Aarti Maharjan and Her AM Collection

Aarti Maharjan received accolades in EntrepreneuHer for her start-up “AM Collection” earning her a spot in the Top 10. Her start-up is bringing handmade loofah bathing bars and face soap with a range of skin benefits, to Nepal. The loofah bars are authentic and natural, excellent for not only cleaning up your skin but for feeling reinvigorated.

Arti comes from a family who has been involved in the business field, and following their footsteps enrolled herself in business too. The influence of business has been consistent in her life since childhood and she chose to have her own business over a job. She went to the USA for her business studies and while working thought to herself “People do jobs for the company but entrepreneurs work for themselves”. This musing was her first towards doing a startup. Being business-oriented and having a strong business background running in her family, Arti got a good experience working for his father’s enterprise and also a chance to establish many professional links and contacts. But while she did enjoy it, there was a tug within her that wanted her to start something of her own and be recognized for her own brand rather than her family’s.

So while locked up inside her home due to the pandemic, Aarti researched potential products for her start-up and decided to go with Loofa soaps as her business concept. Looking at the untapped market of soaps in Nepal, Arti ventured to make her soaps recognized not only as a daily necessity but a luxurious souvenir and a feel-good commodity. So while the majority of businesses suffered drastically during the pandemic, Arti’s took flight. She has sourced these loofah bars from Khadi, which is a leading manufacturer, exporter, and supplier for natural and authentic products with authorized distributors all over India. It exports its product all around the world in 25 countries with above 50 authorized sellers and distributors. Kailash Ayurveda deals in khadi soaps and skincare products for the last five years. Kailash Ayurveda gives 100% handmade glycerine-based khadi soap and paraben. These handmade soaps are eco-friendly and skin-friendly. These soaps are made from scratch using essential oils, herbs and fragrances, natural vegetable oils, and natural colors. Out of these many varieties, Arti has been sourcing loofah bathing bars and soaps. She shares “My main aim for this product is to carve a niche in the domestic market by catering to our customers an enormous array of khadi products”.

Like every other entrepreneur, Aarti had her share of challenges to go through. From financial difficulties to get started, to challenges of convincing people of the worthiness of her product, she tackled it all.  Aarti shares that it can be challenging but is absolutely necessary to listen to the critics, and pay attention to what dissatisfies potential clients, as it shows what can be improved upon. She also shares that a little loss, in the beginning, should not be taken as a failure and that the learnings will lead you to profits. As it wasn’t long before Aarti’s soaps took hold in the market. She started receiving good feedback and orders in bulk, and even shared that they would choose her product over other soaps or shower gels!

While EntrepreneuHer was honored to be a platform for an up-and-coming entrepreneur like her, Aarti shares EntrepreneuHER journey was very knowledgeable and important for her! She shares that she got a chance to network with many people, and got a chance to come across many business ideas that had never crossed her mind before. She learned the technicalities of business management in the 10 days, while also connecting the learnings with her own journey.

Aarti has been inspired by big companies such as Bath and Body in the USA and has big aspirations in having her own franchise for AM collection. In the long run, she wants to manufacture her own sustainable soaps instead of sourcing them. To up-and-coming wanterpreneurs, Aarti shares “I would like to say that challenges are an obvious part of businesses. You would want to give up but keep patience and continue doing the work. Slow and steady wins the race is what I believe in. So work slow but consistently and everything will fall into places.”

Catch up with her and her products at:

Instagram: @AMcollection21