Conversations with Mrssaripalli, the Fashionista……


Over a cup of coffee, I scroll through my Instagram feed and suddenly stop at neha 1Mrssaripalli’s recent picture. She is in her HnM top and some trendy bottom, well matched with accessories and footwear. There is a flood of hashtags, endless ‘likes’ and incessant comments till another picture comes in. Neha Bisaria, as the real world knows her, is a multifaceted woman. She is a Chicago based IT professional, a dotting wife, a fashionista, a Starbucks lover, a fitness freak and a passionate fashion blogger. A true Indian from the core, Neha is a go-getter, bold and ‘hungry for success’ girl who wishes to go higher in life. She believes in blending Indian with that of western. Zara, Forever 21, Mango and similar more brands are part of her fashion kitty. She is a wise buyer and discerned in experimenting with fashion.

Know more about her and how she went an extra mile to pursue fashion.

Were you a fashion lover since young age? When did you realize your calling?

Yes, I have always been a fashion enthusiast. I always liked to be updated in terms of new style and trends. In fact, I preferred being tidy and well-dressed while going somewhere. Right from teenage days, I would keep a track on dressing up and make sure that I was upbeat in my persona and quirky. I remember, I wore knotted tops, falling neck styles and palazzo pants with short Kurtis and flower patch work based denims when they were in. I would always keep a track on the fashion trends and ideas and further implement them. I think that attests my passion for fashion.

That definitely does. But you have a demanding 9 to 6 job in a typical IT environment, that’s contradictory to you, isn’t it?

(Chuckles) No, it isn’t. One should always pursue education, work, and pay bills. That is how you learn about the real world. I believe in being self-dependent and confident and my work as an IT professional helps me do that. So, I do not regret being part of this mundane job. I quite enjoy this. Coming to fashion, I know how to manage and execute it. I read, research and keep my eyes open in terms of fashion trends so following it comes naturally. So, I am able to balance my passion and work together way better than wheel balance. It is all about time management and investment. I keep a track on where I am spending excessive time. And yes, my family is always there to support me.

What do you love the most – clothing, accessorizing or make up? neha 2

I am more inclined towards clothing and accessorizing. However, after savoring some major success in social media, I am giving make-up a serious thought. These days, I am devoting a lot of time on research for make-up like brands, tips, easy ways of make-up etc. I have started writing on them off late as well. People are loving that part of me too and this makes me feel I am doing good.

Talking about writing, you blog on almost everything in fashion, and that is the best way of informing people. How did blogging happen to you?

I did some homework to get a free blog on WordPress after seeing a fashion blog of one of my friends. I was amazed to see a fashion blog and was stunned with the idea and technology. With few successful blogs on WordPress, I confidently invested in a full-fledged blog, bought my own domain and started a fashion blog named www.mrssaripalli.com. I am now a happy blogger and I love my job. When I started, I exerted to understand what is unique in fashion that I can manifest, what is my forte and what I am most comfortable at. I took baby steps and mixed matched clothes, clicked them and started writing about them. I didn’t expect anything; I just went with the flow of writing. Initially, writing seemed like one daunting task but now, it’s a cake walk for me. Once I write, I share them on all social media channels and take efforts in networking with like-minded people.

Coming to social media, you have massive following especially on Instagram. 7210 followers and counting…woah! Did that come easy? Tell us something about it.

Instagram is one of the major contributors for the following I have now. With zillions of users of this fantastic application, it is a great platform for bloggers like me. One can showcase their designs and looks and can connect with fellow bloggers, groups, events and sponsors through Instagram. # (hastags) have made it easier to find the correct audience. At the starting point, it wasn’t easy. I learnt what kind of pictures I should put, and the kind of hashtags that will draw more people. I invested in understanding what exclusive fashion trends will attract people and what steps I can take to be a trendsetter.

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On Instagram, it’s raining fashion enthusiasts, how do you manage the competition?

You are right; the competition is huge where there are thousands of fashion bloggers and the count is growing continuously. What is keeping me distinctive is the style I carry. Every person has a different opinion about fashion and hence, it varies with the culture, place, and style. My view and style is keeping me unique. My USP is the fusion of Indian and western look. Every time, I post something, I make sure I am not repeating the concept and there is something unique to offer to the people. For instance, putting my post on Bohemian look and merging the same with some Indian jewelry. You will see that in my blog.

Share some success stories and achievements as a fashion enthusiast?

To me, success is getting appreciated and recognized. The greatest feeling is to hear from random people that they read my blog and like it. It gives me goosebumps when they even mention their favorite looks from my blog. As a fashion blogger, it is an achievement to get featured in different look books and pages. I have managed to place myself in different and popular Instagram accounts of clothing and accessories (of e-commerce stores). I am yet to be the best and I am trying for the same.

Tell us about brand endorsements that you have done?

I like writing reviews on the products I use and the places I visit. The latest one I have done is for ‘Irresistible Me Hair extensions’. I was approached by the team and asked to do a blogpost for hair extensions. I created my own look and shot for the same. In the similar order, I have done for some more brands. You may find them on my blog.

How do you manage family, work, and life in the US?

Managing everything together is a bit chaotic here. From creating a look with right makeup and accessories to shooting and posting it on the blog with a story about the look. It is a time-consuming task but is fascinating to do. I take out few hours on the weekend and sometime daily to create the look and document it before actual shooting. It doesn’t affect my work and vice versa. Certainly, it gets hectic for me. Family comes with support and it is the same with me.

I have got my biggest support in Mr. Husband. Being my photographer and editor of my stories, he even becomes a critic sometimes. He helps me picking the perfect look for the post and sometimes he approves some bizarre look as well (giggles).

What would you like to say about Indian fashion? Share some stories on Indian fashion.

Indian Fashion is rich and as vast an ocean. Like our cultures, Indian fashion has different styles, aura, and value. It depicts culture from each part of the country and that makes it beautiful, distinctive and fresh. I feel Indian fashion is about being beautiful and colorful. I am still exploring Indian fashion since it is deep. From Indian Sarees to Lehengas to Ghagras to dresses and then accessories and shoes. Oh My God! I can’t even talk about it all at once but it is incredible to be Indian and I am lucky to get influenced by it.

Our country has an amazing fashion sense and I am a typical Indian when it comes to Fashion. I love mixing up colors and being flashy almost all the time. Like India’s culture, Indian Fashion has colors, styles, and swag. The whole world is obsessed by Indian fashion! Haven’t you seen the song “lean on” and other songs and movies? Indian fashion especially, from weddings are world famous.

What kind of fashion do you specialize in? neha 3

I love fusion. I am an Indian living in a Western country and hence my fashion sense demonstrates the blend of both the cultures. I love wearing western dresses as much I love wearing Indian suits and Sarees. The mix of both styles and cultures is what I specialize in. If you look at my blog, you will see me wearing something western with an Indian touch. Indian accessories are my obsession and to style them with a western touch is what I love. For instance, wearing Bindi with a jacket and skirt.

What suggestions would you give to people who love dressing up and sometimes, not able to afford latest trends.

I would firstly appreciate those people because I feel people who love dressing up, they love themselves and feel happy about their own essence. They love to dress up for themselves before anyone else. My suggestion would be to feel positive and comfortable about what you are wearing. I feel the style rotates, so recreate different looks with the existing clothes instead of shopping every time. Being myself a shopaholic I am not saying ‘Don’t shop’ but play with the stuff you have instead of shopping and building unnecessary pile up. This in one way will help you spend less on shopping. Always experiment and try to understand how different can you style from one attire.

What kind of initiatives have you done to bring innovation to fashion?

I create different looks from same clothes. Boho look is my USP and I like to blend styles and create unique looks. Living in Chicago, the style is more contemporary but I don’t wear that style all the time. I excel in my fashion forte and I feel happy when I get noticed.

What pitfalls do you see the most among people who like dressing up?

