Good Indian Girl, Sort Of: Rikita Kapadia
LIVE WIRE, ASPIRING KELLY RIPA, STRAIGHT SHOOTER
I currently reside in: Chicago, Illinois
What your favorite hangouts in Chicago: I am absolutely loving the West Loop. It’s a bit removed from the urban hustle and bustle, all while still being in the city. Over the past year the neighborhood has really evolved – it has become a foodie’s paradise offering almost any cuisine to satisfy anyone’s palate. One of my favorite places to host meetings is the new SoHo House. There’s so much energy there, and well, it’s just gorgeous. Plus the West Loop is slowing becoming the Silicon Valley of the Midwest and with so many young entrepreneurs, it’s truly inspiring to be around.
I currently work as: Founder of Cocovit. Cocovít is a raw, organic coconut oil based beauty, skin and healthcare line. Cocovít products utilize 100% raw, organic, USDA certified coconut oil which is harvested in South India. The oil is unlike any oil on the market since it is extracted with a proprietary heat-less extraction process which allows all the essential and beneficial nutrients and enzymes to stay intact.
I do this because I: I was taught the importance of taking care of my skin and hair at an early age by my mother, but unfortunately as I got older, dedicating the time to do so became extremely difficult. Being a working woman constantly on the go, I found myself struggling to nurture my skin and hair the way I knew I should. In my quest to simplify my daily beauty regimen, I started searching for an all-in-one product that was natural and free of harsh chemicals. When I couldn’t find anything in the market that met my needs, I traced my family’s traditional remedies to discover the bountiful benefits of pure coconut oil. After extensive research I developed a proprietary, heat-less process which produces a 100% pure, raw, organic coconut oil. I initially intended to share the goodness of this raw coconut oil with just close family and friends, but soon realized it was too good of a thing not to share with the world.
What are some Indian traditions you still follow? There are so many that I could probably fill this entire page, so I’ll spare you and provide my top 5: Respecting elders (and not just my parents), being raised vegetarian, of course using coconut oil in my hair at least 2-3 times a week, wearing sindoor in my hair (I wear it at Indian events, it signifies that I’m married) and when giving a monetary gift always adding that extra dollar for good luck.
Bollywood or Hollywood, and why?: Probably the hardest question here, I’m completely torn. I love them equally, but for very different reasons. If I want something that just warms my heart and allows me to daydream (and not pay too close attention to) it’s Bollywood without a doubt. And, of course, gotta love the clothes and jewelry! If I want something with a bit more substance (sorry Bollywood) then it has to be Hollywood.
Favorite movie? Favorite means one and unfortunately there isn’t just one. There is a favorite type of movie – anything involving a heist, not sure what it is exactly, but slightly obsessed with them!
What’s your favorite thing about Indian culture? The importance of family which has been instilled in me, and it is not only my favorite part of Indian culture, but the most significant. Many may believe being close to family to the degree that I am could be overwhelming. I call it simply being lucky.
What’s one piece of advice your parents have given you that should probably be or are abiding by? Work hard, but don’t let life pass you by. It’s short. Enjoy and embrace it.
So are you a Good Indian Girl? Most definitely. Even though I was born and raised in the USA there is so much of Indian culture and customs which have played a role in who I am today. My love for cooking and eating Indian food to going to the temple with my mother to wearing a sari/Indian clothes (they’re some of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe) to Bollywood dancing (my mom started teaching me when I was 3, and then I started teaching kids who were 3) to speaking in Gujrati to my husband as often as I can (partially to drive him crazy)…I love it all!