Returning From The Brink: How A Few Words Can Save A Life Returning From The Brink: How A Few Words Can Save A Life At some point in his or her life, everyone has felt like something isn’t right. For Pratima Aravabhoomi, this feeling came to her in the extremes, and instead of making a negative drastic decision, she decided on a positive one. Aravabhoomi moved to the United States from India when she was just 21 years old for an arranged marriage. While she ended up working as a tech consultant for many organizations, she was not happy within her marriage or her work life. She struggled with severe depression to the point where one night she wanted to take her own life. It was then that she looked up to see a quote in her kitchen that said: “The darkest hour is always before dawn.” Although just a few simple words that many might read without thinking twice, Aravabhoomi says the quote actually saved her. After so much time spent in and out of depression, for some reason these five words resonated, and caused her to change her mind about taking her own life. With her improved mindset better things started happening. One noteworthy development was that Aravabhoomi finally landed her “dream job” at Apple. Despite believing that her new employment would finally bring her the happiness she sought, it didn’t. Those familiar pangs of pain began bubbling, but then Aravabhoomi remembered her pivotal moment and rallied. After re-motivating herself and making personal changes, including leaving her marriage, the idea for Craft Street Design was born. With a renewed sense of purpose, Aravabhoomi says her company is focused on lifting the spirits of people in need of a motivation boost. To wit, Craft Street Designs offers various office and home goods with inspiring quotes, or the option to customize their own, to help people just like the quote in Aravabhoomi’s kitchen helped her. Before getting started, she sold a few designs on places such as Etsy and Amazon marketplace and made her first sale at $7. So what got the business really up and running? Cold-emailing. By contacting people on LinkedIn, Aravabhoomi concocted subject lines that would immediately pique a person’s interest (Think phrases like: Inspiration To Get You Back To Work After Summer”), and then she would talk about her business in the body of the email. She was then able to meet people personally, find out what they wanted, and make sales. ”I felt like I had achieved… and I had arrived.” Aravabhoomi’s tactic may not be the method used by most new entrepreneurs, but considering she started making six figures in six months, clearly she was on to something. She’s also been self-funding from the very beginning, and is still the primary creator of the company’s products. When asked what’s the ultimate goal for her company, Aravabhoomi simply says “Motivation. “[I want to] motivate people to do whatever it is that they’re trying to achieve. It can be anything from a personal goal to a business goal.” Aravabhoomi also warns that “motivation alone is not everything.” She wants her company to help people of course be inspired, but also take the steps necessary for achievement, as success only happens when you take the words off the page, and actually do something. Eventually, Aravabhoomi plans to evolve her business into a complete solution for personal achievement. As a strong, hard-working woman who held down two jobs to support her daughter while also creating an entire business, Aravabhoomi is a clear inspiration to women everywhere. She also has several notes of advice for success: For immigrant entrepreneurs: If you work the same way you did in whatever country you came from, you’re bound to be successful – just try. For mom entrepreneurs: Don’t focus on the guilt that comes with thinking you aren’t focusing on your child enough. Include your children within the entrepreneurial realm and teach them basic things to work alongside you. For everyone: Give into your fears and let them be your biggest motivator. “As long as you have that fear, it will move you forward. You feel like you don’t have a choice because you don’t want to live that way,” she says. As proven by Aravabhoomi, there’s nothing that a woman can’t achieve with a little inspiration and a whole lot of work. Colleen Minkewicz Colleen is a college student at SUNY New Paltz graduating in Spring 2017 majoring in English and Creative Writing. She aspires to become an editor/work in publishing in the future.