Started at a very young age, Shalini Vadhera faced many obstacles during her journey as a serial entrepreneur. She is now the owner of LA-based beauty brand ‘Ready Set Jet’. Recently they have announced an investment by Ranveer Allahbadia (founder of “The Ranveer Show”). Ready Set Jet is a globally inspired beauty brand built for busy women and anyone on the go with a social impact to give back geared to empower & inspire women by using beauty as a vehicle for global change. This Women's day we are happy to feature the success story of Shalini Vadhara and her journey in business and professional life.
Shalini: I started as an entrepreneur at 19 when my father gave me a plane ticket to India and told me to start my own business. I had no idea what to do but when I reached India, my uncles from Ludhiana took me to their knitwear factory and I started designing and importing sweaters for the surf and golf industry. It was really difficult as a 19-year-old! I then pivoted into sterling silver and semi-precious stones and sold those into major department stores and then started working in beauty at the Clinique counter. I worked my way up to get my big break as a celebrity makeup artist at NBC Studios working on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and that opened up the celebrity makeup artist world to me, got me on TV, from there I was offered a publishing deal to write my best-selling book Passport To Beauty and then launched my first beauty brand in Sephora and QVC.
Shalini: Ready Set jet is a brand with a mission to empower women and impact change. The brand was created after I received the Mahatma Gandhi award at the British House of Lords for my work in beauty and women empowerment. Shortly thereafter I came to India for my cousin's wedding and the day I arrived government officials were waiting to meet with me and requested that I find a way to create an impact for the girls in India. After doing quite a bit of research I realized that it was time to use Beauty for a higher purpose and that’s when I decided to create a new brand with targeted products for the Indian consumer while also taking part in the proceeds to create impact for dis-enfranchised girls in the slums and villages by skilling them and vocationally training them in beauty and entrepreneurship to help them become the next generation of beauty entrepreneurs.
After COVID-19 hit, we realized that the impact was much broader with so many girls reaching out to me on Instagram that had lost their jobs or had been furloughed and needed to find a way to become self-sufficient. That's when we decided to add the online Academy where women anywhere in the world could gain personal and professional skills to live their most beautiful and powerful life. We are excited to have an Omni-directional approach to becoming the best version of yourself through everything Ready Set Jet offers.
The products in Ready Set Jet are revolutionary. They are the first of their kind on the market with interchangeable and customizable packaging. Vegan-powered skincare in every product. Cruelty-free. And we worked with a chemist to create a proprietary formula of marine botanicals that protect the skin from pollution, inflammation, and aging.
The other ventures that I have are my best-selling book Passport to Beauty which is the best beauty secrets from around the world. You can find this on Amazon. I am also the founder and CEO of Passport to Beauty - the world’s best beauty products at your doorstep. I travel the world, I find the best beauty secrets, I go into a lab and create products that marry the old world with modern-day and I bring them to you. (www.passportbeauty.com @passportbeauty)
And in 2015 I launched Power Beauty Living, a platform for women that powers up your business, your beauty, and your life. Within a year the United Nations asked me to launch globally on the floor of the UN and bring our empowerment events to 350 diplomats CEOs and country heads. Through the Power Beauty Living platform, we showed Women how to thrive in business, have confidence, and wellness modalities to help them stay healthy.
In 2019 Power Beauty Living became a 501 C3 nonprofit with the aim to skill and vocationally train underprivileged women and girls so that they can live their best life. (@powerbeautyliving)
I also have a global beauty consulting company where I create brands for companies like Paramount Pictures - The Baywatch Movie, Turner Classic Movies, different influencers, spa’s, hotels, celebrities, and subscription boxes. I also coach a lot of new entrepreneurs on branding and taking a concept to product-market fit.
Shalini: I couldn't be more thrilled to have Ranveer as an investor and part of the founding team of Ready Set Jet as well as a partnership with Deeksha from EncuBay. Both of them understand the importance of investing in the future of females. And both are very passionate about creating resources and mentorship for women. Ranveer and Deeksha are incredible thought leaders that bring a unique perspective on empowering women. I'm excited to see what we can create together.
Shalini: My journey as an entrepreneur started early but my eureka moment was when I was appearing on television shows and giving beauty tips, I realized that nobody was sharing the amazing secrets that I grew up with. And nobody was talking about the beauty challenges women with different skin tones have to face on a daily basis. So, I started talking about why Indian women have beautiful thick hair, white Chinese women never age, why Brazilian women have amazing bodies, and it's not genetics, it's all these amazing beauty secrets that had been passed down for centuries. All these secrets I had learned on my travels. Once I started talking about things that were meaningful to me and focusing on global beauty secrets and how to work with different skin tones is the moment in my career that I was able to carve out a very unique and distinct voice for myself in a very saturated industry.
