#PowerWomen – Meet Divya Gugnani – Serial Entrepreneur

Divya Headshot 3

When I started the #PowerWomen series, I never thought it would strike such a cord with readers. I always wanted Social and Style to be a platform to inspire women to live their best life. Through my interviews with women who are making it happen, I’ve noticed there are qualities that most Power Women have in common. Serial Entrepreneur Divya Gugnani has all of these qualities and then some. From learning that everything doesn’t have to be perfect to starting a business to balancing family, mother-hood, and her career – Divya is one of the most inspiring women I have met. While Divya is smart, successful, and beautiful – she is also honest, truthful, and to-the-point. I really enjoyed chatting with Divya and hope her journey will resonate with you.

Meet Divya Gugnani – Serial Entrepreneur 

  • Tell us about how you launched your first startup?! My father is an entrepreneur and I grew up living with the ups and downs of running your own business. After college, I decided I wanted a more stable career and worked at Goldman Sachs. I loved investment banking and then went on to work in private equity and venture capital. Venture capital opened my eyes to see how one can make their own dreams a reality. While working as a venture capitalist, I started my own business on the side and ended up selling that company. From then on I knew, I would always be an entrepreneur. I started Behind the Burner, a company that provided tips, tricks, and techniques from a network of master chefs to create behind-the-scenes culinary knowledge. After that, I launched Send the Trend with the idea that women should be able to update their look on a budget with affordable accessories. I sold Send The Trend to QVC and went on to lead Digital Innovation at the multi channel retailer. During my tenure at QVC, I learned how to build and interact with a community of people, tell stories, and showcase products that really help women.
  • What’s been your favorite experience as an entrepreneur? My latest venture, Wander Beauty (www.wanderbeauty.com), has been the most challenging and fulfilling. Having the ability to love what I do and believe that I am making a difference is the best feeling. I’ve been a long time beauty junkie so I’m finally getting to do something entirely focused on the beauty space. I also run my own investment firm, Concept to Co (www.concepttoco.com), where we help take ideas and turn them into businesses. Partnering with talented entrepreneurs and creating innovative consumer experiences is our mantra.
  • How has your passion for food, fashion, and beauty influenced your career? They used to just be passions. Then there came a point in my life when I wanted my life to be about what I was passionate about. I am always coming up with business ideas and really enjoy the early part of developing a startup.   Innovating, creating, and disrupting existing business models are what drive my creative process.
  • What advice do you have for women who want to start their own venture? Through my own experiences, I believe the biggest issue women have is analysis paralysis. The best way to start something is to just start! What’s the worst thing that will happen – you fail? Everyone fails at some point in their lives. Especially in our South Asian culture, we always want to be the best at everything. Entrepreneurship is not about being at the top all the time – it’s a journey. You have to constantly evolve, change, and learn.
  • How do you balance your passion for startups with your family life? Honestly it’s a constant juggling act. Some days are harder and some are easier. I take it day by day and start each day with a fresh approach. I keep a checklist of things I want to accomplish from work to family and everyday it’s a trade off. You do the best you can and don’t beat yourself up if you do not get everything right. I’ve also learned that family is my best support system and we work together to manage our careers and raise two children under three!
  • What’s your secret to eating what you want and still looking fabulous? It’s really about loving the skin you are in. To me – size is irrelevant. Love who you are and love what you are. I try to enjoy what God has given me and live it to the max. For me, I enjoy desserts and do not believe in depriving myself. I indulge in what I like, but also understand that sometimes a bite is just enough.
  • What’s next for Divya?! I am excited to launch my latest venture – Wander Beauty. With all my experience starting businesses and working with startups, I finally feel like I am getting it right. The idea for Wander Beauty was hatched in my living room with my friend Lindsay Ellingson, who is also a supermodel and Victoria Secret Angel. Lindsay is an incredibly down-to-earth person and a diligent entrepreneur. She has worked with the best makeup artists and we both have traveled the world. Wander Beauty will disrupt the beauty industry with our innovative approach to product development – inspired by the best formulas, ingredients and delivery systems from around the world!

Connect with Divya: Twitter, Instagram, www.wanderbeauty.com

Divya Headshot 1 Divya Headshot 2  Queen Bee Send the Trend Sexy Women Eat

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Comments

  1. Awesome Read. Love to read your blog and get inspired by these women.

  2. Ankita Maini says:

    Really enjoyed reading this. Great job Kamana!

  3. wow
    Thanks for the inspiration !
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  4. I remember meeting her (in passing) a couple of years back in NYC. She is truly inspirational.

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  5. I get inspired from such people :)
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  6. Such a nice interview…great to know more about her .
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  7. For being a woman entrepreneur, that was really amazing. Often, we’ll see lots of men empowering women over this kind of matter. And now all the ladies out there will be motivated with Divya Gugnani’s story. With her story, many will keep their dreams come true as a woman entrepreneur. No things can withstand if you’ve been inspired and motivated by all the people around you.
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