Meant to be.....
First Blog! I never thought I would sit here and write a blog and that anyone would be interested in whatever I have to say… But here I am!
You always have many experiences that resonate with you in all your roles in life – as a daughter, sister, wife, mom, employee, or employer! Some of them you want to play repeatedly, and some memories lie in a beautiful corner of your heart forever. Through this blog, I will try to give you a sneak peek into our backgrounds, how we arrived at a decision of quitting our corporate lives and getting into a business of something we had no knowledge about.
Starting at the start!
Before I start, I briefly want to talk about Ayurveda and how the 5,000 year old practice has influenced my life. My mother introduced me to ayurvedic herbs, ayurvedic products as well as ayurvedic beauty regimes since I was a child. I am amazed how today’s generation is drawing upon the age-old Ayurveda remedies and traditions. I am excited to see natural ingredients and natural beauty enjoying the limelight in our current society.OK let us talk a bit of history now…promise to not bore you, stay with me!
OK let us talk a bit of history now…promise to not bore you, stay with me!
Sanjay (my husband) and I immigrated to Canada in 2002. We were brought up and married in India. A lot of people at that time asked – Why did you come to Canada? To be honest, I think we didn’t know the big picture at the time. At that time what was important to us was a good quality life where you have a right to basic necessities of life like clean food, water, air and hydro. Also, where the top most virtue was honesty. We would have fought for all the basic necessities in India while running our own business but what we refused to give up was our honesty and ethics. We did not want to join the red-tapism and run our business like everyone else. Pretty sad state of affairs, right?
So, we decided to try and live in an honest country and one of our friends led us to Canada. We have been here for 17 years and Canada, you have been awesome in more ways than we can ever express. 17 years later if you ask me now “Why we came to Canada?” my answer would be quite different.
So much has happened in the 17 years, we have lived a life we could not even imagine with our share of joys and sorrows, highs and lows, positives and negatives. Through all this, the one thing that we managed to keep intact is our honesty and integrity. That feeling of doing everything right in a day when you put your head on your pillow – is PRICELESS!
Shortly after we arrived, I started working with Bell Canada and Sanjay found an entrance into the fashion industry. We were young and restless and hardworking – all great ingredients for success at workplace. We invested almost 10 years working at these jobs but also trying to create our family.
We went through years of fertility treatment, lost 4 babies and then finally succeeded! (That journey is a book in itself, maybe someday I will gather the courage to write about my journey to making a family with 2 kids)
Anyway, back to this, as Sanjay approached the big 40 he started to realize that in a race to be successful in his corporate life, he forgot about his dream. His dream of owning a business of his own in Canada.
Typical 40s realization, right? Show of hand if you are 40 and above and relate to this feeling!
Was it the right time to leave our successful jobs and jump into something absolutely new? A difficult decision for some but it came about very easy for us. You know why? Because of everything we had gone through in the last 10 years. We knew life is unpredictable, we knew who came to this world must leave as well and we knew that our family that took 10 years to be complete, deserved to live a happy and healthy life.
Sanjay decided to quit his job (while I was on maternity with our second child… yikes!) and venture into his own business. The business of what? No idea. All we knew was it had to be something related to helping people lead a healthier life, helping people live their best life with healthy choices every day.
That summer we took a trip to India – you know they say you always run back to your roots for inspiration! Well we did too!
During our visit, we managed to travel to a village and meet some farmers. Hold your breath while I tell you what we uncovered there…
** Suicide rate was at an all-time high in India due to farmers not being given a fair price for their crops.
** Each day a farmer and his family had to make a choice – Which meal do they want to eat today?
** Each day they had to make a choice to cover either the top or the bottom of their body as clothes were limited?
All of those basic necessities I talked about earlier, were a far-fetched dream for farmers and their families.
That was the day we decided, whatever we do, will be for the upliftment of farmers. Could we have done something for all of them? No, but could we have started somewhere, YES!
Rootalive in partnership with a local co-op decided to buy products from these farmers at a fair price and bring them to Canada. Slowly but surely that Co-op has grown to about 500 farmers today.
Our vision did not stop there though. You’ll be surprised to know how many people don’t pick up an Organic product because of price difference. Second part to our vision was to bridge the gap between conventional and organic food. We decided to keep our costs low and operational expenses under check so we could price our products in favour of our end customers.
Now that looked like a complete vision, uplift the farmers and also make Organic affordable for our customers.
This is a work in progress though with so much changing all the time around us.
Why should I follow your blog, you ask?
As a loyal consumer of a product, I would love to know who they are and how they got into a business like this one. Hope you enjoyed reading my story aka my first blog. This story is evolving and we are not done!
Even if you are not a user of our products, this story is for everyone who is sitting on the fence and trying to decide whether to take that big leap and pursue their dreams. I kid you not, is it easy? Hell No!
Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY AND WHOLEHEARTEDLY YES!
Stay tuned for the next one as I dive into some of the traditional practices I grew up with and see how they are presented in a modern way today!