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What is your business about?

Roshni Assomull: Bella Kinesis is an ethical sportswear brand. For every item we sell we fund a business education for a woman in rural India, and we do this through our work with the Mann Deshi Foundation. Shaleena Chanrai: It’s not just about clothing it’s about changing peoples’ lives and giving back and creating a community of women.

How did you come to start Bella Kinesis together?

Shaleena: We grew up together – our grandparents were friends, our parents are friends so naturally we had to be friends. We didn’t love each other growing up as much as we do now. Roshni: We decided to start the business because neither of us was particularly fit in school and we got into fitness later in life. When we went shopping together we found that all the fitness wear on the market was quite intimidating and didn’t cater to women of all shapes and sizes who are starting out on their fitness journey. So that’s something that we wanted to create.

Roshni: We have different backgrounds – I studied Economics at university and then I worked at a bank straight after college. Shaleena: I went to art school in the States so I studied photography, but I dabbled in a lot of things like graphic design, filmmaking and that kind of stuff.

What’s it like working with your friend?

Shaleena: When we first started there were so many big decisions that we had to make and it was great being with your best friend because you trust that person. But as time goes on and you see so much of each other you have to set boundaries.

Roshni: We say that we see too much of each other, but in a business where you are spending so much time together it’s important to be with someone you really love. At the start it’s a lot of grunt work and to have to do that with someone who’s a stranger would be really difficult.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Shaleena: It’s important to know that it’s not going to run smoothly. Roshni: And understanding the very basic tasks that you need to get done to achieve your end goal, and understanding that it happens in very small steps. That would be the advice I would give.


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