The Entrepreneurs of India
1 year ago
I did not truly understand what entrepreneurship was as a child. However, I did know that I was interested in designing, and I wanted to try something of my own, be my boss.
One day, I was having a conversation with my boss after work, and I remember him mentioning that he had wished to run his own business; unfortunately, family responsibilities became his priority, and he could not pursue entrepreneurship. This statement stuck with me. It did not take me too long; I quickly decided that I did not want to grow older and say, “I wish I could have”. The next day I consulted with my parents and quit my comfortable corporate job to become an entrepreneur.
It was a long and exciting journey of 8 years before I founded my startup. After quitting my job, all I knew was that I am interested in jewellery, art and craft, and whatever I did had to involve these elements. I have a good eye for great designs and products, so I started sourcing beads and different materials and taught myself how to make jewellery by watching YouTube and experimenting. I also worked with some traditional artisans to make quirky lifestyle products like stained-glass lamps, clocks, serving trays, bamboo pots etc. I participated in exhibitions to sell these and Jewelleries to understand the market.
After a couple of years, I realised that I want to make premium metal jewellery and blend it with art and craft. So I took up a Goldsmithing and gemmology certification course, Went through a lot of R&D and finally achieved what I was aiming for, which led to the launch of my brand.
My biggest challenge was to help customers overcome their apprehension. They seemed to love the concept and the products. However, they felt they could not carry it off, especially the earrings, since most of them were statement pieces. I listened to them and convinced them why certain artwork had to be set in statement pieces and how well they could carry it off like other chandelier earrings.
I want to tell every new entrepreneur starting a business takes time, hard work, and a tremendous amount of patience. What is important is to 'believe in yourself.”--Arathi Rajagopalan
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