Of the Women, By the Women, and For the Women

An interview with Janani, founder of “Kaagitham”

Janani Smart Indian Women

Janani Smart Indian Women

Hi Janani, thanks for taking the time to chat with SIW. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.

Janani : I am Janani and I run a handmade jewelry brand called Kaagitham. I completed my Masters in Business Administration from Christ University, Bangalore and was working with an IT firm for a year. Kaagitham is purely a hobby turned into a full time business plan. In Kaagitham, we create intricate paper jewelry for women and kids, making sure the pieces created are sturdy, light weight and long lasting.

What inspired you to get into this profession?

Janani : I have always been interested in all kinds of arts and crafts. My post graduation gave me a lot of interesting thoughts about entrepreneurship. When I had taken a break from my work, I started experimenting on quelling as an art. There was a lot of admiration for the art when I started doing it and people loved the fact that their jewelry weighed almost nothing when compared to huge, heavy metal one’s that they wore. I found a market of willing buyers and decided to start selling professionally.

What is your USP?

Janani : Customizable jewelry. You can call our team, email us or message us what exactly you want and we will take all efforts to convert it into a beautiful piece of ornament. We do not charge anything for these customization and only the sky is the limit for what the design that you dream!

Usual customization that people ask for are color combinations, shape and the size of the jewelry.

How someone can start the same business as yours in terms of investment, material procurement, production, and marketing etc?

Janani : You will need to love the art and have tones of patience to be able to roll tiny bits of paper strips, stick them together and create a design that is strong and intricate.

Initial stages of selling does not need much of an investment. Paper strips, beads, glue etc. are easily available in any store these days. After the initial launch, you might need to invest money and time on marketing the brand and getting newer customers owing to a growing seller base for paper jewelry.

Any challenge you are facing in your profession and how you overcome that?

Janani : It takes some time for people to understand that paper jewelry doesn’t necessarily mean fragile ones! We try  to get our customers to use the product once to understand how comfortable and long lasting they can be before letting them decide.

A handmade jewelry startup is often seen as a hobby! It needs a lot of hard work to change that attitude in people around.

What are your plans for the future?

Janani : Our website will go live in a month and we will need to turn traffic and get visitors there. We are right now selling in leading market places like Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Craftsvilla etc. We are looking to penetrate deeper into these market places soon.

Plans of exclusive physical boutiques for Kaagitham are also on the table. It might take some time for it to happen!

How you manage your personal and professional life?

Janani : Along with Kaagitham, I also work as a free lance content writer with a couple of brands and manage health and tech related articles. I work from home and hence am able to balance work and personal life as I don’t waste time travelling to and from work in Bangalore traffic! Though it gets a little stressful at times when there are deadlines, it works out most of the days.

What are your favorite books that you would recommend SIW family?

Janani : The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne is something that has helped me a lot in personal and professional life. It gives to a totally different perspective of life and is an interesting read. If you are not an avid reader, You can also see a documentary of the same in YouTube!

What advice would you give to young women readers of SIW who want to follow a similar career path as you?

Janani : It takes a lot of effort to start off something from scratch, especially if you are not backed by a business family. Most of the big brands that are strongly established today took years of struggle. Be patient and if you believe that your idea is good enough to take you to the top, hold on to the belief and move away from negative comments.

All images are property of “Kaagitham” and required permissions have been taken to publish it on www.smartindianwomen.com website.

 

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