Kriti Bhatnagar - I Believe the Only Story That Matters Is the One You Tell Yourself (Yoga Teacher and Entrepreneur From India)


I didn't follow the mainstream ideas that were already floating in the market at that time, I tried making my own colour recipes and crafting what made me happy.

Tell us more about your company and your journey.

Mindful Vibing Polymer Clay online store came into existence in December 2020. 

I had been an engineer working at various MNCs and top Indian startups for good 5 years. Around August 2020, the last company I worked with suddenly didn't require my services anymore. It was a sudden change for me so I decided to take a few months off to recover from it and figure out what to do with what I had. In those few months, I realized I didn’t wish to go back to the corporate world.

I am a certified yoga teacher and have been practising mindfulness since 2018. I have conducted many online classes to spread awareness about including mindfulness in one's lifestyle, but that was all pro-bono work. I needed something that could help me take care of my finances and live the kind of life I desired, at the same time. I stumbled upon polymer clay in November 2020 and it was then when I found my ‘Ikigai’.   

Me and my ma used to spend my childhood summers making terracotta jewellery as a fun hobby. I guess that somewhere inspired me to have the confidence to launch ‘Mindful Vibing’ in December 2020. Since then, I have been crafting lightweight, statement polymer clay accessories. I am beyond grateful for all the love and support Mindful Vibing has received and continues to receive. I have more than 200 positive reviews so far and over 6k followers on my Instagram handle @shopmindfulvibing and many of them are repeat customers. It provides me immense joy and satisfaction to see the happy faces of my customers as they share their style moments with Mindful Vibing jewellery. 

Via Mindful Vibing, I aim at spreading awareness about slow fashion and a mindful lifestyle. Each Mindful Vibing order goes out with a Mindfulness Exercise, a note card on what to do if/when you feel anxious, a self-care checklist, a seed plant gratitude card and a care instruction card for the polymer clay jewelry. 

How did you come up with this idea and go about executing it?

Around November 2020, I discovered my affinity towards polymer clay. I didn’t calculate the risks or strategize for a successful small business, I spent my time solely on learning new techniques and experimenting with different clay brands and colors. And I believe that helped me in focusing on the kind of work I wanted to share instead of the traps like having an aesthetic feed and creating what people like. 

I didn't follow the mainstream ideas that were already floating in the market at that time, I tried making my own colour recipes and crafting what made me happy. I remember spending entire nights learning various clay techniques, searching authentic vendors for clay, researching the best clay to work with etc.

It all worked out and I finally decided to go ahead with the Instagram launch of Mindful Vibing on December 17th, 2020. I am still learning, experimenting, keeping it authentic and I am going to continue the same. 

What has been your biggest challenge that you faced and how did you overcome that?

Polymer clay can be tricky to work with especially when it comes to curating the article. There were times when I was left disappointed by a number of clay brands as the final baked pieces used to break with a slight bend. The stress it causes is concerning indeed since many polymer clay brands are not economical. 

I didn't stop despite the failed attempts, I found a way to fix it and also a way to utilize the pieces that were broken. 

I wished I had someone to guide me through that phase, as it affects your mental health in a significant manner. This issue is faced by many polymer clay beginner artists. As I figured out the possible solutions, I decided to help others with the same.

I started conducting Mindful Vibing workshops to address all these issues and help fellow artists get over this initial phase of experimentation with clay brands and get them started with their own polymer clay businesses efficiently. 

So far I have taught over 40+ people and many of them have successfully launched their polymer clay businesses.

What do you think are the most important qualities of a successful entrepreneur?

The most important qualities are to have faith in oneself and stay mindful of one's actions. Online space can easily transform into a toxic environment. You find yourself comparing your success/milestones with others, most of the time unintentionally, involuntarily.

It takes a toll on your mental health eventually. It is indeed necessary to keep one’s faith alive, as in that case, no matter what the external environment throws at you, you will always be in charge of your mind and actions. I believe the only story that matters is the one you tell yourself.

I also follow three simple rules to stay respectful and expand my knowledge horizons constantly-

1.Take nothing personally. 

2.There’s no right way and there’s no wrong way. 

3.Community over competition.

What are some of the most important factors for running a successful business?

For running a successful business it’s necessary to consider impact and income equally. 

It is important to stay proactive when it comes to experimenting with your product. Keeping it fresh and innovative each time and not letting others' opinions or popular fast trends decide the flow of your work are a few major factors for me. 

Another major factor is the way you communicate. It is of utmost importance to choose one’s words wisely in all types of communication. Our language shapes our perception. 


What are your tips for first-time and aspiring entrepreneurs?

When it comes to social platforms, I would suggest not to fall for traps like maintaining an aesthetic feed or colour coordinating your products for that matter. Work at your pace, just stay consistent with what you do. 

It is not absolutely necessary to post twice a day to stay in the picture. You can take a rest for a few days and jump back. What is more important is for you to enjoy the process while you are at it. If your product quality is good and your work is innovative and authentic, your customers are going to stay loyal to you. 

Another important thing to consider is - when you are starting your business, don’t invest a lot in the beginning. Experiment with a little amount, figure out what fits best in your quality needs and budget and then take it forward from there.

How can one overcome a hurdle of lack of funds when starting up?

It is best to have decent savings before planning to start a small business. Start with what you have or what you can get with minimum investment. 

DIYs are highly underrated, there’s so much one can do when it comes to DIYing the stuff that you need. Improvisation opens doors to innumerable possibilities, you just need to be willing to do so.

Brief Bio:

Kriti gave up her full-time corporate job to experience living the life she always dreamt of. She started Mindful Vibing to let people discover the beauty of slow fashion and a mindful lifestyle.

Today, Mindful Vibing is India’s top polymer clay accessory store with over 6K followers with more than 200 positive reviews. Kriti is the creator of Mindful Vibing. She is an engineer, a yoga teacher and a mindfulness practitioner. She wishes to inspire more women to dare to pursue their passion and become financially independent. 

Interviewed by - Vanshika Jain

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