Tina Reddy is the founder and creative director of her namesake jewelry brand. After years of working in the high-tech industry in finance, product development and e-commerce she followed her creative passion and founded Tina Reddy in 2016. We have the pleasure of hosting her in our Austin flagship store this summer and were able to talk with her about what inspired her to start her own company and how she balances her many roles in life.
What roles are the most important to you?
Being a mom, no doubt. My girls are my top priority and raising them with good values and being there when they need me is of utmost importance for me.
I love being an entrepreneur and running my own business gives a huge creative outlet. Being passionate about what I do and having financial independence is important for me.
In addition to your business Tina Reddy Jewelry, you have an extensive career in business and working in technology. How and why did you enter the technology industry? What drove you to pursue fashion as a business?
Great question, one that I’m asked most of the time. Growing up I always wanted to be in the creative and fashion industry. I did pursue a Diploma in fashion for a year after my graduation, but could not find enough opportunities where we lived (South of India). On my husband’s advice, I went ahead and did my business school, post which I entered high-tech and never looked back for 12+ years. I’ve held various positions in finance, product management, and marketing. I’m proud that I was able to do the transition and enjoy creating software products for e-commerce, healthcare, retail and work in Marketing.
At the same time, I felt the lack of a creative outlet and sense of ownership. Thanks to my entrepreneurial genes (Tina’s father has done several ventures including real estate which he is currently in) I decided to train myself in jewelry design and started my own line last year. My product background helped me with building the site and market my line.
I understand that you are working concurrently in high-tech as you run Tina Reddy. How do you manage your time between the both of them? And, would you ever consider pursuing your jewelry business full time?
I think it is common for folks to have a day job while they pursue their interests. I was inspired by so many women entrepreneurs who run businesses that they enjoy while doing their regular job. It helps with investing in your business and provide stability until you are ready to pursue your business full time, which is definitely a consideration.
What is your advice for women who want to start a side hustle, but do not believe that they have the time or resources?
I would say know your limitations, how much investment and running capital you require, what industry your entering and the time demands. It is not easy, especially when you have children it feels like 3 full-time jobs. You have to be good at time management, prioritization, and multitasking. Any business takes time to pick up and you must learn to be patient. Things don’t happen overnight.
Doing it part-time as a side hustle is one way to do it. There are others who do it full time as they prefer investing all their time and energy in their venture. If you are ready for that phase, just follow your heart.
What do you believe is the biggest misconception that people have about women in business? How are you proving that wrong?
That women cannot have it all. I would say it takes a lot of hard work and hustle, but it’s worth it. At the same time, I do not compromise on family time or being there for my friends.
What do you believe are valuable resources to yourself as an entrepreneur?It depends on industry to industry, but having a mentor or advisor helps immensely which I feel I’m missing and working towards having on board.
- Don’t be in a rush to hire unless you are ready, use interns, freelancers, and experts.
- Investing in a great sales resource is expensive and hard to find, but that can turn around your business that a ton of marketing tactics cannot do.
- Stay connected with your community via blogs, social media and get a strong brand message that resonates
- Give back. Always have a social cause towards what you are doing.
- Listening to other women entrepreneurs journey and how they made it is very inspiring. But remember your journey is always unique! I look up to Payal Kadakia Founder of Classpass, Ariana Huffington of Huffington post, and Tory Burch to name a few who have really moved the needle in business and how women are perceived.
How do you stay grounded between your responsibilities?
My family keeps me grounded. I like to unwind on weekends by having family time, watching movies, meeting with friends, hosting dinner etc. I love to travel, those breaks are cathartic and I look forward traveling to new places. It is important to have those downtimes, it keeps me fueled and ready for my next day. I also read inspiring books like biopics and self help.
Are there any quotes or mantras that you say to yourself?
- We are our choices, choose wisely!
- Earn with Passion, give back with compassion
- Positive mind, Positive vibes, Positive life
And last but not least, what items do you always carry with your in your bag?
My cell phone, car keys, wallet, hand sanitizer, mint, lip balm, hand cream and a snack.