We had the good fortune of connecting with Monica Patel and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Monica, what role has risk played in your life or career?
My business partner Sangeeta, and I have been discussing starting our own business for several years now, and because of our risk- averse personalities, we never did, until now. We have both gotten to a point in our lives where we realize that we have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Our kids are growing up. We have spent years focused on our families, which has been very rewarding, but we were both searching for more of a sense of personal accomplishment. We are still in the beginning, but the experience has already been so rewarding, humbling, exhilarating, challenging, terrifying and everything in-between. Ultimately, we are most proud of taking the leap and would advise anyone who is intimidated, to flex your risk muscles a little bit and watch the magic happen!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
We really wanted to start a business that allowed us to be creative, play on our existing passions and have fun. We are most proud of the value our product can bring to our clients. We are all busy, life can be chaotic, and we work hard to be able to make fun purchases. The Bougie Bag was created to help our clients get organized, but also to be able to showcase the things they have worked hard for, in a fun way.

It has been very challenging, but so rewarding. We taught ourselves how to incorporate our business, build a web site, take photos, build our social media, etc. It was all new to us, and at times, very frustrating to learn. We just really wanted it, so we sought advice from friends and loved ones, and through trial and error, we have tackled each challenge that has come our way, and will continue to do so. We really want everyone to know the love and passion we put into our product.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are so many fun spots in Houston! We’d have to spend one day at the Museum of Fine Arts and stop in for brunch and cocktails at Le Jardinier. Another day would be spent shopping, or at least window-shopping, at River Oaks District, and lunch at Toulouse. Some favorite dinner spots are MF Sushi, Rosie Cannonball, Doris Metropolitan and Caracol. Other favorites are Pilates at Re/Forme, coffee and pastries at Badolina Bakery and a spa day at Trellis.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We would have long discussions about what we wanted for the next phases of our lives and how to light a fire under ourselves to get there. We agreed we’d both read the book, Untamed by Glennon Doyle, and wow! That book was so good for the soul and we both felt inspired to take the leap after reading it. Of course, a huge shoutout also goes to our families for the unconditional support and encouragement.

Website: www.thebougiebag.com

Instagram: @thebougiebag

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