“I never thought of becoming a beautician. But life suddenly changed. Life was very good before marriage and till five years after marriage. There was no shortage of anything. But in 1995 we had a huge loss in the stock market and suddenly everything changed,” says Sangeeta Parikh, who runs a salon in Mumbai. Once forced to borrow money even to pay her children’s fees, Sangeeta today runs three salons in Mumbai.
Sangeeta and her family saw the worst of situations, but never gave up. He also worked 12 to 16 hours a day but brought his family out of financial trouble. Today she is a well-known makeup artist and hairstylist from Mumbai. But there was a time when Sangeeta did a parlor course just for the hobby. He had never thought that one day this course would open the way for him to earn money.
Speaking to The Better India, Sangeeta spoke about her life’s struggle and success.
Sangeeta says, “We lost a lot of money in the stock market. There was heavy loss. My husband was doing small things. But that was not solving the problem. We had the responsibility of the family on our head and also had to pay money to some creditors as well. At that time I did not do any job nor any other work. Because then there was no need. When it was becoming difficult to pay even the fees of the children due to the financial constraints of the house, then it seemed that without working now things would not work. But the question was what to do.
Started by earning only Rs.150
Sangeeta told that she was thinking about what to do? One day a friend of his came to him and told that he had an appointment at a salon but it got cancelled. Hearing him, Sangeeta immediately asked what he had to do? They also know how to do eyebrows, facials etc. That day he earned 150 rupees by giving this service to his friend. Sangeeta felt that she could go ahead in this work and got an opportunity to connect with more customers through her same friend.
“We had a two bedroom, hall flat. In it, my husband, mother-in-law and our two sons lived together. I had to work, so I started working by putting a mirror, chair and bed in a room. She used to run parlor work in this room during the day. Gradually people around me also came to know about my work. I try to give my best to all the clients and hence many people join me regularly,” she said.
He named the parlor ‘Rima Beauty Parlor’ on the suggestion of his father-in-law and ran the parlor in the bedroom of his house for five years. Sangeeta says her path was not easy. His clients were increasing but still for five-six years most of his earnings went towards household expenses and paying off debt. That is why many times she used to compromise with the wishes of her family. His son Vishal says, “We both brothers understood the value of money and hard work from a very young age. Because we saw that mom used to work hard for us from morning till night. So we tried to support them as much as we could.”
During this, many times Sangeeta was not with him in the important things of his children. She says, “Once my younger son’s health suddenly deteriorated. The doctors said that he would have to undergo surgery in the morning. I was with her the whole night but at 6:30 in the morning I had to go for a ‘bridal makeup’ as there was a booking in advance. At that time my son had to have an operation. With a stone on my heart, I went for that work because I could not refuse the client on their wedding day. I was sorry for not being with my son, but my son said that it doesn’t matter Mama, you come soon after finishing the work.
Today there are three salons in Mumbai
Sangeeta worked hard day and night so that she could also take care of her family and run her business. He told that after five years of starting his business, his life started getting better. Meanwhile there were many bad moments when he wondered what would happen now? But he not only took care of himself but also took care of his family. She says, “I believe that the center of any family is the woman. If women keep themselves strong and protected, then the family goes through the worst of times. But if the woman gives up, then the rest of the members also start giving up. That’s why I persevered in every situation and moved forward.”
In 2008, nearly 12 years after starting her own parlor, Reema took a break from work for the first time. Even during this break time, she went to Europe to do a special hair and makeup course. Sangeeta says that there is a lot of competition in the beauty industry and there is only one key to sustain and grow and that is to keep upgrading yourself. She is always learning something new. Even today, she is pushing herself according to the new trends.
Presently, Sangeeta has three salons in Mumbai. Apart from ‘Reema Beauty Parlour’, she is also running ‘Reema The Salon’ and ‘Reema’s Makeover’. In these three salons, he has given employment to 12 people. The turnover of Sangeeta, who once started her work with 150 rupees, is in lakhs today. From one subscriber their numbers have reached 12000 customers. She provides bridal services and celebrity makeup services along with general services. She has also been the stylist of many actresses, singers who worked in the film and TV industry.
Sangeeta says that today she is able to give a better life to her family. Also, even today, she always thinks about moving forward. Further, he plans to start his own academy so that he can train more girls in this work. The only message she gives to other women is, “I think every girl and woman should work. It is not necessary that you earn only when you need it. Rather, you should stand on your own feet to have an identity of your own, and self-confidence. So do whatever you are interested in. But the work must be done.”
To get in touch with Sangeeta Parikh, you can visit her Facebook page or Instagram page.
Editing – G N Jha
Image Credits: Vishal Parikh
Also read: At the age of 74, he sold his company, changed the face of the villages with that money
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