Ranj’s Startup Story
Ishita Ranjan (aka, Ranj), Founder of Care Package Co and Escape School Alumni member shares her story of starting up…
1. What business have you started and why?
I started a business called Care Package Co. that curates beautiful & bespoke gift boxes. I set it up after a short stint in hospital post-surgery. I realised that flowers or food weren’t actually useful presents and that experience inspired me to be more mindful of the gifts I give. All of the care packages we make contain products focused on self-care, reflection or recovery, and we make sure we personalise them so they make truly thoughtful gifts!
2. How did you begin your entrepreneurial journey? What were you doing before?
I had already quit my job as a B2B Marketing Manager and was freelancing as a copywriter. My background before that was in running training and mentoring programmes for social entrepreneurs, which is something I loved doing. I always knew I wanted to run my own business though, I just didn’t have the confidence to take the leap into entrepreneurship before joining Escape!
3. What was the best advice/most helpful thing you did?
The best advice I got was to embrace being vulnerable, honest & authentic. It enabled me to be far more open about where I was and what I was struggling with, which in turn enabled me to ask for help. I realised that there were always people who were ready to help, and that gave me so much confidence!
4. What have you found to be the hardest part of starting up? How have you overcome it?
The hardest part for me was the uncertainty – not being sure about the idea, or the business model, or if I was going to make enough money to pay rent! I overcame it by breaking it down into smaller chunks and less scary steps – for me, de-risking and breaking things down was key. I also built a community of like-minded people around me and realised that having cheerleaders is absolutely vital.
5. How have you changed during the process?
I have so much more confidence now – I’ve learned how to back myself. I used to really struggle with imposter syndrome and calling myself an entrepreneur, but now the word just seems natural! On a really basic level, I just find it easier to get out of bed in the mornings because I actually care about what I’m doing.
6. What are you focusing on now?
I’m currently focusing on building Care Package Co. – right now it’s all about growth. Growing social media followers, growing sales, growing our impact! I’ve also just joined New Entrepreneurs Foundation, another great entrepreneurial community to be a part of.
7. How’s it all feeling?
It’s exciting, exhausting, amazing and terrifying – all at the same time! The main feeling though is pride, I’m proud of myself for taking the leap and building something on my terms.
8. What key advice would you share with someone interested in starting their own business?
Back yourself, don’t overthink it, just go out there and do it!
Care Package Co’s range of curated gifts for changemakers, cold & flu victims, coffee lovers, hygge fans, frazzled friends and more, can all be found at www.carepackageco.co.uk