1. What made you take the leap into entrepreneurship?
I have always had a creative edge and a drive to broadcast my work to reach as many people as possible. One of my biggest missions has always been to make life affordable for everyone. I enjoy finding new and creative ways to help people and Madam Fortune is the platform I created which allows me to do exactly that.
Financial independence is also very important to me and fortunately, I come from a family where I am the fourth generation grandchild to have gone to University and to have worked in corporate jobs. Everyone in my family has done exceptionally well so finances were never even something we thought too much about growing up. My parents provided me with every resource imaginable which I would need to do well in life so all I really had to do was work really hard and be as creative as I could be. I owe my successes to them and they owe theirs to my grandparents. And my grandparents would owe theirs to my great-grandparents..you get the point, the Saxena’s are known to be a hard working, successful family.
I grew up in the United States and as a child, I enjoyed the concept of creating money i.e. the x10 economy factor. The way you could purchase a pack of gum with 10 sticks for $1 and sell the sticks for $1 each was the coolest thing I thought I ever did at the time. I enjoyed the concept of converting my little $1 note into a $10 bill. I got a real sense of accomplishment out of it as a kid and it goes without saying that I was the kid in school running the confectionary company. I was also really bold so guess what I did with the $10 I made? You guessed it, I tried to turn my little $10 bill into $100. With plenty of ups and downs, I eventually did turn my $10 to $100 and it made me so happy to think that I did that on my own. I don’t think I ever used any of the money I made for myself because (a) there was plenty of allowance money being given to me by my parents so there was never a need and (b) I was more interested in the ‘x10’ factor and to see if I could actually multiply the money I made by 10 each time. It was a game to me. Afterall, I was only 9 years old at the time and that was the first $100 I made for the very first time.
2. Tell me a little bit about your background and how you ended up choosing your field.
My name is Soumya Saxena and I am from a family where everyone has worked in the corporate world for my last 4 generations. Following the norm, I also climbed the corporate ladder but that wasn’t enough for me. It wasn’t about breaking the cycle for me. I just wanted to do more than what society teaches us to do in life..do well in school, get into a good university and then start working 9-5 in a corporate environment. I wanted to work on a passion-project and start working on a sustainable side-hustle which allowed me to continue working at my 9-5 corporate job while the side-hustle runs in parallel. I have always been the girl who wants to do it all and this mindset led me into forming everything that Madam Fortune is today.
3. What were the biggest initial hurdles to Madam Fortune and how did you overcome them?
My journey to creating Madam Fortune wasn’t exactly a new venture. I have wanted to do this my whole life. At first, I was busy with school, then with University and eventually, with my 9-5 full time, corporate job at some of the most esteemed organisations in the world. Throughout my life, I wanted to build my fortune via a startup and the ideas for this business were running in the back of my mind ever since I was 10 or 12 years old. I didn’t always know where to start and often didn’t have the time to pursue something outside of the usual school / university hours. Eventually, once I started working, I realised I had very little time outside of work to do anything else as well. Years went by and the idea of starting my own company which could make life affordable for everyone kept getting more profound. Luckily, during the Covid-19 lockdown(s), I was working entirely from home and it meant that I was saving lots of time commuting to and from the office. As we weren’t allowed to go see friends and the world was literally in shut-down mode, I knew this was my chance to work on MF. I quickly pulled out all the handwritten notes I had taken over the years from various notebooks, pieces of old Costa tissue papers and everything else from my iPad and got right to work. It was time to finally build my empire, Madam Fortune.
As someone who studied Computer Science at University, I thought building a website for MF would be super easy and a great place to start. When it comes to your own startup, you want everything to be perfect and I soon learned that the MF platform I wanted to build would require a lot of research and testing for the website. This was essential to get the website to the state where it is today and to where it is heading to in the future. Throughout my testing phase, a happy little accident happened. I added the link to the Madam Fortune website (madam-fortune.com) on my Instagram and TikTok’s bio where a video I posted on TikTok went viral (ranked top 10 in the UK and top 15 in the world). A total of 300K+ people followed me across all of my social media platforms which resulted in Madam Fortune getting its first 400+ orders. The website was in testing-phase so the entire site was very loosely built at the time. We were still months away from launching MF so we were nowhere near ready to fulfill 400+ orders. My biggest challenges were inventory management. The website also didn’t have a ‘sold out’ label at the time so the orders kept coming in but I did not have the stock available to send people their orders. It was a complete nightmare and it happened overnight as TikTok drove more and more customers to the Madam Fortune website. I woke up to the craziest day of my life the next morning. The only way to pack so many orders was to ask my friends for help but thanks to lockdown, I was on my own. It took me 3 weeks to pack 467 orders and I made sure I packed each one with as much love and care as the very first MF order.
4. What is your business all about?
Madam Fortune is a made in London, fashion, lifestyle, homeware and wellness brand. At Madam Fortune, my team and I are currently working hard to make luxury products available at an affordable price for everyone. Our products are designed to beat high-street prices around the world and I am so proud of everything we have achieved so far. In the future, our aim is to expand the MF platform to make life affordable for all. This will include onboarding more companies on the MF platform and allowing a one-stop-shop to purchase your favorite brands at half the price or less. From supermarket groceries to the trendiest luxury fashion goodies – you name it.
We are launching on 01-October-2021 and I can’t wait to see you all on madam-fortune.com at 9:00 PM BST. Don’t be late, because this time, the ‘sold-out’ label works!
5. How can you be reached if someone is interested in your products or services?
You can follow my journey
The Millionaire Mindset!