"First Impression by Bhavna Jasra" is enterpreneurel venture and very unique concept. Formally trained in the U.K. during my pregnancy, i launched this concept in India on the 11th day of my daughter Tia's birth, 13 years ago.
Five months pregnant and darting to work every morning, I was showing no signs of slowing down. One morning, at breakfast, my husband Jo suggested that we take some time off, go for a short holiday to London and prepare for parenthood by indulging in some baby shopping. I sensed that this was his sweet way of making me take some time off work and letting me indulge the way all mommies –to-be are allowed.
Before I knew it Emirates had flown us away and soon we were shopping on Oxford Street. On our third day there we visited our friends, parents of a two-year-old and our rich source of tips on parenthood. After exchanging hugs and kisses, our friends gave us a tour of their new home. While in their baby’s room, I chanced upon a frame displaying a drawing of the little one’s tiny feet. My maternal hormones went berserk. My friend informed me that the illustration was done by an old artist who lived some distance away from London. It was what she was planning to gift us when we had our baby. I don’t remember anything that followed after seeing that masterpiece, not even the menu of the elaborate dinner that she had most enthusiastically laid out for us. All I wanted was to meet the artist and find out more about her work.
The very next morning I cajoled my husband to take me to visit the artist. He was a little reluctant but gave in because after all, the entire trip was about indulging me.
With a much pregnant belly, wearing a winsome smile, I marched towards the receptionist. I got a rude shock when I was told that it would not be possible to meet the artist without an appointment.
I couldn’t be deterred, however. Convincing Jo at breakfast the next morning, we once again taxied our way to Mrs. Ferguson’s studio. Despite sweet-talking the receptionist, I was coldly shown the door with a ‘perhaps you should come once the baby is born’.
Jo tried his best to convince me that it would probably be best to return when we had the baby, but I guess he couldn’t win the battle with my crazy surge of hormones. Back again on the third day, we found ourselves in the reception area again. As much as he wanted to be the Invisible Man, my husband had to be there by my side.
By the fourth day, waiting endlessly in the studio, I had already converted the urge to get an impression of my baby into a business plan. I was sure that if the artist was so busy making memorabilia in a country where it was easy for parents to tell their children to find their own home when they grew up, I would have no problem setting up a similar business in India, where familial relationships are valued above everything else.
Finally, on our fifth visit, Jo managed to convince the receptionist to allow us a ten-minute meeting with Mrs. Ferguson. The artist was completely unimpressed with my business proposal; she demanded a fat fee enough to buy a home in London. Jo was convinced that this was just to put us off. All through the journey back to the hotel, we were silent. I didn’t eat much at dinner and don’t remember what breakfast was the next day…
Seeing my long face Jo tried to humour me with Gucci and Prada, but that’s not what I desired, at least not this time! Here was an amazing business opportunity staring at me in the face, and I was pretty sure I could make a great success out of it. All I needed was Jo to have faith in my ability to do it even though the timing seemed wrong by conventional standards.
The next morning Jo sat in front of me on the breakfast table, ready for a discussion. He reasoned with me; it meant that I would have to stay back in London for six weeks when I would be in the more difficult stages of my pregnancy. At this point, any husband might be justified in saying, ‘Slow down sweetie! We have a baby coming, and that’s going to mean a lot of settling down, sleepless nights. We really don’t need any more on our plate right now!’ And maybe I would have understood…
But seeing how enthusiastic I was, he relented. He agreed to go back alone and renegotiate the deal with Mrs. Ferguson. His expression after the meeting told me that he had indeed cracked the deal.
I honestly do not know another man who would have given in. Isn’t the stereotype that husbands will only remind their pregnant wives that giving birth, nursing and raising the baby is all that they should look forward to? All else – especially a new business venture – can most definitely wait. But not my husband! Always letting me be, me; he had faith that I would neither neglect my baby nor my work.
Mrs. Ferguson could not fight my knight and I stayed on in England to train in the very special art. I launched my business on the twentieth day after my daughter Tia was born. The portrait of her at one day old, taken to the hospital bed with Jo’s help, was a showstopper at my launch and there has been no looking back.
Jokingly I refer to him as ‘my magic carpet’, the one that I can fly on and go anywhere I wish to…