Entrepreneur Profile: Meghal Vijayan, co-founder of TVAAG

Staples is proud to support Canadian entrepreneurs with tools and resources to help them build their businesses and turn their dreams into reality. That’s why, together with Ownr (by RBC Ventures), Shopify and Moneris, we joined the Canada Starts initiative to support Canadian entrepreneurs by awarding grants to help them get their big idea off the ground. We caught up with Meghal Vijayan – one of the three co-founders of TVAAG – to find out how their business venture is going since being awarded a Canada Starts grant.

Tell us a bit about your business.

TVAAG is Canada’s first plant-based activewear startup that develops clothing from sustainable plant-based materials. Our products are unique in that not only are the fabrics sourced from plants, but the dyes are also sourced from a unique combination of 24 herbs that enhance human wellbeing.

How did you get started?

I was inspired to reinvent clothing in the Western world by incorporating Indian values in it. The major driving factor in the growth of our brand was when we were inducted into the Startup Zone incubator in Charlottetown. The business development services within the Zone and also the immense support from its community and people were extremely helpful in giving us the support when we really needed it.

How did COVID-19 shape your business idea?

The one thing COVID-19 taught me was that our business is not about a product but rather a way of thinking, and a new lifestyle. TVAAG was founded on a 3-leaf philosophy – adopting a plant-based lifestyle, environmental sustainability and enhancing mindfulness. We believe these three principles together will lay the foundation for us humans to create a sustainable society for the future and save us from losing lives in future pandemics.

Why did you decide to start a business during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The pandemic made us reflect on ourselves and our unsustainable ways of living. Mental health has taken a serious toll during the past year due to isolation. We wanted to launch TVAAG during the pandemic because enhancing human consciousness was one of our key goals and part of our brand’s mission.

What’s your greatest struggle as a business owner right now?

I would say it’s securing pre-seed funding to launch into market. As a startup, we have successfully developed and tested our prototypes. With the necessary funding, we will be ready to establish ourselves and launch our company.

What are your expectations for 2021 as an entrepreneur?

2021 is going to be a very trying time for entrepreneurs because there will be lots of changes happening in the markets. As a result of the pandemic, the traditional ways of doing business have changed and we need to consistently innovate and evolve. The good news is, it means there will be new opportunities, which I am very hopeful about our company.

Where do you think entrepreneurs should invest their time and money?

I think they should invest in themselves. Drawing from my own personal experiences, I have learned that nothing pays more dividends than investing in oneself.

What tips do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs in 2021?

In my journey I have come to realize that entrepreneurship is not about the grand idea you have or what you execute. Its boils down to the fundamental state of mind and the grit to be resilient no matter the adversities you face.

How does Staples Canada help your business?

Staples is our go-to destination for our office needs. I use Staples for printing services and supplies.

Learn more at www.tvaagnation.com

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Check out Small Business & Entrepreneurship on our Working and Learning Blog to learn more about how Staples Canada is supporting Canadian entrepreneurs.

By Staples Canada

August 03, 2021

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