Meet Jagruti Khabiya, Eco
Entrepreneur, Founder Of Araatrika!
Meet Jagruti, an eco entrepreneur and our coconut for the month!
Robert Frost once said, “ I took the road not taken and that has made all the difference” and we never stopped quoting it since. Why should we, when brilliant people like Jagruti keep adding meaning to his words?
We don’t know whether the difference in Frost’s life was positive or negative, but with eco-entrepreneurs like Jagruti, we definitely know that it’s positive and for the greater good of our planet Earth.
How it all started
Her brand Araatrika was born in 2017 when she made some DIY stuff and put it up in a flea market, while she was also managing a full time job. An architect by profession, she knew from the start that working in a world full of noise and cement wasn’t something she could do in the long run. “I did my Architecture Internship in Auroville, working in close proximity with nature, surrounded by only the green and the quiet. It had a very intense impact on me where, when I came back to the city, I felt out of place”, she says in an online talk. “In Auroville, we used to work with everything that’s “nature” and not cement. There was so much upcycled stuff there – buildings made of tyres and so on. We used to work with natural raw materials too, making bathrooms of bamboo and what not!”
Like any young soul in today’s world, she was confused about her purpose. She had a day job but she wasn’t happy with it. That was so long ago! Currently, she’s the CEO of a fast-growing eco-friendly brand. The name Araatrika encompasses all that she wanted her little project to be – a dispeller of darkness, of the ignorance that surrounds our current environmental scenario. “The word comes from Sanskrit and signifies something that dispels the darkness. It’s also the word used for the lamps that we put under our tulsi verandahs at dusk.” The way we see it, Araatrika signifies hope and a flame that could lead us to a brighter future. Guess what? The world sees the brand the same way too! Aaatrika’s products were sold out the first time they made an appearance in the flea market. Since then, they’ve seen plenty of such tiny events over weekends while Jagruti also managed her day job over the week. It wasn’t until she met her husband that she finally let go of her job.
“It wasn’t something I enjoyed doing but I was afraid to let go of it especially since I was just starting my career. My husband, a life coach and a CA, encouraged me to quit it. He saw potential in my business.”
Today, Araatrika went from a one-woman band to an entire orchestra! One of the coolest things that the brand does is that it hires women. 90% of Araatrika’s staff is women. “I collaborated with an NGO that worked for HIV positive women. The women’s craftsmanship was shocking! They were so good at macrame and crochet – things that I’m not good at! So now I make the designs and they make them a reality!” the eco entrepreneur adds.
What they make at Araatrika
Araatrika provides sustainable, biodegradable and upcycled products. The highlight of their product chain are their plantable products. They make plantable rakhis that are completely biodegradable and have little seeds in them, cutlery holders, denim diary holders, an eco-friendly travel kit and so on! Jagruti has put in much effort to make it as effortless as possible. The Rakhi Kit comes with a pot, some soil mix, a plantable card and a seed rakhi. The seeds belong to flowering plants like sunflowers, fruits like tomatoes, herbs, spices, leafy vegetables and whatnot, you name it! Apart from that, she also has a very fun travel kit that comes in an easy to use cloth pouch. The kit contains bamboo toothbrushes, biodegradable cutlery and pens made of paper! What’s more, her pen refills can be stuck into the soil because they contain seeds as well! Finally, the one thing that has NomadGao’s heart are her upcycled journals. Their covers are made of the waste cloth you’d find at the tailor’s and the pages are made from the waste paper that comes from paper-cutting units! How cool is that?