We had the good fortune of connecting with Anita Rajendra and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Anita, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
It’s interesting because I have 3 children and you would think I came up with the idea for La Belle Bump during one of those pregnancies. But no; that’s not when. I came up with the idea a couple years after my last pregnancy. I was working at The Coca-Cola Company but was ready for my next career adventure. I had always wanted to have my own business but didn’t know what business so I was in the process of brainstorming business ideas and researching options. One day, at work, I was in a meeting with a colleague who was pregnant; she was complaining about buying maternity clothes. That sparked something in me. I agreed with her; maternity clothes are expensive and frankly, I never wanted to spend a lot on “temporary clothes”. So that one conversation was the catalyst for La Belle Bump. There had to be a better way; something that could help women feel and look good during pregnancy without spending a small fortune. I started working to figure out what “that better way” could be and that’s how the idea for La Belle Bump came to be.

What should our readers know about your business?
La Belle Bump merges the rental model with the personal stylist model for expectant and new moms. We are unique in that there’s an actual person behind clothing selections; we don’t rely only on algorithms to make clothing selections. We read all customers’ comments and incorporate their needs/wants when making selections. Creating that special connection and building a personal relationship with our customers is what has always excited me. Pregnancy is such an amazing time in a woman’s life but women don’t always feel amazing during that time. It’s understandable; after all, there’s fatigue, swelling, sickness that can come with pregnancy. And, of course, your body is constantly changing. So, it’s easy to forget and not celebrate pregnancy. At La Belle Bump, we want to help her celebrate her pregnancy by helping her look and feel confident and beautiful. We’re most proud when we see that come to fruition, when customers thank us for helping them during their pregnancy and as a new mom. It was definitely not easy building a new business and brand from the ground up. As with most entrepreneurs, there were times of loneliness, uncertainty and sometimes wondering if you can actually do it or if you wanted to keep doing it! I found a tribe of women that helped. Earlier on, I started a small Mastermind group so that I’d have some other people to bounce ideas off of and who would also keep me accountable. That helped ensure I had goals and was working towards them. I was in a new industry that I didn’t have experience in so there was a lot of trial & error. Just figuring out shipping was a learning process! I’ve learned a lot throughout my journey building 2 companies. A few of my lessons learned: 1. Stop talking and start doing. This was a catalyst for me to start La Belle Bump but it still rings true in everyday work. There are many times when I talk or think through a problem or issue for a while vs actually taking action. Taking action is what’s important; just talking or even thinking about something won’t accomplish anything. 2. Don’t be a perfectionist. Trying to get something “just right” can prolong getting something into the market. I think it’s more important to get something into market and be able to test it out. After all, you may have to iterate once you receive some feedback or see how it actually plays out in market. 3. Network! I think continuing to network is very important. I have gathered so many tips & tricks through networking which has saved me both time and money.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Atlanta has so much to offer. In a week, we could explore a lot. A few places I’d want to hit would be: • Ponce City Market & the Beltline. Grab an avocado toast with fried egg and chai at Spiller Park. • Hike up to Stone Mountain and see the city from the top of the mountain. • Spend the day in Decatur. Eating at Revival, Kimball House or Leon’s. • Hang out at Painted Pin if there’s a rainy afternoon or Piedmont Park/Botanic Gardens if nice weather. • Breakfast (or lunch) at Buttermilk Kitchen. • Dinner at UMI and The Optimist are a must!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a shoutout to Bernie Dixon and her organization, LaunchPad2X, which is an organization for women entrepreneurs. When I was starting La Belle Bump, I was yearning to meet and learn from other women entrepreneurs. Surprisingly, I was having difficulty finding women entrepreneurs to network with – until LaunchPad2X. LaunchPad2X not only provided great learning material, knowledge and networking with mentors but it also provided a camaraderie with other women entrepreneurs. The organization also allowed me to meet my business partner for my other business, Mina & Vine. The idea for Mina & Vine was born out of insights from La Belle Bump but it wasn’t something that I had time or knowledge to develop – until I met my business partner. Mina & Vine is a patent pending “smart scarf”; we use temp regulated fabric, magnetic fasteners and the scarf can be styled in 10+ ways.

Website: LaBelleBump.com and MinaAndVine.com
Instagram: instagram.com/LaBelleBump and instagram.com/MinaAndVine
Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/anitarajendra
Facebook: facebook.com/LaBelleBump and facebook.com/MinaAndVine

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