Ujjayini Brawley was born in DC and grew up in a multicultural home of both European and Hindu cultures. During her childhood, her mum worked long hours; so it was important for her to learn how to cook at an early age. She grew up a vegetarian and the lack of vegetarian food options in restaurants and fast food places motivated her to experiment more with food.
This inspired Ujjayini to found ‘Bon Vegan,’ a business dedicated to providing nutritious and healthy soul food that is plant based. She started her business two years but it is officially 6 months old.
“I was having to travel for 30 minutes to get a good meal. Fast foods and convenient shops were all that were available.”
How did you hear about EWI?
I heard about EWI when a friend who was a past graduate of EWI introduced me to it. I wanted to get more of a narrower and centralized focus on my ideas. So far, I have experienced a lot of growth both within myself and my business.
What challenges have you faced?
I was stretching myself too thin and this was causing me to under deliver. I wasn’t confident of my worth and my products worth.
How has EWI impacted your life and business?
Starting my business was really difficult; legalities and food safety regulations, trainings and exams. With EWI, I was able to develop the skills and confidence I need. They helped me to step into different connections and helped me to develop a realistic business plan. I have never had a mentor in my life and it was a really great feeling to have one.
Where do you want to be in 3 years?
In 3 years I hope to see my packaged meals in health food stores. I also hope to
have a mobile food business and to be well known on the east coast.
What advice would you give to women who are thinking about starting their own business?
Never give up and find what you are passionate about and make it work for you. It is important to make connections with other women who are like-minded.
What kinds of people would you recommend EWI to?
EWI is for women who are compassionate about their dreams and about other people. For supporters and donors, Your generosity means the world and you are very important to people who can’t afford their dreams. EWI is a great stepping stone for people who need that push. Thank you.”