When we decided to journey to India to create content for No Longer Orphans, we wanted to travel with brands that shared our mindset – brands that work with a transparent, authentic, and ethical mission. Little did we know that our paths would cross with Anbu Anbalagapandian, Founder and CEO of Orange Harp, an app that allows consumers to purchase from brands that are leaving positive footprints in the world. With one simple tweet from Orange Harp, a relationship was born and we couldn’t wait to find out more about Anbu!
After a few conversations, we were amazed at the drive and passion that radiated from Anbu’s heart. Being a female entrepreneur isn’t always easy, but Anbu makes it seem effortless. It’s inspiring to witness her sincere desire to make a change in the community and world around her.
Since Carly lives in San Francisco, she was able to meet with Anbu and learn a bit more about her story. She truly inspires us to live confidently in our dreams and goals as creative women, and we know this is just the beginning of an ongoing relationship with Orange Harp.
The Sincerely Project: Tell us a little bit about your personal story.
Anbu: I grew up in India in a small town with a profound interest in Math and Science. "Reduce, reuse, and recycle" was a way of living life – to save money more than to be socially conscious. I grew up watching how my dad and granddads ran their small businesses.
I studied Computer Science in college and moved to the SF bay area a few years ago. I immediately fell in love with the bay area as it is the dream destination for software engineers. I worked with the greatest minds building mobile products and learnt a lot.
The Sincerely Project: When did the dream of creating Orange Harp begin? What moment triggered the idea?
The Sincerely Project: When I travelled to Switzerland 3 years ago, I started thinking about my purpose in life. I love technology and I wanted to do my part with the skills I have. While having a conversation with a friend, I accidentally stumbled upon the concept of sustainable fashion. I couldn't stop thinking about it. I knew I should use my technology background to make this a mainstream concept.
The Sincerely Project: What risks did you fear the most in starting Orange Harp?
Anbu: To be honest, I didn't find anything risky, but I understood the challenges ahead in finding great talent, amazing brand partners, increasing awareness around socially conscious fashion, etc.
The Sincerely Project: Did you feel an reservations before you launched your business?
Anbu: This is my first time to start a company – the idea of building something new created excitement as well as fear. Luckily, the excitement eclipsed all the fear and reservations.
The Sincerely Project: Why are you passionate about supporting ethical brands?
Anbu: I think it is something I inherited from my paternal granddad. He believed in building a business that contributes to the society and he was very successful.
When I discover all these amazing makers that craft beautiful products and contribute back to society and the environment, it truly inspires me to do my very best.
The Sincerely Project: What lessons have you learned in the process of making this business a reality?
Anbu: There are many. I believe these are the ones that are super important at the early stage:
-Invest in building a great team and don’t make any compromises on hiring.
- Take bigger risks and fail fast!
The Sincerely Project: How does it feel to be a female entrepreneur?
Anbu: It is fantastic. Of course, when it comes to the challenges in building a business, like fundraising, recruiting, achieving product market fit, they are the same for both male and female entrepreneurs.
I'm really comfortable in my own skin. That makes me confident and focussed, even when I face any implicit bias.
The Sincerely Project: What is your dream for Orange Harp?
Anbu: I want Orange Harp to be a part of people's everyday lives. We dream of a future where socially conscious living is the reality and Orange Harp is the tool people use to live life to the fullest.
We have adore Anbu and her spirit and love the app that she has created. If you love ethical fashion and want to find incorporate socially conscious shopping into your life, download Orange Harp. You can also follow Orange Harp on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.