Thanks for taking the time to chat with SIW. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog.
Sonal/Navneeta : Hello! Firstly I thank SMART WOMEN for this opportunity to share our story. I am Sonal Agrawal and I met my business partner navneeta reddy through a common friend. We did our graduation in the same college. We started this business 2 years ago while we were pursuing graduation. We were three then but now it’s the two of us who run this. Initially we operated at college level where we sold handmade jewellery and accessories to friends and faculty. We always loved the idea of handmade personalized stuff. It’s always better than going to random gifts shops and buying it. So we started this business of customized Jewelry and clothes where we put our soul in making each and every piece a true work of art and one of a kind.
What inspired you to start this business?
Sonal/Navneeta : Our biggest inspiration was the desire of being better than yesterday, to learn something new every day. In this process we learned so many crafts. Nothing better than being able to wear what you design be it jewelry or clothes and the compliments we got when we don those was a sign that we were doing good work. After seeing the great response we decided to take a step further, that is when we thought of creating a page and finally ARTIST SHOPPIE was born.
What is your USP?
Sonal/Navneeta : Eco-friendly jewelry and our two new schemes:-
1.ABRA-KA-DABRA: all women are shopaholics but they wear only a few and the rest find their place in the corner of their wardrobes so with this scheme they now have an option of customizing them from us and get a new makeover done in a few bucks in various styles.
- CLOSET ON HIRE: a scheme where designer wear would be available on hire and the people no longer have to worry about spending a fortune for something they want to wear just once.
How someone can start the same business as yours in terms of investment, material procurement, production and marketing etc?
Sonal/Navneeta : Anyone who is passionate about their art and what they do can start their own startup either online or offline. When it comes to online they can go for a website, promote it on social media platforms, print media etc.When going offline i.e.; setting up a store they can market their products in various exhibitions, shows,etc.
Any challenge you face in your profession and how you overcome that?
Sonal/Navneeta : The challenging part was figuring out the method of shipping our products but in our journey we have overcome that and now we ship our products across India.
What are your plans for the future?
Sonal/Navneeta : We are planning to have an offline presence of our products in the market by opening up our 1st store in Hyderabad and if everything goes well we will expand it to the other cities too.
How you manage your personal and professional life?
Sonal/Navneeta : It was pretty hectic initially since we had to manage our business and studies simultaneously but thanks to our college which conducted soft skills classes where we learnt a time management technique wherein the tasks are categorized in different groups depending upon their priority. Like:
A-tasks those are important and urgent.
B-tasks that is important but not urgent.
C-tasks those are neither important nor urgent.
Apart from this we also maintain a “to-do” list which makes things easier to manage.
What are your favorite books that you would recommend SIW family?
-THE MONK WHO SOLD HIS FERRARI by robin Sharma-its life changing..
-STEVE JOBS by Walter Isakson.
-THE ALCHEMIST by Paulo Coelho.
What advice would you give to young women readers of SIW who want to follow a similar career path as you?
Sonal/Navneeta : 1. Do not try to please people or do what others want you to do. Do your own thing and believe in yourself.
- It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop.
- Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t. So start networking, new ideas and opportunities will pop out.
- Stay positive even when it feels like things are falling apart since your thoughts have the power create your reality
All images are property of “Sonal/Navneeta” and required permissions have been taken to publish it on www.smartindianwomen.com website.
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