The formation of Blossom Initiative is a dream come true for first year student, Kosha Rakholia. Kosha along with her close friend, Riya Sagar, cofounded Blossom Initiative: a floral-centric company that strives to create a platform for individuals to express their cultural identity with products such as stickers, tees and other merchandise. Through reflection revolving how fortunate Kosha was to start a company of her own, she realized she owed a lot of her success to the organizations and experiences affiliated with Chapman University. They took initiative and was able to pave a path to success with the support of Alpha Kappa Psi,( a professional business fraternity), Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and DECA(Distributive Education Clubs of America).

Kosha credits her inspiration for Blossom Initiative to her rich Indian heritage. Taking pride in her cultural traditions, she strives to spread awareness and educate her peers. However, she wanted to do something greater than just limit cultural curiosity to her peers and own culture, “I had the idea to spread cultural awareness in a fun, creative manner.” This idea sat in her head for a couple of years and was eventually able to “blossom” through her partnership with Riya, once Kosha noticed that they had similar experiences. They met through Alpha Kappa Psi and instantly hit it off in terms of personality and ambition. Soon after, they collaborated and worked together to make Blossom Initiative transform from an idea to a reality. They realized a graphic designer was vital in order to make the best designs and logo. They reached out to Alani Calip, a freshman graphic designs major, and saw the rough sketches filled with scribbled logos in a worn-out journal come to life on the computer screen. Alpha Kappa Psi served as the ideal platform for Kosha and Riya to network and sharpen their professional and communication skills.

The Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship has been a great resource for the Blossom Initiative team to develop their idea and learn all the crucial details in starting a business. The entrepreneurship center offers multiple services ranging from financial to legal help. Dr.Hanson, the director of the launch labs, has been tremendously supportive and have guided them down the right track. One event Blossom Initiative was able to put together in collaboration with the launch labs is a henna awareness pop up shop in the piazza located in the heart of Chapman University. Henna is a temporary tattoo made up of crushed leaves and is ornately put on hands during special occasions in Indian culture. Not only was Blossom Initiative able to sell their products but also raise cultural awareness and expose henna tattoos to Chapman students. Collaboration with the Launch Labs has been greatly beneficial for Blossom Initiative to reach its fullest potential.

Soon after things started taking off with Blossom Initiative, they saw an opportunity through an organization called DECA, a club that prepares business students for real world experiences in marketing and entrepreneurship. A collegiate level DECA chapter was started by Sally Park at Chapman University and it was a great way to expand Blossom Initiative outside its bubble in Southern California. Kosha and her good friend and financial advisor for Blossom Initiative, Maya Mistry, not only constructed a formal business plan centered around growing a business but also were able to travel to Washington D.C to compete at an international level career development conference and present their business plan to a judge. During the convention, they were able to explore D.C, listen to keynote speakers and network with like-minded people. “I was greatly inspired to listen to fellow entrepreneurs and learn how they go about their day always trying to create something bigger than themselves. This convention immensely confirmed that I am going down the right path because I definitely fit into the lifestyle of an entrepreneur.” With tremendous effort and motivation to do well, Kosha and Maya were able to bring home a 3rd place award in this category. DECA served as an amazing experience to get out of their comfort zone and unlock their fullest potential.

Kosha Rakholia is extremely eager for the future and cannot wait to see the countless opportunities that lie in front of her as she goes to one of the most accredited Business Schools in the nation. Chapman University is a great stepping stool that allows students to experience real world situations. The Blossom Initiative team is extremely proud of their accomplishments so far and cannot wait to see what is in store for Blossom Initiative as they plan to reach more cultural organizations on campus. They are super stoked to help “Grow Mindsets” one step at a time.