Women Who Inspire – Swathi From The Bookmark – Interview Series

women who inspire interview series swathi the bookmark

I’m so excited to present this interview series for all you lovely readers of my blog. This series – “Women Who Inspire” features interviews of some lovely ladies that I know. I love what they do & I admire them a lot. I thought of passing some inspiration to all of you too! This interview series will give you a little sneak peek into the lives of these women.

Today, let us hear from Swathi (S) who is the founder of The BookMark.

Swathi , a crazy wife, mom of a little champ Athilan and an entrepreneur by profession. She holds a post graduate degree in Software Engineering & worked in a college as an Assistant Professor and then took a break for her kid. When she felt how important is the parenting journey and how important is the physical and psychic development of a child, she decided to take a break in her teaching career and started spending more time with her son. And soon after this, THE BOOKMARK was born!

The Bookmark is her children’s bookstore that has a wide genre of curated collections from Indian publishers and imported books for all age groups. She is also specialized in setting up libraries for schools and for public. The store also stocks educational toys for kids.

Social Connects

You can check out all the interviews in this “Women Who Inspire” series HERE.

K : Think back to five years ago. Did you envision this is where you would be?

S : When I think of myself five years back, I would have never imagined I would be an entrepreneur in my life.. At that time, I was working in a reputed college as a professor.. All I had in my mind was to fly off to a place to complete my doctorate, return back and work in a college.. But sudden plans of my marriage and birth of my son, the change of location made me leave my job with a drastic shift in my career, from teaching profession to an entrepreneur.

K : What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture? How did the idea for your business come about?

S : “The Bookmark” is not merely a name but it is the story of a young parent whose journey into the world of books started with her six months old son. When I felt how important is the parenting journey and how important is the physical and psychic development of a child, I decided to take a break in my teaching career and started spending more time with my son. I strongly believe in early reading for kids and while searching for books for my son I couldn’t find the right choice for my kid. I realized I can help other parents too for the same and my passion to do a business let me to start this. My search also made me realize there is a strong deficit of books on Indian folktales and culture. One thing led to another and the rest is history which resulted in a online and offline store. This became a medium for me to spread the joy of reading and also my love for the print medium – the smell of books and feeling those pages in my hand.

K : How did you learn to embrace failure?

S : I believe in these words -“If you’re never failed, you haven’t tried anything new” by Albert Einstein. My perspective of failure has changed totally after being an entrepreneur. I believe that no one else can have 100% control of everything happening. Failure is a temporary obstacle. Learn from it with a correct attitude. Making the significant change, taking the responsibility, learning from mistakes and making corrections will definitely change failure to be a successful one.

K : How many hours do you work a day on average?

: Its really a very tough question to answer which varies between 2 to 24 hours. Working time of an entrepreneur can never be easily measured. There has never been a day which could be predicted. Still being an entrepreneur gives me the option to decide my working times too.

K : What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?

S : 1. Disciplined and embracing goals and objectives that I have established and set up to inspire myself .
2. The ultimate desire to achieve
3. Love I have for my family keeps driving me out of the bed everyday

K : What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
S : Every time when I see the happiness in parents for bringing up the joy of reading and bonding with their kids through awesome books from “The Bookmark”

K : How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

: Running a business requires a lot of time, effort and commitment which is more at the initial stages when you cannot afford many employees. When a person becomes an entrepreneur, the personal life gets a little blur. I keep on thinking of the business even when I’m away from my work place. I remain answerable to the calls and the emails as I remain the boss and those can’t be done by anyone else. Holding all positions as a mom, wife and an entrepreneur is a challenging task at many times. There are times where I felt my focus is more on business than kid and family and vice versa but at the end the belief that everything is getting balanced gives you a confident feel and satisfaction to work happily.

K : What sacrifices have you made to be a successful entrepreneur?

S : Time – The biggest sacrifice! I know how most of the times I juggle being a mother, a wife and an entrepreneur. Its not about having enough time. Its about making use of the time effectively becomes very important now.

Social life & relationships – Being overloaded with work and schedules, it becomes very tough you know.

Sleep – No matter how productive I am, still there are days I have to work extra hours at night. One other sacrifice I do sometimes to complete the task of the day. I have been called as night owl.

Quiet “me” times and quitting hobbies – Most of the days are always been completely scheduled and tightly packed with one and another. Most of the time I rush around everything to keep everything in track and monitored.

K : Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?

S : All I believe is that people for sure to associate “The Bookmark” as a synonym for great children’s bookstore and I stand with the happiness of spreading the joy of reading to the kids.

K : In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur

S : Happy. Busy. Contented

Thank you so much Swathi for taking out time for this chit chat & I sense all the hard work that is going into the working of The Bookmark store! It was a wonderful talk session and I wish you good health, peace, happiness & success in your venture!

You can check out all the interviews in this “Women Who Inspire” series HERE.

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Hope to see you around. Happy Parenting!

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