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Entrepreneurs Grind

Brightland Founder Aishwarya Tyler Talks About Her Entrepreneurial Journey

The week’s episode of The Tartare Project hosted by Phil Toronto welcomes special guest Aishwarya Iyer, founder and CEO of Brightland, a modern pantry essentials company that launched in the summer of 2018. Offering an assortment of authentic oils and vinegars, Brightland sources their products from a California-ran family farm, assuring customers that they will only be consuming products straight from the Earth with no fillers or artificial preservatives.

Prior to founding Brightland, Iyer was the co-founder of Elephant Partners, a communications consultancy for technology companies, and served stints as the head of communications for Whisper and ffVC. Iver also worked as a public affairs manager at Second Market for over three years and started her career in public relations at Lancôme after obtaining a Bachelors in Arts from NYU.

Toronto and Iyer covered her career up to this point, discussing her path to starting Brightland, how her early experiences paved the way for her current success, and more during their 25-minute interview. Toronto began the conversation by asking Iyer to give a rundown on how Brightland came to fruition. “Brightland is a modern pantry essentials brand that really champions traceability, the supply chain, and elevated design. We are best known for our extra virgin olive oils from California, and our vinegars that are really fruit-forward and wonderful.” 

Born in India and growing up in Houston, Toronto and Iyer chatted about Iyer’s childhood, balancing both American and Indian customs and her awakening from being a party student at UT Austin to finding her calling at NYU. “I found a little more of my purpose because I joined the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU,” Iyer says as she recalls her final two years of undergrad. “Gallatin is a school within the university where you create your own major, and it is very entrepreneurial. No two people have the same major, and you have to bring something together that makes sense while also knowing that you are charting your own path. I had a blast with it!”

Only a handful of people can have the privilege of saying they specifically crafted their own major, and Iyers time at NYU has played a critical role in her path since. As the conversation progresses, Toronto and Iyer dive into her first job at Lancôme, her move into the world of tech start-ups at SecondMarket after the 2008 recession, and how that job gave her the ‘entrepreneurship bug.’ Toronto then asks Iyer when she began crafting the idea for Brightland. “At that point, I had been living in New York for about eight or nine years. Just living this New York life where I basically never cooked even though I came from a family where home-cooked food is our love language and the biggest sign of love and appreciation.” After a decade of living the ‘restaurant life,’ Iyer then decided it was time to incorporate more cooking into her lifestyle. Realizing that she and her partner were getting stomach aches after each meal, Iyer did some research into the olive oils she was using and found that nearly 70 percent of the Olive Oils here in the United States are spoiled in some kind of way.

At that particular time, Iyer didn’t necessarily have her sights set on starting a business. The idea of Brightland was one that came gradually over time. “I wasn’t seeking out an entrepreneurial endeavor’ Iyer tells Phil. “That wasn’t a part of my thinking, and you start automatically thinking about what you don’t have. It took me about two-and-a-half years to wrap my head around the concept that I could do this.”

We certainly don’t want to spoil this conversation, so be sure to check out the full episode of The Tartare Project above. You can follow Brightland on Instagram and check out their products on the company’s official website.

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