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Ruby Ashraf is the founder of Precious Formals, a $10 million company, which sells Prom Dresses across the whole of US.
Ruby grew up in Delhi. Her father was an entrepreneur. So, she had an exposure to clients, meetings and deals since a very early age.
She went to medical school for a year, but changed to a Bachelor’s in science from Delhi University as she had little interest in the medical field. After her Masters, she cleared the IIM-A entrance and took admission. In her own words, the institute changed her completely.
She was groomed for a job there but in heart, she always knew she would be an entrepreneur. She got an HR job in BHEL but had to shift to the States after marriage.
As she was waiting for admission to a good college, destiny had other plans. An old and enduring love for clothes took her in a different direction. She had always been the “Best Dressed Girl” of the batch. She also used to design her own clothes. On one such occasion at a party, her dress got much appreciation and that’s where the seeds of her company were sown.
She decided to make her love for clothes and designing her profession. She travelled across America and studied fashion trends and the market. At the end of her journey, she realised the huge untapped potential for custom made dresses in America. With just 5000 dollars and a passion for designing, she started Precious Formals. Her husband supported her and took care of the technical side of the business. Like all entrepreneurs, Ruby too saw her own share of struggles. She went door-to-door, taking orders and delivering dresses. It was all word-of-mouth publicity. She did things at the grassroots level to save up money for the catalogue.
Ruby’s rise to success was a gradual climb. In the first year, the business was very small. Then it grew rapidly. Half a million dollars in the next year, then a million. Now it is ten million plus and still growing.
“As an entrepreneur you don’t say that ‘I have to reach a particular place in five years.’ You just keep doing whatever you are doing. You have plans, you have goals, you have a strategy. But still, one doesn’t even anticipate that so much work will be done… You just keep doing it.” Preaches Ruby.
Today, Precious Formals is the largest Prom dress selling company in the US. It has dedicated and loyal buyers from the upper strata of society. Ruby and her husband Javed now want to make it a billion dollar company. They want to leave a legacy behind. And with their diligence, dedication and attitude towards their profession, the dream doesn’t look far-fetched.