Three friends, migrants from India and Indian subcontinent in different stages of their life, profession and talents made the most of their Covid blues by starting a small yet promising enterprise to support themselves.

Monik Birla, Jacob Mathew and Deborah Michael are-were working in different sectors in Auckland and due to Covid-19 lockdowns earlier this year were rendered out of a job and a stable earning.

Pranav and Monik Birla

Resident in New Zealand Monik Birla worked at SkyCity but was made redundant during the second wave of Covid-19 that hit in July this year. Taken aback by this sudden loss of work, Monik had a tough few weeks putting herself together and plan her next move to start earning.

Passionate and a qualified makeup artist, Monik received full-fledged support from her husband Pranav Birla who works in the corporate sector and took a leap of faith and started ‘Bold & Beautiful’ a one-stop-shop for makeup, hair styling and photography.

Deborah and Monik with their client

She hired two of her close friends, also on a similar boat, as permanent positions in the venture as a hairstylist and photographer.

Jacob Mathew, an IT professional, and a father of three with a flair for photography has been living in New Zealand for 20 years and had left his job to find a new route for himself, perhaps, starting an independent business when the pandemic hit the country.

Photographer Jacob Mathew's work

Indian origin Deborah Michael from Dubai who has spent less than a year in New Zealand has been working on her certification to become a pilot but failed to find a part-time job for herself.

Lucky for the duo, they were passionate about photography and hairstyling and upon much deliberation with their friends, they jumped into the first opportunity to help support themselves and their friend Monik with the new business.

Makeup artist Monik Birla on the job

Speaking with the Indian Weekender, Pranav Birla said that his wife and friends for long had been thinking of starting a venture but had procrastinated the plans for long until losing the job came as a blessing in disguise.

“It did take a few weeks to get over the job loss, but we knew that something would definitely come out of this if we put our brains together, got a positive nod from our friends who too needed to stabilise their lives once into lockdown,” Pranav added.

Team Bold & Beautiful worked on a bride-to-be earlier this year

The couple’s new venture has clicked with over 50 bookings since its launch earlier this year of which 20 jobs have been completed with a five-star rating from their clients. Each person in a team of three do their respective jobs and Pranav arranging the bookings, marketing the brand on different platforms and looking after the operations of the business.

“We started with small events like birthday parties and maternity shoots that needed all elements- makeup, hair styling and photography and we offered one in an affordable package and all at one place.

Training to be a pilot and hairstylist at Bold & Beautiful Deborah Michael

“Now, we have landed bookings for weddings, maternity photoshoots, family portraits, school balls, graduation ceremonies, baby showers, and it appears October and November are going to be our busiest months so far,’ Pranav added.

Pranav says, he wants to inspire and convey a message to the people who might not be in the best position of their lives when it comes to their work that if they think outside the box, stay positive, have faith, reach out to their families and friends, miracles can happen, and things will eventually take a turn for the best for them.