Tell us about your career journey
I am the founder of Damn Gina - a hair accessories brand specialising in products for textured hair. I have had an interesting career path. I graduated with a software engineering degree, but never worked in the software field. I interned as a lifestyle writer for a tabloid and was offered a permanent role in the same media company. This is where I fell in love with the beauty and hair industry as it was fun. I moved to Singapore to do my masters in Marketing in 2010, and had a small stint in Hong Kong before permanently moving to Melbourne, Australia. Here I worked in marketing for a Canadian fashion brand before launching my side hustle of costume jewellery handmade in India. This business, even though not a traditional success story, taught me a lot about starting a business with no capital in a new country and how to navigate the ever-evolving DTC, eCommerce landscape - which eventually helped in building Damn Gina in 2019.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I am really proud of building a transparent, ethical brand with a product that celebrates self-love in a new country with zero connections and zero funding. It feels surreal that 2 years ago at this time, there was no Damn Gina - it was just in my head and in the form of a few samples in my bedroom.
Biggest challenge in your career?
I would say networking. I am a people's person and love to connect with female founders. But I have found it challenging to cold email or DM someone I admire because it feels intrusive. Now more than ever because of the pandemic there hasn't been an organic way to meet and connect which could have happened if we had events taking place. I have learnt a lot listening to other founders on a podcast or by reading their interviews. This journey can be lonely and you need like-minded founders to navigate through similar highs and lows.