Nikita Mehta: 'Women bring compassion to leadership which is exactly what our planet needs'

Next in our Women Who Win series is Nikita Mehta, the visionary behind Fable & Mane...

Next in our Women Who Win series is Nikita Mehta, the visionary behind Fable & Mane...

You may not know the name Nikita Mehta just yet, but the chances are you have her creations in your bathroom.

She is of course the visionary behind Fable & Mane.

The vegan and cruelty free haircare brand was launched just over a year ago by sister-brother duo, Nikita and Akash Mehta. And while starting a business over the coronavirus pandemic sounds like an uphill battle, their HoliRoots products have become beauty staples.

Rooted in Nikita and Akash's heritage, Fable & Mane is inspired by the Indian tradition of hair oiling, telling fables while restoring damaged hair with massage and plant oils.

Bringing their experiences and beauty secrets to the world, their beautiful products range from hair oils and masks to tiger tea and shampoos, all bursting with natural ingredients from Ashwagandha and Dashmool to coconut, banana and Tiger herb

Features Editor Jenny Proudfoot sat down with Nikita Mehta to find out more about Fable & Mane, its creation and the day to day of the woman behind it...

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Take me back to the beginning of your business...

Fable & Mane was a journey going back to my own roots starting with my hair roots. During a time of hair loss I was reminded of the power of the Indian tradition of hair oiling. I recalled a time when my grandmother would come from India and massage my head with handcrafted blends of plant oils which is so effective for the long, thick and lustrous hair of Indian women. It was a hair care experience unlike any other. During hair oiling, there was a particular focus on the crown chakra to alleviate stress and tension from the roots together with the fantastic fables about India’s rich plant and animal kingdom my grandmother would tell. It was a hair and mind oil, and it was bliss - it took three years to find the perfect formula. I teamed up with my brother and we created Fable & Mane as a homage to our roots, blending ancient wisdom with modern science. In essence, we saw a gap in the market for Indian beauty secrets and a cultural, clean and conscious brand. Our mission is to offer every consumer a delightful trip to India within their shower, from routine to ritual.

How has the pandemic affected business?

We launched during the pandemic - a year in business and of course we had to change our marketing strategy from events and head massage experiences to at-home self-care. On the positive side, people had more time to invest in rituals and take care of their hair.

What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

I conquered my own fears and limitations - pitching to investors, sticking to my business plan when it was just me and motivating myself every morning to stay true to the brand vision .

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Have you ever felt discriminated against as a female founder?

I have felt not taken seriously from my past experience in board meetings at big corporates. It was all men, and I was in my early 20s but there was no point taking it personally. Times are changing now and I believe women bring compassion to leadership which is exactly what our planet needs .

Do you have a favourite Fable & Mane product?

The Fable & Mane HoliRoots Hair Mask is my favourite. It smells divine and is literal hair food - like a coconut cream, mango and banana whipped pudding, need I say more?

How can you achieve the right work/ personal life balance?

Rituals! I prioritise inner peace before I sleep with stretching, journaling and a good head massage. I also love spending time with my dogs in nature which is very grounding and a good book centres me.

What is the best advice you’ve received?

Know your why. I learnt that from my mentor and it has helped me tremendously in business. And don’t take life so seriously, from my mum.

What has been your proudest moment?

Selling out three times in Sephora US - just to see our brand there amongst some of my personal favourites is a huge blessing and pinch me moment - the US Sephora is my beauty candy store.

How can we all ask for more?

Know your worth and stand up for yourself. Once you believe from within, you are limitless and things will automatically start manifesting for you. You just have to remove all the boundaries, past blockages and destructive patterns from within .

What is your superpower?

Inner Peace.

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How do you celebrate success?

I dance. Everyday life is a celebration.

What will you never compromise on in business?

Authenticity, our values and quality.

What is the biggest mistake you’ve made?

Not putting myself first at times and not having boundaries.

Fable & Mane HoliRoots Hair Mask

What is your mantra?

Live and let live .

What would you like to change for women?

To run the world in every profession. I would want women leaders for every country.

What could we all achieve if we supported each other?

Nirvana! Harmony for ourselves, the planet - joy and peace.

Visit the Fable & Mane website to find out more about the brand.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.