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Pritika Swarup in the Bromley dickey jacket, hoodie dickey, Isabel top, Gemma jeans and Lisa booties; photographs by Willy Lukaitis

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#MAKEITHAPPEN

Pritika Swarup, Founder & CEO of Prakti Beauty

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Following just one career path is becoming a thing of the past. Today, it’s all about the multi-hyphenates—driven, ambitious, and talented professionals who pursue each and every one of their passions. And we can’t think of a greater example of this than our latest #MAKEITHAPPEN woman, Pritika Swarup. She’s a fashion model (represented by IMG), a financier (enrolled at Columbia University, no less), and a global ambassador for Operation Smile. Today, she’s in one of her biggest roles yet—Founder and CEO of Prakti Beauty, an Indian-inspired beauty brand that represents her dual identity as an Indian-American woman. With traditional Ayurvedic principles combined with modern, Western technology, Prakti is a hybrid beauty concept that not only brings Indian skincare to a global audience but also allows for inclusivity and representation in an industry that makes a huge impact on young girls everywhere. Here, we chat with Pritika on what it takes to make it all happen, including what clears her head and her 3 secret work weapons.

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My Hustle

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My hustle…
Founder and CEO of Prakti Beauty, Global Ambassador for Operation Smile, fashion model with IMG

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What got me started...
Growing up, I—along with so many women of color—almost never saw someone who looked like us in magazines. This never made sense to me. Their pages were supposed to be windows to the world, representative of our society, yet they were anything but. Flash forward to being 17 years old and the only Indian model in New York, where a clear lack of inclusivity and true representation of global beauty disturbed me to my very core. I knew that I had an opportunity and responsibility to change the narrative. I made a mark in front of the lens, but that wasn’t enough. I needed to do more to make an impact on the industry for ALL women, and especially for young girls today.

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I created Prakti to bring Indian beauty to the forefront of the global industry and directly into the hands of my generation. Over the years, I could not understand why there had never been an Indian-inspired brand to truly reach a global scale. That’s when I identified a white space in the market between traditional Ayurvedic Indian brands and Western brands. There was no brand that bridged the gap and had the ability to appeal to global consumers. I never felt caught between my two cultures and dual identity; so why didn’t that space exist in the beauty market? I’ve always felt nurtured by every part of my identity—comfortable and proud of my mix of American and Indian. That’s how Prakti’s hybrid concept came about. That’s how Prakti was born.

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What clears my head...
Meditation and a walk through Central Park.

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When in doubt, I…
Go with my gut.

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Greatest challenge—and how I overcame it...
I have a very specific vision for each aspect of the brand, so the biggest challenge was staying true to that as the brand development progressed. There were times when we started to deviate from the original concepts as the team grew larger, and I had to pull us back and reiterate what we set out to do. I am adamant about sticking to my vision and remaining authentic through and through.

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how i make it happen

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3 morning musts...
I start my day with stretching, meditation, and setting my intention for the day. It’s very important for me to have some time to myself in the morning because everything usually comes at me at once when the clock strikes 8:30 AM.

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3 life hacks...
Manifest your goals into existence. Never quit on something you are passionate about. Keep your cool when things don’t exactly go your way (most of the time they won’t, but how you respond determines your path).

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3 secret work weapons…
Organize day-to-day routines and tasks. Prioritize what’s most important to you. Visualize the steps necessary to reach your dreams.

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Personal talisman…
My planner!

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Best advice received…
There have been so many moments when I look at all of the work in front of me from my various involvements and I’m, like, "Where do I start?" The best piece of advice I was given was to look at everything all at once, and focus on the most important, immediate items. It’s also important to stay present in the moment and give 100% to every single thing I do.

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Pritika Swarup in the Isabel top, Gemma jeans and Lisa booties

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my style

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Favorite wardrobe hack…
Combine a couple of simple, classic pieces with a few trendy pieces. Balance even with your outfits is key.

Wardrobe MVP…
I don’t have one wardrobe MVP, but I love layering sweaters and jackets. I also love my Giuseppe Zanotti black combat boots—I’ve had them for years and still can’t get enough.

What I would tell my younger self about getting dressed...
Get dressed to feel your best. It’s not about what others think about your appearance. The only thing that matters is how you feel about yourself and being comfortable and empowered to go out and conquer the day.

Wearing Veronica Beard makes me feel...
Powerful.

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my recharge

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What I'm reading/listening to/binging…
I love to read to disconnect from work which can be hard for me to do especially as an entrepreneur. Right now I’m reading Great Expectations and Stealing Fire.

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Beauty/self-care must-haves...
Prakti Beauty’s PritiPolish Instant Glow Exfoliator, Aquaphor, cream cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen.

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Favorite thing to do...
I love to write in my journal to reflect on everything that happened throughout the day—the good and the bad. I strive to improve and learn every day, so I take at least ten minutes to do this exercise.

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Favorite thing to make...
I love when we have Mexican night at home—chicken fajitas are my favorite!

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One mover and shaker I admire...
I admire Mindy Kaling for being one of the first to break through Hollywood’s typical stereotype of the Indian woman, owning her heritage the way she wants to, and being a badass at all times.

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SHOP NOW, clockwise from top left:

Bromley Dickey Jacket
Hoodie Dickey
Gemma Jean
Isabel Top

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