We’ve had many inspirational small business stories in our series so far, and Parul Ganatra’s journey is no different. Her story should come with a warning label on it: Will make you want to drop everything and get creating now!
In 2015, Parul was a mum to two kids while working a stressful full-time job. In her words, “I had to juggle different hats, including being a wife, daughter, cook, and cleaner. My life was always on the go, and sometimes I didn’t even have a moment to myself to stop and breathe. It was just chaos and fast-paced all the time.”
Things took a turn for the worse when Parul’s husband fell critically ill in 2016. They had to spend weeks in the hospital and her husband underwent major surgery on Christmas Day 2016. Unfortunately, this was just the beginning of a series of health challenges for Parul’s family. In 2017, her husband underwent another surgery, and at the same time, her father was hit with heart failure. It was a challenging time to be Parul Ganatra.
“As I navigated through these difficult times when everything seemed like it was going wrong, I realised the only way I would get through this was by looking after myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. I had neglected how I looked for so long. I didn’t know what ‘self-care’ meant, and I couldn’t even remember the last time I looked in the mirror properly. My hair and skin were in a terrible state. I suffered from dull, tired-looking, acne-prone skin, and dry, dehydrated, and unhealthy hair with split ends.”
Things in Parul’s life began to return to normal but she still struggled to find the solution to her long-neglected hair and skin. She tried many brands and finally turned to formulating her own.
“I started to formulate my own products at home and searched for the finest silk there ever is. I then decided to conduct further research with a visit to India to learn how to create a natural product from scratch from India’s limitless ritual practices. This sparked the idea for The Silk Glow.
When you care about how you look, it shows in everything you do. So I wanted to create a place where you can find all the products you need to achieve that silky smooth glow on your hair and skin—all from one place.”
Parul launched The Silk Glow in November of 2022 with the mission to make beauty accessible to everyone.
“Transforming my passion into a thriving business has been an exhilarating journey that required me to put in countless hours of hard work, dedication, and persistence. For six years, I meticulously crafted and perfected my face oil, pouring my heart and soul into every drop. However, turning my passion into a business was no easy accomplishment. It required a steep learning curve that encompassed extensive research and knowledge about my industry, market trends, target audience, legal requirements, funding, and marketing strategies.”
“I believe that everyone deserves to feel beautiful, no matter their skin type, tone, or texture. That’s why I wanted to create high-quality, affordable products that cater to all skin types and shades. I am committed to using natural and organic ingredients and want to promote sustainability in everything I do. By empowering people to feel confident in their own skin, I hope to make the world a more beautiful place.”
What market gaps did you specifically want to address?
As someone who values both luxurious silk and effective hair and skincare, I was constantly frustrated by the lack of options on the market that combined the two. It seemed impossible to find high-quality mulberry silk products that also contained ingredients specifically formulated to nourish and protect hair and skin. And even when I did find products that met my criteria, they were often prohibitively expensive.
That’s why I decided to take matters into my own hands and create a solution to this problem. I wanted to make it easy for people like me to access a combination of silk and skin care products all in one place, without breaking the bank. And thus, the idea for an ayurvedic face oil made from 100% natural ingredients was born.
By addressing this market gap, I hope to make it easier for others to experience the benefits of mulberry silk while also taking care of their hair and skin. With my product, you don’t have to choose between luxury and effectiveness – you can have both, all under one roof.
However, sourcing silk required additional knowledge and expertise. To ensure that I sourced the best silk possible, I had to first understand the different types of silk available and their properties. This included learning about mulberry silk, wild silk, and tussar silk, and understanding the production process, from harvesting to spinning and weaving. Armed with this knowledge, I set out to research reliable suppliers and understand the pricing and quality standards needed to ensure a steady supply of high-quality silk at competitive prices.
Tell me a little about the product journey for the face oil, from ingredients to the final product.
Ok, let me take you back to the very beginning of my journey. It all started with a desire to create something unique and effective – something that I had complete control over. So, I began to experiment in my kitchen, concocting different ingredients and formulations until I had finally created my own face oil. But let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. It took a lot of time and effort to perfect the formula and achieve the desired results.
However, my determination and perseverance paid off in the end. As fate would have it, I had the opportunity to travel to India, where I immersed myself in the local culture and discovered an abundance of natural ingredients that I could incorporate into my product. The knowledge and experience I gained from that trip were invaluable and helped me to further refine my formulation.
Although the process of creating my face oil was lengthy and required a lot of hard work, we are incredibly pleased with the end result. Our face oil is now a sought-after product that has earned the trust and loyalty of many satisfied customers.
What is your favourite part of running The Silk Glow?
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of seeing your hard work pay off, and that’s exactly why my favourite part of running my business is seeing real results. It’s truly incredible when my customers reach out to me to share the positive impact my products have had on their lives. Every day, my inbox is flooded with heart-warming messages that reaffirm my mission to empower people to feel confident in their own skin. It’s moments like these that make all the long hours and sleepless nights worth it.
What’s next for The Silk Glow?
Expanding our hair and skin care range is the natural next step towards realising our business’s full potential. My strong focus is on research and development, as I am committed to formulating new products that meet the ever-evolving needs of our customers and deliver exceptional results.
Another very important step for my business is that I believe as a business, we have a responsibility to take care of the environment, and that includes our packaging. That’s why I am committed to making our packaging as eco-friendly as possible, while still ensuring that our products remain safe and effective. I am exploring various sustainable packaging options such as biodegradable and recyclable materials, and we’re constantly looking for ways to reduce waste and our carbon footprint. We’re proud to say that we’re not only focused on helping our customers look and feel their best but also on making a positive impact on the world around us.
What do I think?
It’s Aishwarya again and I’ve got a couple of words for you – The Silk Glow makes luxury living addictive. I’ve got curly hair, so as you can imagine, the curls are very temperamental. I’ve foregone the 20-step hair care routine (I admire people who can do it) but hadn’t realised that a couple of products could make big enough changes. The silk hair tie and silk pillowcase have done wonders for my frizz so you can bet they’re going with me everywhere. Plus, it definitely spruces up the look of my bedroom. Nobody would know I’d eaten noodles on my bed the night before.
There’s a specific reason I reached out to The Silk Glow and that’s the silk sleep mask. Like my curls, my sleep comes and goes. Add to it the fact that I live in London so I’ve light pollution coming through my blinds. It doesn’t help that the summer sunrise is at 4:30 am and the sun goes down after 9 pm. Sleep masks have been a lifesaver for me but my last one, though satin, had lost all its elasticity. Granted, it wasn’t the best quality but how could I know what quality was before trying out a silk sleep mask with a beautiful design? It’s stitched beautifully, sits well on your face, and is so so soft. I’d suggest choosing the black one if light bothers you as much as it does to me.
Finally, the Celebrity Glow face oil.
It’s 15% Vitamin C and uses turmeric to add a healthy glow to your skin. Rather than take my review, read and look at the many before-afters on The Silk Glow website.