although born in michigan, Shobha Tummala, the founder & ceo of Shobha, spent her early years in hyderabad, india under the care of her grandparents, who each infused natural rituals into Shobha's daily life from the start. at first, Shobha thought everyone's backyard had a variety of fruit, vegetable & herb plants, since her grandfather, a horticulturist, known to many farmers as the "plant doctor," would take her on his travels to visit the different gardens throughout india. Shobha's grandmother immersed her in india's natural & spiritual beauty culture, in which they would spend all day preparing meals & beauty treatments for the family.
"my grandmother made all of my beauty products herself," says Shobha.
"hair conditioner was created from crushed hibiscus petals picked from a tree in our backyard; soap from a mixture of shaved sandalwood & lentils; moisturizer was just the cream from fresh milk."
later on, Shobha spent her summers in india. her grandmother would scold her for not maintaining the traditional personal care she was taught.
"my grandmother could tell if i had been using store-bought products from the color & texture of my skin & hair- it was unbelievable!" says Shobha.
it was also in india where Shobha experienced the benefits of threading, the customary way to remove facial hair. the painless efficiency & precise definition that threading afforded made Shobha swear off wax, until she returned to the states & found there was no one in her area that threaded. thus, the idea of Shobha was inspired!
together, her grandparents instilled in her that everything needed for a healthy lifestyle is found in nature. now in his 80s, Shobha's grandpa still begins each day with 10 water-soaked almonds & a brisk 30-minute walk, applies coconut oil infused with herbs to his hair before bathing, & despite his miserly ways, he will forgo all costs to eat organically.
since Shobha was eleven, she has been worried about hair removal. shaving, plucking, depilatories, electrolysis, sugaring, threading, waxing, laser, scissors, electric shavers, that rotator thing you buy from infomercials - you name it, Shobha tried it. in 2001, Shobha set out to create a salon that catered to people like her, who see hair removal as a necessity in life. she wanted a place where hair removal was the main focus instead of just some add-on, haphazard service in the back room of a nail salon.
Shobha wanted to create a friendly & inviting relationship with clients so they would not feel embarrassed about their hair removal needs; a place that stressed cleanliness & sanitary practices, like no double-dipping, so they didn't have to worry; a place that cared as much about quality & customer experience as she did, instead of the usual establishments where the technicians made it seem like they were doing her a favor.
after opening, Shobha learned about the harsh, unhappy working conditions within the industry from her employees. as a result, she reset the company's mission to a broader theme of superior quality, not only for services, products & clients, but for team members (employees) too. each employee is provided opportunities for career growth & continuing education in a supportive, team-oriented environment.
currently, Shobha owns & operates four Shobha Locations in manhattan, specializing in sanitary hair removal methods including threading, sugaring & waxing. now, in hopes of providing natural & effective hair removal solutions to clients nationwide, Shobha & her team have begun a product line & franchising!
Shobha has a masters in business administration from harvard business school & an electrical engineering degree from michigan state university. prior to starting her own company, she worked at a technology start-up, a management consulting firm, & a fortune 500 company. with a keen business sense, Shobha has fused her indian heritage, her goal of natural beauty & the importance of hair removal together into a wholesome brand.