inspire: sonali ratwatte
We've expanded our inspire segment to incorporate successful female entrepreneurs in Colombo across a wide range of fields. This month, we caught up with Sonali Ratwatte, proprietress of Weddings by Sonali, the premier wedding planning service in Colombo.
1) What was the inspiration behind starting Weddings by Sonali?
My love for people and all things elegant!
It was not something I ever aspired to do but something I found myself dabbling in to start with and then enjoying so much that I decided to make a living out of it! I'm very lucky to be able to "work" in something I am so passionate about. Each day is about creating something beautiful and making their most important day special for two people. That's definitely all the inspiration I needed!
2) What are the biggest challenges you've faced as a female entrepreneur in Sri Lanka and what advice would you give to women thinking of starting their own businesses?
Each day is a challenge when running your own business, particularly as a woman. I have learned that the best way forward is not to fight or oppose those who are in your way but to understand where the opposition comes from and swiftly move on.
Women have an abundance of compassion , strong intuition and never ending optimism which I believe makes them better suited to handle challenges positively. Always focus on your end goal and the petty insults, disrespect and efforts to pull you down end up seem insignificant. Patience is key. Its important that women understand that their success (in whatever they choose to do) is dependant on their own efforts but also through the support of the people they trust and love. I don't believe anyone else can challenge that or take it away from you unless you let them.
Remain humble, honest and always remember why you chose to start! Work passionately and take pride in the outcome!
3) What type of exercise do you fit in between running your business and how do you make the time?
As work became increasingly challenging, I struggled to find routine in my life and as a result gave exercise less priority. I used to drop by at the gym sporadically. I learnt the hard way that this was the wrong choice.
Routine is very important and having a set time in your week or day dedicated to exercise should take priority. I'm now moving on to a set routine thanks to classes such as Barre that I would just hate to miss. Enjoying my workouts and feeling its benefits no matter how painful has always been important to me and I have found Barre ticks both those boxes. Its the perfect balance between those intense cardio workouts that will slowly but surely strengthen and tone. Funnily enough the controlled nature of the workout helps me unwind at the end of a tough day.
4) What are your favourite health foods to sustain you through a heavy work day?
Juice , juice and more juice! Hydration & fiber is key. Also, whoever said chocolate is bad for you, must have surely lied!
5) What is the most memorable moment from your own wedding a few months ago?
That's a tough one! Everything about it was memorable, the simple thought of how exciting it was to have almost everyone that meant the world to us right there celebrating our marriage made the whole experience so much more memorable! It was all about family and friends!