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With just Rs 20000, how this homemaker started a natural, preservative free personal grooming …



Social commerce has increasingly become a favourable platform for women entrepreneurs to set up virtual shops. As people become more risk averse to start businesses during the pandemic, many are experimenting with online platforms like Instagram to start small businesses and create a community around it.

The ecstasy is not so different for 49-year-old Ritu Bhansali, who has been a homemaker for most of her life and donned an entrepreneurial hat only a year ago amidst the pandemic. The Jaipur-based woman entrepreneur runs a natural, preservative-free skin and hair care brand, EverythingMomMade, with the help of her daughters on Instagram. 

The social commerce business receives a lot of love from its community of over 16,000 followers on the platform. More than 1,000 reviews have come in, all of which has left Ritu shedding tears of joy.

“It is a homemaker going out of her comfort and reaching out to so many people. When they comment and share their experience of using our product, our mother becomes very emotional. And every time she reads a good review, she cries her heart out because it feels like she has been able to make an impact,” says Ritu’s elder daughter Diva.  

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Diva says that her mother is an MCom graduate. But in the early 90s, people would frown upon women who would go out and work, and were preferred to be married off after their education.

“Today, there is a 360-degree change in the house as our mother is living her new-found identity as an entrepreneur and engaging in one call and meeting after another for business. Not that we doubt her capabilities, but nobody thought she would be so financially independent, let alone run a business,” Diva tells HerStory.

The beginning

Diva is the adventurous one of the two daughters, and has lived away from home for eight years in cities like London, Delhi, and Mumbai. But now, she has switched to freelancing from her full-time job as a public relations professional to support her mother’s growing business.

The daughters had been nudging their mother to use her skills in innovating various homemade remedies to almost all kinds of problems and start a business. It was only during the pandemic that she gave in. 

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“We actually put up the Instagram page, created a few product catalogues first and told her there are the first five orders you have to fulfill and there is no other way. That is how we started,” Diva recalls. As the demand grew, so did their audience community who would also seek Ritu’s advice on various skin-related problems and DIYs.

Selling solely through Instagram at the moment, EverythingMomMade offers around 175 products for hair, skin, and body, all within the price range of Rs 150 and Rs 800. 

The brand is not keen on getting listed on ecommerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart as they subject bigger brands and months-old small businesses to the same policy and procedure when it comes to services and delivery fees. 

“This would force us to increase the price and we would much rather build a community and satisfy our customers who adore our brand. But you never know when these policies change,” she adds.

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Started with an initial investment of Rs 20,000, its revenue now crosses about Rs 1.5 to Rs 2 lakh every month.

Although a relatively young brand, the trio sees huge potential in their homemade recipes when the packaged grooming products often come packed with harmful chemicals. 

In FY2020, the male and female grooming market in India was valued at $208.22 million and $226.95 million, respectively, according to TechSci Research.

Products by EverythingMomMade

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Challenges and the way forward

Starting a business for the first time during the pandemic has not been easy. Weathering two lockdowns and managing the vendors for small supplies on one hand and customers expecting the orders on the other has been a challenge. 

“We are a young brand and do not have the power and relationships like the bigger brands to make vendors move faster for certain orders,” she adds.

They also had to work as the three-women army team out of home and not rush into hiring others as the pandemic still posed a threat. 

A year into the business, they hope to grow and reach a wider audience across India in the coming years. 

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LinkedIn Makes its 20 Most Popular LinkedIn Learning Courses Freely Available Throughout August





Looking to up your skills for a job change or career advancement in the second half of the year?

This will help – today, LinkedIn has published its listing of the 20 most popular LinkedIn Learning courses over the first half of 2022. In addition to this, LinkedIn’s also making each of these courses free to access till the end of the month – so now may well be the best time to jump in and brush up on the latest, rising skills in your industry.

As per LinkedIn:

As the Great Reshuffle slows and the job market cools, professionals are getting more serious about skill building. The pandemic accelerated change across industries, and as a result, skills to do a job today have changed even compared to a few years ago. Professionals are responding by learning new skills to future-proof their careers and meet the moment.” 

LinkedIn says that over seven million people have undertaken these 20 courses this year, covering everything from improved communication, project management, coding, strategic thinking and more.

