Corey Washington, POPA and Rishari
Corey Washington's two startups, POPA and Rishari, weren’t supposed to be companies. They were personal projects that transformed into official companies at the suggestion of Corey’s friends and colleagues. Corey now manages POPA, a clothing brand based in Atlanta, and Rishari, a creative agency serving small businesses. In all of his endeavors, Corey is committed to prioritizing perseverance, encouraging fast failure, and listening to your customers.
Episode 13 – Corey Washington, POPA and Rishari
[00:00:00] Sanjay Parekh: Welcome to the Side Hustle to Small Business Podcast, powered by Hiscox. I’m your host, Sanjay Parekh. Throughout my career I’ve had side hustles, some of which turned into real businesses, but first and foremost: I’m a serial technology entrepreneur.
In the creator space, we hear plenty of advice on how to hustle harder and why you can “sleep when you’re dead.” On this show, we ask new questions in hopes of getting new answers.
Questions like: How can small businesses work smarter? How do you achieve balance between work and family? How can we redefine success in our businesses so that we don’t burn out after year three?
Every week, I sit down with business founders at various stages of their side hustle to small business journey. These entrepreneurs are pushing the envelope while keeping their values. Keep listening for conversation, context, and camaraderie.
[00:00:56] Sanjay Parekh: Corey Washington's two startups weren’t supposed to be companies. They were personal projects that transformed into official companies at the suggestion of Corey’s friends and colleagues. Corey now manages POPA, a clothing brand based in Atlanta, and Rishari, a creative agency serving small businesses. On today’s episode we talk about Corey’s commitments: prioritizing perseverance, encouraging fast failure, and listening to your customers.
Corey, thanks for coming on the podcast. Excited to have you with us.
[00:01:26] Corey Washington: Thank you so much. I'm happy to be here.
[00:01:28] Sanjay Parekh: Okay. So, let's start out. Tell me your background. Like where are you from? Where were you born and raised? Tell me a little bit about yourself.
[00:01:35] Corey Washington: Yeah. I'm originally from Indianapolis, Indiana. Very cool place to raise a family. A lot of Midwest values, people are very friendly, overly friendly. That's probably where I get it. That's probably why I'm always smiling and giddy so much. But I'm the only child and I promise I don't have the only child syndrome.
But my family, my family is great, very close family. But yeah, originally from Indianapolis, Indiana. I went to school at Marian University for undergrad, Indiana Wesleyan for my grad school. I'm a huge bander. We, I thoroughly loved music. Especially instrumental music is kind of like my happy place. But yeah, Indianapolis is my home. Lived in Austin, Texas for a while and then now I live here in Atlanta, Georgia, and I love it.
[00:02:23] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. Oh, what did you go to school for? The two degrees you got there.
[00:02:27] Corey Washington: Yeah, so at Marian I went to school for marketing and management. The funny thing is, I actually wanted to be a residential architect when I was younger. I was constantly drawing houses. As a matter of fact, I literally have a doodle over there, where I just randomly just drew a house.
And I thoroughly enjoyed like residential architecture and like creating beautiful spaces, it was the creativity of it. But I realized very fast, I am not a math person. I hate it. I struggled with it all through school. And I changed my major over to web design for a little bit, but then I really wanted to get in more into the creative and strategy side of it together, and so I changed the marketing and management.
And for grad school, I went to school for strategic management. There was a lot of HR people in that program. It was really about knowing how to work with people, how to lead, how to really help drive the business towards transformation. In regards to being, you know, using those people skills in order to really foster and inspire change.
[00:03:39] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah, so, okay. So, growing up in Indianapolis did you do anything entrepreneurial as you were growing up?
[00:03:46] Corey Washington: No, not at all.
[00:03:49] Sanjay Parekh: Straight up was that was a good kid, went to school, did your things. No entrepreneurial craziness, anywhere, huh?
[00:03:56] Corey Washington: No, just worked full time the whole time.
[00:04:00] Sanjay Parekh: Family, any entrepreneurs in the family?
[00:04:03] Corey Washington: Yes, my dad, actually. My mom, actually, as I was growing up, my mom had multiple sclerosis. So I kind of, I grew up helping to -- she had it quite, quite bad.
This is before a lot of advanced medicine was out and I grew up learning also how to take care of my mom. So, my mom and I, my, my entire family, my mom and my dad we were all very close, but I just kind of learn how to take care of her. So, dad, because he was a captain fireman, he was, you know, the fireman schedule, they work one day, off two, work one day, off two.
The days that he was working, I was kind of helping my grandmother take care of her. But since he was the main provider of the household, he had a side hustle. He started off by doing, like having a carpet cleaning business on the side.
[00:04:50] Sanjay Parekh: Wow.
[00:04:50] Corey Washington: Yeah, he sure did. And honestly, I don't think there's ever been a time where I haven't seen him, until now, now he's retired, work like two things at the same time. So, the days he's off, he's constantly hustling. So, he either had a side business or he worked at the gas company, reading meters just for the heck of it to make extra money, even though he made great money as a captain. He was the one that was the side hustle individual in the family that I really looked up to.
[00:05:17] Sanjay Parekh: Well, I think that explains a lot about where you're at right now and maybe that's where you got your work ethic and ethos that you got right now. So, so tell us so right now you've got a full-time job.
[00:05:28] Corey Washington: Yes.
[00:05:28] Sanjay Parekh: But you’ve got not one, but two side hustles. So, tell u about those.
[00:05:33] Corey Washington: Yeah. So, the first one that I started was, is POPA and it means perseverance over privilege. And this is it's designed and based in Atlanta, Georgia. The funny story about that is I literally, this was not supposed to be a brand. I made it for me. It literally was something that I made for me.
It was like, words of affirmation. And so, growing up throughout my career, I was kind of the quiet one. I had all these great ideas. I love collaboration. I literally like getting in the weeds. But the companies I've worked at before, you have to be there, it was a lot of, kind of like the good old boys, popular people make it to the top, type of thing.
And so, I was very quiet. I didn't really force myself into conversations and force myself into different projects and whatnot. I was just happy, giddy, just loving to work and help people out and learn and create. And so, because of which, I didn't get a chance to have a lot of the experiences. A lot of times I saw people rise to the top and I'm like, how?
Because of people they knew. It's the ways they were able to navigate the system and get put into those positions and, you know, it kind of sometimes it started to make me feel like, well, I don't think I'm ever going to get there. I'm too quiet. I'm not putting myself out there enough. And a lot of that was on me. And so, I said, you know what?
I'd much rather get to where I am in my career, I'd much rather heighten my career, through that perseverance and not of privilege. And the A for Atlanta, of course we're designed and based in Atlanta, but it really is that's where, Atlanta, as soon as I got off the plane, it's like that entrepreneurial spirit just was like, woof. I'm like, oh crap.
It just came out of nowhere. Because I was not used to seeing so many, especially so many African Americans of high influence. Never in my life, have I not seen, I have never seen that. I saw managers, directors, so many entrepreneurs, people who are just, they're making their dreams come alive and that's what really inspired, all in one space, and that's really what inspired me.
So, I created the shirt just for me. And someone saw it, they asked me about it. And it's funny, it's like how our brand allows people to connect with each other and how you're able to, it's a conversation starter that allows you to have really meaningful and thoughtful conversations and really learn that other people are not so far removed from what you have dealt with as you, as you kind of rose up in your career.
And so, it really helps mend and also it helps connect people. So that's POPA. Rishari. Then, oh, and so yes, so someone said you should do something with that and I'm like, oh shoot..
[00:08:25] Sanjay Parekh: So you made one shirt for yourself and then basically you got forced them to making a company because other people were like, Hey, I want that too.
[00:08:34] Corey Washington: It was actually a collection of some other stuff I was doing for the longest time.
[00:08:40] Sanjay Parekh: Really? So, okay, I can understand how you make one shirt. How do you make that leap to be like, okay, now I'm going to actually manufacture a lot more than just one?
[00:08:51] Corey Washington: Oh man.
[00:08:52] Sanjay Parekh: How did you figure that out? Because that's a different beast altogether, right?
[00:08:56] Corey Washington: It sure is. I've always loved fashion. I've always really been into how do you create a brand that has purpose, has meaning, that people connect with? How do you find the right materials and the product that better reflects the people that you're creating for?
