Archana Vijaya, Founder, Kissponics & Label Kiss, recently joined NewsX as part of its special series NewsX India A-List for an insightful and candid interview. In the exclusive interview, the celebrity-turned entrepreneur talked about her latest ventures- Label Kiss and Kissponics and how she is saving the planet in her own way. Read excerpts:

Talking about her entrepreneurial side and what made her become an entrepreneur since she is already a celebrity, a well known television presenter, reality show contestant, host and much more, Archana said, “Well, honestly, I got married and moved to Delhi. That’s the truth of it. I didn’t really wanted to be somebody who is just going to sit and do nothing with my life. Hence, came about Label Kiss, which is my first baby. All my life i had the opportunity to be styled, to look good and had a team working for me. I wanted to give people the opportunity to have affordable lifestyle-driven opportunity to look good, no matter where you are.”

Speaking about the USP of Label Kiss that sets it apart from others and what all comes under the umbrella of Label Kiss, she shared, “Label Kiss came about as my attempt to provide everybody with the opportunity to have affordable luxury. One of the USPs of the brand is that it is really well priced. That is very important because I feel, when you are wanting to buy accessories, you should have the opportunity to dress your outfit in a different way every single time. For me, in my entire journey, I feel that accessories can make or break an outfit. For me, bags, shoes, nice piece of jewellery, it always means that an outfit can get elevated to a certain level. When I moved to Delhi, E-commerce was a rage so we started off as an e-commerce company. Now, we are brick and mortar as well. We have kiosks all across Delhi. We retail out of stores in Kolkata. It is tough at the moment. The past year and half has been unprecedented. It is not something that any of us expected but we are trying to row our boat, going through the murky waters.“

On the decision to diversify the brand to serve the masses, Archana said, “What we tried to work around, given the current situation and the consumers, we tried to put out products from all the different marketplaces, which are affordable, which are between Rs 500 to Rs 1000 range, so that everybody has the opportunity to wear nice jewellery. But, the thing is, at the end of the day, people are not going out at the moment. Usually you buy accessories when you go out to birthday party or a dinner. That way, it has taken a backseat. It has definitely been a setback. Things are coming back to normal. Things are opening up. Hopefully, everyone is getting vaccinated and that is the only way forward for all of us in the world. As long as that is happening, we can see as-semblance of normality for us.”

When asked about Kissponics and diversification into a completely different sector with it, Archana responded, “We were hit by a pandemic. I did not think, ever in my life, that I would be ever saying this. Extreme times call for extreme measures. There was a lot of talk about saving the planet, this and that. Everyone talks about it but what are we actually doing? Ofcourse, being somebody who is a nature lover, somebody who is aware, there are certain lifestyle changes that I have brought about in my life, which basically help us have a more sustainable lifestyle and also not pollute the environment as much. I realised that I needed to do something more. I was ready to do something for myself. I first started by choosing hydroponics as a client. I wanted to explore the entire opportunity. Everybody who knows my family or me, knows that my mother-in-law is into gardening. It emanates from that. I am naturally into nutrition and fitness. I wanted to get my hands on growing my own food. That’s how Kissponics came about. Once I started doing it myself, I said, “You know what? More and more people need to do this because it is the future. It is extremely relevant. You save 90% water, you have an opportunity to have a truly farm to table experience. You are growing your own veggies, you cut them and you put them in the pan and eat them. It doesn’t get better than that. It is 100% pesticide free. The quality of the produce, because of the fact that all the nutrition is controlled and measured. The quality of the produce is a lot better. The best thing is that anybody can do it. It’s not like you have to get your hands dirty. There is no soil or any of that involved. It is basically for people who are in urban areas. My smaller grower is 5’ 1/2 ft. It has got 18 pots and it can be anywhere at a spot, which gets 4-5 hours of sunlight. We can find that in anybody’s house. I felt like it was my way of giving back and my way of creating awareness about how we really truly need to do more than just talk about saving this planet.”

Check out the entire interview on NewsX YouTube: