Q and A with Chitra, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
“I definitely have come to realize my outer world is a reflection of my inner world.”
Q: What are you passionate about?
A: I am passionate about living life to the fullest; doing what makes me happy. My husband, kids, and I love traveling and being in nature, so that is something we do quite often.
I have loved natural skincare since I was young. The Body Shop used to be my favorite shop to hang out in. Even if I could buy a small jar of lip balm from there, it used to make me happy. I somehow knew I always wanted to do something with natural ingredients as I love the smell of shea butter, cocoa butter, and essential oils, but I didn’t know where to start. About 6 or 7 years ago while reading Dr. Oz’s website, an article on ’99 Amazing Uses for Coconut Oil’ (one was on how to make lotions bars), I had a lightbulb moment. Immediately, I started researching this. I started off by making lotion bars, but it didn’t do that well in Malaysia as our country is quite humid, and it was not suitable to use lotion bars in our weather. Then about 2 years later, when I was looking for something for my skin and couldn’t find anything that helped, I decided to make it on my own and this time, I formulated a balm to be used on my face to reduce freckles and scars. I also made one for my mother and she introduced it to her friends. As I wanted to do it right, I studied on natural skincare formulation. I took a few courses before I started it as a business. That is how Esha CG Beauty & Health started. We are into our third year now. It brings me so much happiness that I can be of service to people and when I get messages from our customers saying that our products have helped them or their children heal certain skin issues that they had.
Q: What were your younger years like?
A: There are 6 of us in our family. Mom, dad, and 4 children. I am the eldest, and I have 2 sisters and a brother. I grew up in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Being the eldest and helping out with my siblings from a young age has made me a responsible person. What I find really hard now is our brother passed away last year from cancer and he was 29 years old. This has impacted me a lot, but this has also made me realize I know I want to do what I love as long as I can.
Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?
A: I have learned that it is important to believe in yourself, do what you love, and don’t give up. I have made mistakes, but I learn from them.
When I first started, I had a few people telling me what I was doing wrong. I started off with my own pocket money, so I didn’t have a big budget to start with great photography or proper packaging. It was basic, and that was what some were talking about. Slowly, I reinvested the sales money into the business and changed the packaging, took better pictures, bought better quality ingredients. Even if you have to start small, it’s okay. Just start with what you have. If I would have waited until I had more money so that I could do it 100% right, I may have not started until today. Last year, we were nominated for two of our products and one of it won the Readers Choice Award from BabyTalk and MamaPapa magazine. For the employee of the magazine to call me alone was a surprise, as I had no idea how they found me. My marketing is just not one of the best. It’s from word of mouth that our business is growing.
Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A: Feminism, to me, means equal rights for women in every opportunities. I do not consider myself to be a feminist, but at the same time, I don’t keep quiet when someone tells me it’s okay for a man to do that but not me because I am a woman.
Q: Is there anything else you would like the readers to know?
A: Life has its ups and downs. It’s not always a bed of roses. There are days where I am just not strong; I cry if I want to, but I pick myself up and don’t stay there for long. I do the best in what I am doing; do it with love and trust the universe knows what’s next for me. I definitely have come to realize my outer world is a reflection of my inner world. The moment I started loving myself and working on myself and stopped judging myself so much, I attracted better circumstances in my life.
Thank you for reading!
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