How do you make sure that it's something that's long lasting? So, it goes along with the quality. But that leap was quite difficult. It took me, it at least took me about a few years, like three years, in order to really, well—about two and a half or so, it wasn't quite three. Two and a half years or so to really get my head wrapped around the process of supply chain and materials.
Actually, this is actually really funny. When I was trying to select materials to make POPA, in my head, I was like, I know that our persona will consist of people who are creators, they're professionals, they're entrepreneurs, they're college students, they're people who are doing something in order to make their dreams come alive.
They're paving the way. Son these people are going to want some type of quality. They're going to be a little bougie. So, I would literally—it took me a lot of money too—I would go and I would purchase stuff from different vendors and I will take this bag of shirts and sweaters and whatever.
And the people probably thought I was crazy. I would go to Bloomingdale's and I would feel like these brands have been around for a long time. They have a lot of hype. They already have a place in the market. And feel what their material feels like and like how it feels like when you put it on, how it stretches. And I would take my bag of stuff and I would literally compare to make sure.
Are we close to the same? But how can we be better? I would then take those things, bring them home and I'll put them through numerous wash tests to make sure they would stand up. Because in the beginning, my goal was to ensure that our materials, our garments were of utmost quality from the beginning.
[00:11:02] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. So you said you, you bought all these materials. So what was your startup cost to kind of get this going?
[00:11:08] Corey Washington: Oh, my goodness. I think all together from when it comes to, the domain's really cheap, website stuff, I know how to build my own websites that made that labor cost much, much smaller. Right? All the stuff that we use to power the back end of Rishari and materials. I was pretty much all in around $5,000.
[00:11:26] Sanjay Parekh: So, $5,000 for all the materials for POPA to, to figure out how to get going?
[00:11:31] Corey Washington: Yep. Materials, branding technology on the back end, which was probably to our least cost. Marketing materials for when we do go to different pop-ups or whatever. Having that around. Yeah. A lot of stuff costs a lot. But also, because I really wanted quality in those things as well, too.
[00:11:51] Sanjay Parekh: So, okay. So, you launch this line. How did you get the word out? How did customers find you or how did you find your first customer? Like how did that all work?
[00:12:01] Corey Washington: You know, that's something we are still right now trying to, I’ll admit, I need to do better.
So the funny thing is, POPA's customer base is really by word of mouth mainly.
[00:12:13] Sanjay Parekh: Okay.
[00:12:14] Corey Washington: And we're doing well from word of mouth. Also, it's from being physically in front of people at different pop-ups. We have gotten to a point, the funny thing is, as of late last year we had started doing more soft launches to more aggressive launches and this year we're going full out.
[00:12:34] Sanjay Parekh: Okay.
[00:12:35] Corey Washington: And so, the goal was, I was, I have to admit I was moving very slow because I wanted to make sure I didn't scale up too fast. Like I see many brands do. Especially some brands based in Atlanta. Sometimes they scale so fast, all of a sudden it's like you get all this stuff you don't know what to do with, and your supply chain's and mess.
People are on your Instagram saying, Where's my shipment? Where's my order? I'm a techie at the same time too. So, I was also looking at how do I automate a lot of business processes that we have in the backend to make sure that we have a seamless customer experience. And I'm happy to say that right now, and especially in this year, we are going to scale up fast.
We have a great ad serving tools that's going to really help us with those capabilities. And we're ready to roll.
[00:13:20] Adam Walker: Support for this podcast comes from Hiscox. Committed to helping small businesses protect their dreams since 1901. Quotes and information on customized insurance for specific risks are available at hiscox.com. Hiscox, the business insurance experts.
[00:13:41] Sanjay Parekh: So, as if that wasn't enough, so maybe because of COVID hitting you decided to start up another one, you've got Rishari as well. So, tell us about that.
[00:13:51] Corey Washington: The funny thing is Rishari was not supposed to be a company either. It's just funny how these things start. It's because people are like, you should do this! And I'm like, oh. But I thoroughly enjoy, this is the tech geek inside of me, but I'm very left brain, right brain.
I am creative, but I'm also like getting in the weeds. I'm very analytical and really like to dig deep into the tech. I always love making no-code experiences. Whether that being with automation, chats, ‘cause I was a web design major first.
And so I love building no-code websites for people. And mainly doing it for myself. The whole POPA site is, is made by me on a Shopify platform. And I would do it randomly for other people. And someone my, my friend and former colleague, Kim Williams, she said, you know what? You should do this for other people.
You should do this on this on the side. And I'm like, I have tons of student loans. I am that percent. I'm like, you know what, this will actually, okay, I'll do it. Why not? I'll try it. And I said, you know what? Just like, POPA, I want to make sure that this business has purpose. I'm not just doing it to make a check.
I'm not just doing it, because I know it's not going to be a get rich thing for me. I want to make sure I'm doing it because I'm doing it with reason and with intention and I'm doing it to help other people where they perform. So while planning Rishari, and Rishari, it means Richard and Sherry put together.
That's my mom and dad's name.
[00:15:20] Sanjay Parekh: Oh, nice.
[00:15:20] Corey Washington: Because they're the ones that inspired my creativity, inspired kind of like my philanthropic intentions. Always really ingrained, ingrained in me to make sure that everything that we do, we're helping other people in one way, shape or form. We're touching other people throughout our lives with our skillsets.
And so. I started, it started Rishari with the purpose of helping small businesses create dynamic digital experiences that help connect brands better with customers. And since, so the LLC was established in June or July of 2020. We have had 14 clients since.
[00:15:59] Sanjay Parekh: Okay.
[00:16:00] Corey Washington: We had clients before our website was up.
[00:16:04] Sanjay Parekh: And so that's interesting. So how did you have clients before there was a way to find you?
[00:16:09] Corey Washington: Word of mouth.
[00:16:10] Sanjay Parekh: Word of mouth again. Okay. Yeah.
[00:16:13] Corey Washington: And also, me seeking out, there was someone who, whose job was impacted by COVID and we want to give back to her free of charge.
[00:16:23] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:16:23] Corey Washington: And doing things like that, that meant so much, it felt so good.
And honestly, word of mouth. And, and my friend Kim really helping me with building our pipeline. She was kind of like my salesperson. An unspoken salesperson at the time. But we're to the point now that where we're getting people from just our own marketing efforts, just from our website and also reaching out to other folks.
[00:16:47] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. So it's interesting. Because you're describing Rishari, that you've got marketing efforts there, but with POPA you don't.
[00:16:56] Corey Washington: And you pay for those, right?. POPA is still like completely paid for by me. And even with my resources with Rishari, I have to pay them for everything that we do, obviously. So, me paying for that plus POPA. I just need to get to the point, my partner says, you're too, you’re overly frugal. You're overly frugal.
He's like, you know, you can just pay them to do that. And I have to admit I'm getting better. I slowly started doing it. Because everything, I was so used to doing everything by myself. But I will, I will admit one of the biggest reasons that it's been hard until now to let people into POPA. It really opens my vulnerability up. Because of what POPA means. When I let people into POPA on the inside, that touches a very personal side of me. That is like, I hope that when you're working on this, yes, I can easily go out and hire people to do designs, to help out with the marketing efforts.
But I really want those individuals to really feel the brand. Really believe in the brand, to really make it come to life.
[00:18:08] Sanjay Parekh: Is it, are you, do you feel like you're worried about control as well? Is that, is that one of your concerns?
[00:18:14] Corey Washington: The funny thing, honestly, if you would ask me that question about three years ago about control, yes. Now, no.
[00:18:23] Sanjay Parekh: Really?
[00:18:24] Corey Washington: No, where near. And a mixture of that has been things I've learned to just let go.
[00:18:29] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:18:30] Corey Washington: Because I've had, I've just gotten so used to, in my career, things being taken away.
[00:18:34] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. It's interesting. Because the reason I ask is that that is a common issue with entrepreneurs. And that feeling of losing control over the thing that you created.
So, it's a pretty common thing. And it's interesting that you've gotten over that hump and feel like yeah, that's not the issue. And the issue is, is that it's a little bit more personal than that. So how, how are you going to get over that hump?
[00:19:00] Corey Washington: Oh, I'm over it.
[00:19:02] Sanjay Parekh: Of pulling people in.
[00:19:06] Corey Washington: So, what we're going to do, we're going to start doing internships. To get people in, but making sure that during the, during the interview cycle for the internships, really listening for people that have their own story. Matter of fact, not doing the typical interview for those folks, really first getting to know them, who they are, what they stand for, what they want to do in their life, their community.
‘Cause really it starts off with that. Do you resonate with the brand, and Aare you touched by it just as much as I am? And other people, like our customers mainly? Do you feel what our customers feel when they put on these shirts? Because it really is for them, it's like a, it is a movement for them completely. When they put it on it’s a personal reminder. Do you feel the same?
Because if they meet those, those base requirements. There's many people that have the skills to really take it and launch it and, and even further than what it is today. But do you feel what also the brand is trying to put out there? Is the biggest thing.
[00:20:14] Sanjay Parekh: If one of our listeners is thinking about launching a fashion line, a clothing line, something like what you've done. What advice would you give them? What have you learned along the way that you wish like, oh, I wish I'd known this before. I wish somebody had told me this and, and let's figure out a way to help somebody that might be listening and make their path a little easier. So, what advice do you have for us, Corey?
[00:20:37] Corey Washington: There's a few different things. Always stay true to yourself. Know your why. Stay very focused on your why. And, also from a personal level, know where you came from. Always know that you're going to be looking backwards to look forwards. Don't try to be like anybody else. Really stay true to who you are and what you want the brand to be.
Be patient. Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. There's going to be days, you're going to feel, yeah, I don't want to do this anymore. There's going to be days you're going to be like, oh, this is great. It's almost, it's such an emotional roller coaster being an entrepreneur. Be patient.
[00:21:16] Sanjay Parekh: But what do you do when you're in those valleys? Like how do you deal with them?
[00:21:21] Corey Washington: Man. I think in my mind, I came into it knowing I will have those peaks and valleys, especially after talking to my family, especially my dad. Having people around you that are also going through the same, up and down, ebbs and flows. You automatically know what to expect and you know who to talk to whenever you feel a certain type of way in that moment.
So, it's a good support system but the biggest piece is going into it, knowing that this will not be—set your mind up for success in the beginning, but just know that this will be a rough road. But very rewarding road. But also listen to your customers.
Oh, my goodness. Customers are at the center at all times. These are the people who your brand is supposed to inspire, to really make them feel comfortable and help them get through those peaks and valleys and those ups and downs. Listen to your customers about what they want and kind of what they feel will be a great next step for the brand.
Make strategic decisions that are scalable. I personally make sure that I have—I don't do well at making decisions that just affect now. Sometimes I have to. But a lot of times I make decisions about how can these decisions be scalable? How can they grow and how do they impact the future of the business?
So always going into it with the mind for the future. And lastly, fail fast. It’s okay.
Fail fast. You're like, oh, that sucks. Get up, dust it off and then keep going. Just know you're going to have those days of failures, but the failure is kind of like the start of success. It is literally the start of success, every single time.
[00:23:10] Sanjay Parekh: What's the last failure that you had with POPA and what did it lead to afterwards?
[00:23:16] Corey Washington: Oh, my goodness. The funny thing is it was the brand that POPA was to collection. I literally hired this random company to do a bunch of ads for me. When I was before, because before POPA was doing a bunch of drop ship with AliExpress. I was curating specific stuff and I was very specific. Of through AliExpress as my start.
And I hired this company because they said, oh yeah, we're going to grow your revenue and make it a hundreds of thousands of dollars. And I literally gave them $14,000 of my 401k to do ads. I lost every bit of it. And what really came down to it is my content was terrible. They were doing ads that looked like it was mediocre.
The copy was not resonating to the audience. To pictures were subpar. I needed to make sure that the imagery and even videos truly reflected to the brand. But also, I needed to put myself out there more. People want to understand how was this built. Who built this and why? They wanted to have that connection.
Having a picture with a bag plastered all over it would not establish the connection to people, right?
[00:24:34] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. Yeah. You make that connection with people, not with things. Right?
00:24:39] Corey Washington: Exactly. Humanizing the brand.
[00:24:40] Sanjay Parekh: So, what did that teach you? Did you realize, okay, outsourcing ad buys is not the way for me. Was that the lesson? Or what was the lesson?
[00:24:50] Corey Washington: Outsourcing can be good as long as you have a clear strategy and exceptional content across all fronts. So, making sure that the content resonates very well with your audience and making sure you provide them an experience. And I should have known better than this. When I was at Salesforce Marketing Cloud before Exact Target. One of the clients that we had Burberry.
