Model and entrepreneur Pritika Swarup is having a busy summer. From walking the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival to visiting Peru on a mission trip with Operation Smile, Swarup is now headed to the Hamptons in New York to host a party with Manolo Blahnik in collaboration with her beauty brand, Prakti.
No day is the same for the multi-hyphenate, who recently graduated from Columbia University and is currently running her skincare company in between modeling. She prefers it that way, she said.
Ahead of the event today, FN caught up with Swarup to talk about her business, philanthropy and summer essentials.
You’re coming up on your one-year anniversary with Prakti Beauty, how has the journey been so far?
“We launched in September, but it took two years to get off the ground. I went to India, I spoke to hundreds of women there about their desires, their beauty ideals and really figure out why Indian beauty hasn’t been able to reach a global scale. I realized there was a big white space in the market between these super traditional Ayurvedic Indian brands that only appeal to an Indian audience and then Western brands. So I wanted to create something that’s just very elevated and has the ability to resonate with all women.”
With so many celebrity beauty brands launching, how do you differentiate yourself in the market?
“I’m behind this brand completely, but I really built this brand to stand on its own. Our greater goal is to bring Indian beauty to the forefront. It’s more about representation of our culture and bringing that to the West in a way that’s modern and accessible. We sell meditation scarves, [for example], and these accessories are made by women in India as part of one of our giveback program. It’s about having people open up to holistic wellness and what that really means. Ayurveda is all about the connection of the mind, body and soul and fulfilling each of those parts of yourself. We also have multiple faces of the brand representing across the board as well because one of the biggest foundational pillars is diversity and inclusivity.”
You mentioned your giveback programs, how important is philanthropy to the business?
“Operation Smile is our main philanthropic partner. I got involved with the organization, [which provides free surgical care to children born with craniofacial conditions such as cleft lips and palates], when I was in eighth grade as it was founded in my hometown in Virginia. I then became their global ambassador. And it’s great because through my career, I have been able to build this platform to be able to use my voice and to really raise awareness for cleft conditions. And then we have our Suman Saroj initiative, which is the program that provides sustainable income opportunities in India for these village women and they make accessories and toiletry bags, and those meditation scarves. That’s just two different ends of the spectrum.”
(This month, Swarup also teamed up with Veronica Beard through the third quarter of this year where portion of proceeds from purchases on the Veronica Beard website will be going to Operation Smile.)
As a beauty brand founder, what are your best tips for summer skin care?
“Always use sun protection. Any type of SPF is important. When I’m out on the beach, I’m in a big hat, sunglasses, just fully covered. Also, purify your skin. Cleanse. I use DeviDetox from Prakti and then exfoliate with PritiPolish. In the summer, cleansing and exfoliating is key.”
And since you’re headed to the Manolo Blahnik store, what is your current go-to shoes this summer?
“Right now I’m wearing Miu Miu loafers, I’m just really into loafers right now. And I also have a pair of Chloe sneakers that I’ve been wearing a lot. I’ve been wearing lots of Manolos as well like these calf-skin sandals. Their shoes are very comfortable. And I really love what they’ve done with their newest summer collection where they have really bright, colorful sandals.”
Lastly, as a young entrepreneur who has her hands in many pots, what advice do you have for women who also have multiple passions they want to pursue and succeed at?
“To have the guts and conviction to pursue all of your passions. I can’t even tell you how many times people told me, ‘Oh, you can’t be in school, and you can’t model, and you can’t start this company.’ Women are multi-dimensional. We have so many different sides and we should be able to pursue all of our passions, and we no longer fit into one box. You just have to believe in yourself and know that it’s not going to be smooth. And you’re going to see results immediately. But just do it and never limit yourself.”
You can meet Swarup today at the Manolo Blahnik shopping event from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at its East Hampton boutique on Main Street.