What do you do? 

Madhu is the founder, owner, and operator of the company Pretty Pokets.  Madhu is a native of India.  She came to the USA to get an education in electrical engineering.  She did get a masters degree in electrical engineering from Southern Illinois University in 2004.  There she also met her future husband.  Following graduation she worked for a large semiconductor company. Then her children came.  That made it impossible to put in the required long hours. While caring for her children came the product idea, out of necessity.

What's special about your business? 

Madhu started with designing, and selling diaper bags.  The incentive was that she could not find the kind of bag she was lookimg for while caring for her infants.  Her vision was to make the bag functional and also elegant. Then she branched out marketing utility bags for working mothers.  She started with a product line of six.  She is now planning to double that product line.  Madhu’s vision is  “add incredible value to a woman’s life by making products that find harmony between usefulness, common sense, and fashion “ Along the way to success she had to raise some working capital.  She ran a successful crowd funding campaign on the KIVA platform.  That debt has already been paid back.  In fact, she is now in the second round of KIVA fund raising for her expanding product line.  The company has gained a loyal customer base, and recognition from multiple media sites.  Her sales are online and through small boutiques.  Her longer-term vision is to dominate the field for women’s accessories through providing outstanding value and service.

How SCORE helped. 

She had assistance from counselor Coco Zhong on e-commere, and supply chains.  She had similar assistance from counselor Itai Turbahn.  She met with counselor Ed Davis on patent issues.  Her long-term mentor has been Per Femqvist.  Per owned and operated his own small business. “ SCORE has amazing mentors with expertise in every possible field of business. “  Madhu is very appreciative of the help from SCORE.  She depends on the relationship as she keeps growing her business.

What's great about my mentor? 

Madhu’s first counseling appointment was in 2016. Since then she had over 50 sessions with various counselors.   “SCORE mentors have been there for me every step of the way since the beginning of my start up days.“ 

Key Topics

Madhu Challa - Pretty Pokets