Frustrated from the lack of colors available when searching for nail polish, Neha Raman, a finance major at Temple University, started Rungh Cosmetics. Raman, longing to create custom mixes and colors, designed a nail polish set that includes 6 polish bases, 18 color pigment capsules, and a mixer to help blend the colors.
Nail polish lovers could create their own color polishes by mixing two or more color capsules from the kit. Raman never imagined that her small idea would be transformed into owning her own company at the age of twenty-one.
She thought she found her chance to catapult the business into success at the end of her Sophomore year here at Temple when she was forwarded an email about a new TV show that was looking for young entrepreneurs like herself. After applying, she heard back the next day and after various rounds of casting and interviews she found herself as a cast member on the first season of Girl Starter, a new TLC show.
Girl Starter is a reality competition show where contestants are paired up and compete through various phases of early business building in order to win seed funding. Raman didn’t know what she was facing when she went to film the show in New York City, and originally was hoping to build her cosmetic company while on the show. However, she was immediately partnered with one of the other girls and they were tasked with coming up with an entirely new company together.
“I was really anxious to come up with a new idea with a stranger in 24 hours,” said Raman, who was shocked to hear it. “But I’m the kind of person who is like ‘this is the circumstance and it has to be done,’ so we ended up doing it anyways.”
Raman and her partner, Claire Coder, ended up being extremely successful on the show and being the runners up for the grand prize, receiving $30,000. Throughout her time on the show, she learned not only about how to grow a business, but also about herself.
She spent seven weeks in New York City, filming six days a week, while also trying to start a new company and keep up with her old company. Trying to balance all of these things was the biggest challenge Raman said she faced, but ultimately she was successful and was able to be one of the finalists in the competition.
While not divulging her plans for the money, she did say that the possibility of another start-up company could be in her future someday.
She learned a lot from the show and from her cast mates, especially her partner. Coder’s press tips have helped land Rungh Cosmetics in Buzzfeed, Insider Beauty and Bustle.
Being back in the Fox School of Business may not compare to the hustle and bustle of filming a reality TV show in New York City, but Raman says she plans to remain here for now although her mindset is focused on her new experiences and how she can apply them to her future endeavors.
“I signed up knowing this would be a life changing experience regardless if everyone watched the show, or no one watched the show,” said Raman. “I think that I definitely learned a ton and don’t regret anything.”
Written by: Caroline Ciocca
Photos by: Caroline Ciocca