Shalini: Because I am a serial entrepreneur and this is my third beauty brand I've created under my own brands, I didn't have a lot of fear creating Ready Set Jet. In fact, this brand felt so in alignment with everything I had done in my career, that there is a sense of calm. Knowing there is such a strong mission behind it, makes it very easy to do the hard work it takes in building something so big. I'm also smarter, stronger, and wiser this time around so things are done differently knowing that the brand is not about me but to create impact for the women of the world.
I think the biggest challenge for me has been launching this brand during a pandemic and that to a cross-border brand between the US and India while I am sitting in Los Angeles. But even though we have some of these challenges, we've been able to find ways to easily navigate around that by creating strong strategic partnerships and finding amazing talent to join our team both in the US and India. Even with a 13 1/2-hour time difference, we never feel like we are apart, and my team works so well together. I am still learning a lot about the Indian market. I’m most excited about bringing innovative high-performing products as well as access to the top experts in the world through our academy courses to the women of India. When I formulate products for Ready Set Jet, I formulate them with an understanding that as an Indian woman myself I suffer a lot of the same beauty challenges as my customers, so all the products I create are done with an innate understanding of what my customer is dealing with. That's why all the products are solution-based to help solve these beauty challenges and make makeup and skincare easy.
Shalini: I've learned so many lessons in my journey. Some really hard ones. The biggest lesson I learned was to listen to your gut. The one time I went against my gut I paid for it dearly. Also, it's very important to choose the right partners, create a team that has a similar background so there's no culture clash and to surround yourself with people that are going to support your vision and be your big champions. Additionally, mentorship is so important. I always tell women that I advise and consult to find mentors in their vertical that they can go to for advice and inspiration. Lastly, it's so important that you develop a strong network that can open doors for you and introduce you to potential opportunities and other like-minded people. And when things get tough, remember it’s temporary and that you will survive!
Shalini: What not to do: jump into partnerships without doing your research. I've had businesses where I chose the wrong partner and it cost more than just money. It's so important that you do your research and due diligence on the people who you bring into your business. Life becomes much easier when you choose to surround yourself with good people. I've also not fully understood contracts at times and trusted my attorneys to take care of it for me. That didn't always work out for me and it cost me a lot. It's important that you read everything and understand the terms of the contract. Even if it means going at a slower pace. You need to understand what you are signing.
Shalini: I have a very strong spiritual side to me that keeps me motivated in and inspired even in the worst of times. Nature is a big healing modality for me. Affirmations are also something I listen to every morning. I am very big on guided meditation while I'm doing my morning walks so I can visualize what I want to achieve. My guru told me that a positive mind equals a positive life. That no matter what's going on in your life, no matter how bad it seems, you alone have the power to change your story by telling yourself the story that you'd like to see happen. So, I love using the sky as my movie screen. I am the actor, producer, director and can create the story I want to see versus what may be going on in my life. The funny thing is that most of the time those thoughts end up manifesting in reality. One of the biggest gifts I learned after my second brand, was the art of detachment. Learning to not be emotionally attached to things but rather look at things from an observational standpoint made creating my brands and products for others so much easier.
Shalini: To recognize that not everyone is going to operate with the same value system as you. People are going to come and go in your life and that's OK. And that a lot of people are going to say no but no really doesn't mean anything. It only means no if you let it. The most important piece of advice I have is to develop a strong relationship with yourself. You will always have yourself to count on. Learn to become best friends with yourself.
Shalini: Yes, I have faced a lot of obstacles for just being a woman. There are so many times I am the only woman in the boardroom and because of that some of these guys will automatically assume I am a secretary or assistant. I have dealt with a lot of sexual harassment in my career and not been taken seriously when I've had a thriving and profitable business just because I am a woman. This is why Ready Set Jet is so important to me because I want to create equal opportunities for women
Shalini: There's never been a better time for women to come together and lift each other up. When we come together in a collaborative way we rise together. Collaboration over the competition! We are stronger together. I want to see more women in a boardroom. I want to see more women in a funding meeting. I want to see more women investors. This is why it was so important for me to create the crowdfunding campaign to allow any woman to invest as little as Rs.7300 to become an Equity shareholder in Ready Set Jet. I want women to confidently walk in a room and say that they are an investor.
Shalini: The Oprah Beauty O-Ward, The Mahatma Gandhi Award - British House of Lords, The Jewel Of India Award - Prime Minister Modi’s Office, The Woman of Excellence Award, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Nominee, Named President of The International Women's Wing for the NRI Welfare Society for global women empowerment, The Sexy and Successful Award.
www.readysetjetofficial.com, @readysetjetofficial (insta) @shopreadysetjet (twitter) www.shalinisworld.com @shalinivadhera (insta and Facebook) @shalinisworld (linked in) @shalinivadhera (ClubHouse)