In today’s world of fashion and bloggers, the competition level is too high. Some people don’t understand their interest and start playing with dresses just for the sake of monetary interest. They might be good with other things, for instance, DIY, makeup, cooking but not fashion. Like I am not that good in makeup and so, I don’t post stuff related to make-up and show that I am an expert because I am not. I suggest them to understand their interest first and then go for what they are good at.

What is your goal with the efforts you are making in fashion and your long term plan?

To be honest I would like to be recognized as a fashion blogger and I am putting my efforts consistently. It takes time and I am on it. The best part is that I am continuously learning things as a blogger, and as a person. My long term plan is to keep living the dream of a fashion blogger and savor fame too. I definitely look forward to a day when I will be able to give consultancy to people and assist them look at their best. Imagine, me styling up Ryan Gosling someday (chuckles).

How do you think the fashion market will grow in coming 5 years?

Fashion market is dynamic and it will continue to change from time to time. Nobody knows where it is headed in coming 5 years but I’m sure it will be awesome. You may see the old style coming back in next 5 years like all those bell bottoms, palazzos and those off shoulders. This circle of fashion will continue to take place and it will make people innovate just the way I do.

What suggestions would you give to people who are not able to fulfill their passion?

I knew, I always wanted to do something like this in my life and I am living it. A suggestion to people who want to live their dream is to START TODAY because you don’t want to regret it tomorrow for not pursuing your passion. Know your calling today! Step forward and start it right away and you will feel satisfied.

That was Neha for you, another common girl who has gone way ahead to achieve what she wants. What are you planning to do?

To check her blog – http://www.mrssaripalli.com/

For endorsements or any collaboration, you can reach her at – neha.bisaria@gmail.com

 

 

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10 things to keep in mind before joining a startup


As per economic survey 2016 conducted by The Economics Times, there seem to be 19000 startups in India. The home grown startup ventures are breeding at an incessant pace. And at the same speed, do many of these startups fail unfortunately. As per an article published in Forbes, 90% of the startups fail in a year. A survey on failed startups claimed that 42% of them “lacked market need” which was the key reason behind their failure.

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Picture Courtesy – Google Images

We are done with figures but what about the human resources who are associated with them? My focus is on people who join a startup after getting swayed by fancy ideas, turnovers, senior level designations and quick success. I was myself a part of four startup core teams at one point of time. They have reduced down to two. With this blog, I am going to talk about the things you should keep in mind while joining a startup.