And they were, they chose Salesforce as a way to kind of really catapult or in a way, fix their digital presence. Angela Aarons, at the time, was the CEO of Burberry, really did a great job at showing us how bringing people into the brand via video and personalized experiences establishes stronger, deeper connections.
And, honestly it was like, Corey, this is what, you love seeing that. Like, why didn't you do that? That was one of those things, even through my career. I know what I have to do. I'm so quiet. And so like, I don't know if it's gonna be right there.
It's like, just do it, man. Like, you know it, you know this, do it.
[00:26:07] Sanjay Parekh: Why do you think you made that decision of, of not putting yourself out there? You knew it, you just didn't do it. Like, was it that thing? Like, you're you feel like I didn't want to be the face of it. What was the thought process there?
[00:26:23] Corey Washington: You know, when I was younger, I dealt a lot with anxiety, depression, and ADHD. And so, after my mom passed away, when I was probably about 14, 15, I've always put this pressure on myself to help make sure I'm there to help take care of my mom, to make sure that I'm being the best I can be.
On top of the fact, coming out as a gay man. There was a lot going on during that time and so my anxiety levels went shoof. And so, even through school, I constantly was bullied when I was a little kid and so I started forming anxiety at the longest time. And I, it got to the point where it was affecting my confidence.
I was afraid to put myself out there. I was so terrified to put myself out there. I was afraid of rejection. A fear of like, I'm going to fail again or something, cause my mom passed away. For some strange reason, I put it on myself as if I wasn't there enough and yada yada yada. And so, I built this bubble of like trying to protection to keep myself in it and not go out of it.
It is something I battled with for the longest time. A lot of people deal with this, especially who it started off when they're younger, depending upon what happens in your life and school and, and family. And so it took me a while to get over that and that's what really kind of put me, I constantly noticed I was putting myself in this bubble of protection, to not put myself out there, not be vulnerable and I got to the point, it got so much easier to put myself out there and bring my ideas to life and not care so much about if something was to go wrong or right. Or whatever. Just do it.
[00:28:05] Sanjay Parekh: Maybe it's that you've learned that, I mean, what's the worst that can happen? Right? You just do the next thing. And the next thing after that. I think that fear of failure, what you were talking about there, is probably one of the biggest reasons why a lot of people don't make that jump into entrepreneurship. So, it's great that you've recognized this of yourself and realize like exactly that, oh, you know, when I, the same thing was true for me when I quit my first job and started my first company.
I thought, what's the worst that's going to happen? It's going to fail and I’m going to have to go get another job. It's not that bad. I mean, it'll all be fine at the end of the day. Listen, Corey. This has been an absolutely phenomenal conversation. I really appreciate you coming on. Let our listeners know where they can find your products and find you if they want to find you online.
[00:28:54] Corey Washington: Yes, you can find our products at wearPOPA.com and it's spelled W E A R P O P A.com. You can also find our digital company, our digital site at Rishari.com, R I S H A R I.com. If you want to reach out to me directly, Rishari is the company that kind of owns all my side businesses. So it's kind of, it’s the mothership.
And so, my email is [email protected].
[00:29:25] Sanjay Parekh: Awesome. Thanks for coming on, Corey.
[00:29:27] Corey Washington: Awesome. Thanks for having me.
[00:31:15] Sanjay Parekh: Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of the Side Hustle to Small Business Podcast, powered by Hiscox. To learn more about how Hiscox can help protect your small business through intelligent insurance solutions, visit hiscox.com. And if you have a story you want to hear on this podcast, please visit Hiscox.com/shareyourstory. I’m your host, Sanjay Parekh. You can find me on Twitter at @sanjay or on my website at sanjayparekh.com
[00:34:15] Sanjay Parekh: Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of the Side Hustle to Small Business Podcast, powered by Hiscox. To learn more about how Hiscox can help protect your small business through intelligent insurance solutions, visit hiscox.com.
And, if you have a story that you want to hear on this podcast, please visit Hiscox.com/shareyourstory.
I’m your host, Sanjay Parekh. You can find me on Twitter at @sanjay or on my website at sanjayparekh.com.