This week, we interviewed inspirational Founder of Blink Brown Bar chain, Vanita Parti. Vanita is married to Shailendra and has three children Anya (12), Aryan (10) and Anushka (5) and lives in Kensington, London.
What inspired you to start up Blink?
Terrible eyebrows all over London that needed help. I also felt the need to create something – a fun brand that would change the way people did things forever. I had been working on another brand for so long that I decided it was time to create my own. It is the creative aspect that drives me rather than the commercial aspect.
What would we find in your make-up bag?
My absolute basic is my B Kajal Pencil – dark and smudgy. I always carry a natural lip gloss with a Nars Blusher and Lancome Mascara. I use Terry’s tinted moisturiser for bad skin days and Laura Mercier eye concealer. Dark Blue eyeshadow to jazz up my eyes if I am going out. Then of course I have my eyebrow essentials which is an B eyebrow pencil – Cardamon Pod and a Clear Eyebrow Gel.
What do you do to relax?
I love Friday nights in with the kids – an early pizza or movie. No schedule – it’s wonderful and as they grow older we can have adult meals and watch ‘proper’ movies – hooray! When the kids aren’t around, I love to escape for nights away in England with my husband – a rare but wonderful treat.
Do you have a favourite family recipe?
Thai Green Curry is a great one that everyone loves as it has the spices for my husband and it is the only way to get the kids to eat fish and vegetables. I recently learned that Coconut cream is one of the most fattening foods! Great for the kids but might have to rethink for me.
What one piece of advice would you give to our working mothers?
I would say that you have to learn to switch off when with the kids and savour the time with them or you will kick yourself later. Everything can get done – it just needs to be compartmentalised so that you can focus on kids or work. I understand that this is really hard in the early days of setting up a business but setting aside quality time with the kids has always been a must for me. I do believe that I would not have had a successful business without them. I am more focused and don’t over obsess about work issues allow them to take over.
Where’s your favourite holiday destination?
In the winter India without a shadow of a doubt. We stay in Delhi with my parents but try and do a little trip outside to Jaipur or Udaipur. The kids love it because it is so different and they get spend time with the family. In the summer, Ibiza. It is so relaxed and anything goes.
What was the hardest part of becoming a new mama?
For me it was giving up work. I really missed being independent, having the social interaction and wearing nice clothes! I think the change in lifestyle is fantasic for those that are ready to give up their career but I was raring to go and then of course realised that I found it very hard to leave my kids to go to an office everyday. I had to try and find a way to work but still be with them. I had part time options but it compromised my career to setting up my own business was the only solution.
How to you find a balance in juggling your work and home life?
It is never easy but I seem to be getting there. It is never perfect and life is crazily busy but you just have to accept that. Something has to give and for me it is usually being in trouble with the children for forgetting to pack them a snack for school or forgetting their guitar etc . Once all the kids are at school life is so much easier. I try and do the school run 3 times a week and be there in the afternoons for homework etc. It is amazing how much can get done in the school hours and in the evening. I also have a great team in the office to help me now. I would love time to sort out a backlog of photos or find new recipes to cook etc, but I am not sure that this would get done even if I had the time!
What’s the one baby product you couldn’t have lived without?
Burt’s Bees moisturising lotion. All my children suffered from dry skin and this was the one product that I trusted and that seemed to work. Dare I also say a dummy? I couldn’t have survived without one!
How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
Laid back, humourous and socialble but easily bored, always looking for inspiration and always thinking ‘ what next?’