  1. Never ever quit your regular job and have a backup plan – Because someone ‘hungry for monetary success’ asked you to join the bandwagon doesn’t mean you will quit your hard earned job. Value your 9 to 6 job that offers you proper employment along with Provident Fund, gratuity and employee centric schemes. They will give you returns in the long run. Until and unless the startup has shaped up, got reputed clients and long term employee based goal, do not quit your regular job. In case, you finally decide to join a startup full time, have a backup plan ready. God forbid, if the startup fails at any point of time, you should be in a position to get yourself back to the stage. Have some savings and keep an eye on ongoing jobs and vacancies in your field always.
  2. Check the founder’s vision and mission – I earlier never understood the value of vision and mission of an enterprise. But after investing approximately 7 years of work experience, I can say these matter. Always understand from the founder of the company what he visualizes from his product and what mission does he have keeping in mind present and future. Also, check how is founder treating you. In the first month itself, you will be able to realize if you should be a part of it or not.
  3. Understand the value addition of the start-up and competition – Every vertical has its own importance so whenever a new product is coming up, it is important to do thorough research. The startup that you wish to join should have something unique to sell. No one will buy it if there is nothing out-of-the-box for the user. Make sure that the product has a strong value addition in the society and long term market value too. Do not forget to check the competitors in the market and how they are progressing.
  4. Know your remuneration and keep everything documented – Before you jump into the novel business concept, make sure you have everything written either on email or paper. Keep a track on the mode of payments as well. Since, startups don’t really have office meetings or regular meetings, there are possibilities of remuneration discrepancies to arise. Keep a strict check and don’t ignore delay in payments.
  5. Know the background of the core team – Just when you are planning to join, research very well about the core team members. Check every member’s background, education, and work experience. This will give you enough information if it is wise to join the startup. Remember, because the founder is your friend doesn’t mean he is reliable.
  6. Realize the frequency of team meetings and progress level – Startups burn midnight oil to shape up the venture. Regular meetings are a proof of that. Make sure that the core team sits for regular updates over Skype, WhatsApp chat etc. and make sure they have a meeting if not every weekend then at least once in every 15 days. This will help you analyze the sincerity of the team and regularity. Also, keep inquiring the progress level of the venture, understand the growth in revenue and know if the team is going in the right direction.
  7. Know your job profile – Just when you are taking up the job, understand you are giving your extra time to someone’s dream. But at the same time, realize that you are extending your effort as well. Always have a clarity on the job that you are taking up. Do not go for it with eyes closed. Understand your expertise area and accordingly inform the founder what services will you render as a core team member. Founders tend to give very fancy designations at the initial stage which are tempting as well because very youth is looking for quick success. But it is integral not to get lured by the designations.
  8. Don’t get swayed by yearly turnover – Never ever feel high about the turnover you have been mentioned. It isn’t easy to earn that figure when everything is simply starting. Do not get swayed by giants in the market. Stories are different from industry to industry. Current economic stage doesn’t give any guarantee to attain success overnight no matter how unique is the product.
  9. Check with documentation, investors and legalities of the startup – Make sure you have checked with people who are investors in the business and the papers that the venture has. Go for someone who has registered his company and has proof with him. Make sure, the founder has all the legal documentations done and is authorized enough to start the firm.
  10. Never lend money – Until and unless, it is your own venture, never lend money. Startups have no guarantee – they are born in cafes and many a times, die in some rooftop restaurants. When you lend money, there are feeble chances that you will receive them back. So, it is wise not to lend money.

Bullying – root and cause


The other day, I came across a petition on child bullying in school. I came to know about a

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Courtesy – Unbelievable facts

child committing suicide because he was being incessantly bullied by his classmates. It was a disturbing news. Bullying, many a times starts from home itself way before school and college. A lot depends on the way parents, elder siblings and relatives treat the child. If he or she is consistently being made fun of, put down in public, being aped or being abused, there are chances that the child will grow into a troubled student at school. It will get eventually difficult for him to survive among peers.

Let me share an incident of my own. I was 13 or 14 when I made chapattis for the first time. As expected, they weren’t anything great. I first offered them to my mother who refused them citing the fact that I need to learn more. When I offered the same to my father, he had a different perspective. As he took the first bite, he was positive and still knew how to tell my mistakes. He said, “I love your initiative darling. They taste great. But just that you have to fine tune your culinary skills. All you need to do is make chapattis less thick from sides and you are ready to go.” His way of encouraging yet improving me was enough for me to make better chapattis the next time.

The same goes with several parents and family members in the society who tend to find pitfalls way too early in their child. It is important to always encourage the child and tell them what is wrong in their activity. Never do the following things:

  • Underestimating the child in public
  • Joining the crowd and making fun of your child
  • Don’t let an outside comment on your child’s character
  • Over the top praising the child

Bullied children struggle in their growing years and even fight a lot of unknown battles even after growing up. Extend love and compassion and understand that if you are not supporting your child, NO ONE ELSE WILL!

Also, it is important not to appreciate his mistakes. Never ever support the wrong activities he has done rather, expose him to the consequences that may have take place thereafter.

A child’s personality is usually inherited from either of parents and is widely influenced by the relationship parents hold between each other. If the couple doesn’t hold good rapport and one tends to put down another, there are chances it will directly hit the child’s mind. Such things lead to feeble development of a child or make him become violent – anything but extreme.

Every day, we come across news on child abuse and bullying. It is very upsetting to see children becoming prey to the wicked world. Develop self-confidence and high self-esteem in him. Make him love arts, and craft and most importantly, expose him to different cultures. The more your child observes, reads and explores, the more he will understand the world. These days, life is tough and competitive and children are way more advanced than before. Quick learning and pacing up are the thumb rules. But creating pressure on him will not lead anywhere.