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Here are the top 20 LinkedIn Learning courses right now, which you can access via the relevant links:

  1. Goal Setting: Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) with Jessie Withers
  2. Excel Essential Training (Office 365/Microsoft 365) with Dennis Taylor
  3. Interpersonal Communication with Dorie Clark
  4. Cultivating a Growth Mindset with Gemma Leigh Roberts
  5. Project Management Foundations with Bonnie Biafore
  6. Using Questions to Foster Critical Thinking and Curiosity with Joshua Miller
  7. Essentials of Team Collaboration with Dana Brownlee
  8. Unconscious Bias with Stacey Gordon
  9. Learning Python with Joe Marini
  10. Communicating with Confidence with Jeff Ansell
  11.  Speaking Confidently and Effectively with Pete Mockaitis
  12. Learning the OWASP Top 10 with Caroline Wong
  13. Power BI Essential Training with Gini von Courter
  14. Strategic Thinking with Dorie Clark
  15. SQL Essential Training with Bill Weinman
  16. Developing Your Emotional Intelligence with Gemma Leigh Roberts
  17. Communication Foundations with Brenda Bailey-Hughes and Tatiana Kolovou
  18. Agile Foundations with Doug Rose
  19. Digital Marketing Foundations with Brad Batesole
  20. Critical Thinking with Mike Figliuolo
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If you’ve been thinking about upskilling, now may be the time – or maybe it’s just worth taking some of the programming courses, for example, so that you have a better understanding of how to communicate between departments on projects.

Or you could take an Agile course. If, you know, you don’t trust your own management ability.

The courses are available for free till August 31st via the above links.

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Instagram Is Rolling Out Reels Replies, And Will Be Testing A New Feature Which Informs …





Instagram has added a few more social features to the platform, with Reels Replies being rolled out. Along with the Replies, anew feature is being tested that shows when two users are active together in the same chat.

Reels has been performing much better than perhaps even Instagram ever anticipated. The TikTok-inspired new video format (which officially claims to have absolutely no relation to the former) had some trouble really finding its footing initially. However, Reels has grown massively and while it may not be a source of the most direct competition to TikTok, it is indeed a worthy alternative.

Reels has grown to the point that it has a massive creator program attached to it, and the video format has even been migrated to Facebook with the goal of generating further user interest there. Naturally, with such a successful virtual goldmine on its hands, Instagram has been hard at work developing new features and interface updates for Reels, integrating it more and more seamlessly into the rest of the social media platform. Features such as Reels Replies are a major part of such attempts at integration.

Reels Visual Replies are essentially just what they sound like: A Reel that is being used to reply to someone. It’s a feature that’s been seen frequently across TikTok as well. Reel Replies essentially take a user’s comments, and reply to them in video format. The comment will then show up within the Reel itself as a text-box, taking up some amount of space, and showing both the user who issued said comment along with the text. The text-box is apparently adjustable, with users having the ability to move it around and change its size depending on where it obstructs one’s Reel the least.

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Overall, it’s a fun addition to the Reels format, even if the credit should be going to TikTok first. At any rate, it’s an example of Instagram really utilizing Reels’ social media capabilities, outside of just serving it up as a form of entertainment.

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Speaking of social media capabilities, a new feature might help alleviate one of the most common frustrations encountered across all such platforms. Isn’t it annoying when you see that a friend’s online, but isn’t replying to your chat? Sure, they’ve probably just put their phone down to run a quick errand, but there’s no way for you to know, right? Well, there sort of is now! Instagram is beta testing a new feature via which if both users are active within a chat, the platform will display that accordingly. It’s a work-around, sure, and one that’s currently being tested for usefulness, but it’s still a very nice, and even fresh, addition to the social media game.

Now, the active status will only appear when you are both active at the same time.#Instagram #instgramnewfeature@MattNavarra @instagram @alex193a

— Yash Joshi  (@MeYashjoshi) December 10, 2021

Read next: Instagram Plans On Allowing Users To Return To Its Old Chronologically Sorted News Feed

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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android





Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly


We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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2. Buffer

BufferCredit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

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Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview

PreviewCredit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content OfficeCredit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

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Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann

PlannCredit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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