Vanita Parti MBE, 47, founded Blink Brow Bar in 2004. She lives in London with her property developer husband, Shailendra, and their three children.
When I was pregnant with my second child I realised I needed a new career path which could accommodate my children and my ambition. I decided to set up my own business. I’d been working in branding for British Airways and it was terrifying to leave, but it was the best decision I ever made.
I was trying to come up with business ideas but nothing stuck. Then, we moved from the outskirts of London to the centre.
Vanita Parti MBE (pictured), 47, was inspired to launch Blink Brow Bar after spotting a gap in the market in Central London
I first had my eyebrows threaded when I was 13. My mother, fed up with my monobrow, marched me into the local salon. I couldn’t believe the difference. My eyes were bigger, my face brighter.
Living in Ealing, I got to know where the Asian salons were. They’d offered threading for years, but in Central London most hadn’t heard of it. I’d found my business — a threading bar.
My two youngest, Anya and Aryan, were one and three, and building a business while caring for them wasn’t easy. Between nursery runs, naps and feeds, I would draw up proposals and make endless phone calls. Now, I look back and wonder how I managed, but it’s amazing how you do. I was blessed with a baby who loved long naps!
I opened my first ‘bar’ (a chair in Fenwick’s lingerie department) on New Bond Street, London, in 2004. Word spread and in 2005 we opened in Harvey Nichols, then Selfridges. We now have more than 23 bars across the UK, and opened in Saks, New York, last year.
I want all women to know that you can have a career while raising children. If it weren’t for my young children, I wouldn’t have started my business. Though I suppose my mum and my monobrow deserve some credit, too.