The face behind Conscious Paper – Polly Setunga!
What’s your story?
Palak Shah Setunga, also known as Polly, is the founder of Conscious Paper and a passionate traveler who thrives on exploring new cultures, cuisines, and connecting with people. Before embarking on her entrepreneurial journey, Polly spent 12 years as an investment banker with JPMorgan Chase Bank in India and Hong Kong. Her banking career equipped Polly with a strong foundation in financial analysis and strategic decision-making. However, her innate curiosity and love for travel led her to pursue a new path in life. Combining her passion for adventure with her desire to make a positive impact, Polly established Conscious Paper, an award winning sustainable stationery business. Through her creative designs, she promotes eco-conscious practices and contributes to the global shift towards sustainability. Polly invites individuals to embrace unconventional solutions for a greener future. Through Conscious Paper, she encourages people to appreciate the harmony between nature, creativity, and the transformative power of waste—a testament to the potential of unexpected materials in building a sustainable world from trash to treasure that is responsibly sourced and sustainably made.
How & Why did you start your company/passion work?
I grew up in the busy bustling city of Bombay in India but I remember every summer holidays when we would go to visit both set of my grandparents in a small town in Gujarat, India. My paternal grandmother loved her small garden and she would always grow her own food like tomatoes, green chilies, mint, basil, and so much more. I would love to go to her garden and help her out. Find new flowers, new bugs, new plants. This experience is embedded in my memory so much that I can still smell the garden. My grandmother passed in 2016 and up until her last day I shared so many new and interesting natural materials that are now being used to make paper and other products. This helped me realise how passionate I feel about the nature, trees, and the love my grandma had for her garden. Working in this industry and educating younger kids about this industry is very important for me and comes very naturally to me. You may one day look back and see something in your journey that makes you proud to be stood where you are, you may already be in that place!
How do you bring BALANCE to your roles as MOTHER: FOUNDER: SELF?
A good 7-8 hours sleep is very important for self, kids and business. Im early to bed and early to rise kind of person. Get things ready for the kids to go to school and then start my day with a good dose of exercise. I play Badminton every weekday for 2 hours. Things to do list, goal setting, calendar blocking, reminders is key to make sure you have all the business related tasks and key dates covered. Same goes with the children’s dates in schools and other important information, events and cut off dates.
Any recent accomplishment you would like to share with us? (personal/professional)
My most recent achievement has been winning the bronze REBORN! Upcycling Design Award in September 2023 and being featured in the TMS magazine interview. https://themilsource.com/2023/08/19/polly-setunga-conscious-paper-in-hong-kong/
What would you like to say to fellow mothers or women thinking of starting a business?
Entrepreneurship is hard! Just to even get going and understand the flow, getting the direction right, it’s just so difficult. I am doing this all by myself at this moment, but I realized that investing in people, investing in a team, is extremely important to go through the various levels of entrepreneurship. Events like COVID and events like changing the mindset of the people in Hong Kong are very difficult, and they do take a toll on you. I find that being consistent is the key and pushing your mission and pushing your business. As long as it’s correct and as long as it’s true to yourself. That is what will push you through entrepreneurship and through the ups and downs.
What are three words you would use to describe your experience of being a Mother/Founder ?
Consistency, Patience ,Will power.
Find & Know More about Polly and her brand!
Connect with her.
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