers than men," she says while explaining how she strikes a balance between being a mother to two teenage girls and the CCO of a brand.
Often, she turns to her 15-year-old daughter for some pep-talk before a big presentation. "I involve my girls in my work by sharing my lows and highs at work with them," she says.
Women, she believes, should not feel guilty about their career goals and dreams. "We need to get over that guilt and think independently," she says. Focusing on the larger picture always helps in getting over the challenges and compromises. Every time I see a child walking into my store, it gives me a huge high," she says.