Makers of memories

Like the three entrepreneurs profiled here, who share a common love for gifting, and launched their own unique home venture.

Published: 26th August 2021 05:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th August 2021 08:19 AM   |  A+A-

Ek Sandook

Express News Service

Business growth mentor and coach Fabienne Fredrikson had said, “The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling.” The pandemic gave people the time to find their calling and work towards it. Like the three entrepreneurs profiled here, who share a common love for gifting, and launched their own unique home venture.

Harsheen Kaur, 23, Founder, Studio Muse by Harsheen, Tilak Nagar

Kaur was inclined towards resin art and enrolled for a three-day resin art workshop by Colour Story by Divya in August 2020. “I practiced it for 2-3 months, and started an Instagram page to just showcase my art in November. But it turned into a successful venture,” adds Kaur, currently pursuing a post-graduation in Interior Design from Academy of Applied Arts.

Kaur’s father boosted her business plans with an initial investment of Rs 50,000. “Till now, he helps me with all the packing.” The very first custom-curated piece was for a client in Meghalaya, who approached her via the Instagram page. “It was for her wedding. She loved it, and is now my regular customer,” adds Kaur. She makes key chains, trays, coasters, wall hangings, cake stands, wall clocks, platters, book marks, centre tables and coffee tables, which range from Rs 250-Rs 20,000 depending whether the article has been cast out entirely from resin or wood.

“The wall clocks are my best-sellers. I have made them as big as 36 inch,” says Kaur, who gets 30-40 orders a month. Depending on the size, a piece takes 24-48 hours to dry. “I work in a separate room at home that is well-ventilated room with very little scope for movement. I usually take a processing time of 15 days for an order but I complete a piece in 5-7 days,” she says.

Preeti Jain, 31, Founder, Preeti.La.Artesana, Yojana Vihar

After completing a diploma in Fashion Technology, Jain got married in 2010. “Being a mother and wife was not satisfying enough. During the lockdown, I realised my dream and started making jars and photo frames and gifting these to family and friends. Finally, I launched it as a venture in 2020.”

Jain’s educational background worked in her favour of beautiful items, her husband supported her in buying the raw material. “My very first order was a vintage style box in which one can add a picture to make it a personalised box,” she adds.

At Preeti.La.Artesana, one can find albums between Rs 1,200-Rs 10,000 and jars at Rs 250-Rs 450. “I offer gifts for themes such as Valentine’s, Christmas, pre-wedding, unicorn, Spiderman, superhero, as well as birds, animals, flowers, and anything personalised,” adds Jain, whose customers mainly fall between ages 25-40.“As of now, I do all the work and my kids help me when I have too many orders. However, I will hire more women, who are willing to work from home, like me.” 

While she does the designing at night, when everyone is asleep, she devotes time to rest of the work whenever she gets time from household chores. About how much she earns, she says, “It varies every month. It also depends on the festive season; it’s the time when I get more orders.”

Ashish Dutta, 30, Founder, Ek Sandook, Gurugram

“Ek Sandook is a side hustle that I started in the lockdown. I was always fascinated by sandooks as a child. I gave the very first sandook to my sister, back in 2016. This year, when my best friend got married, I gave her a red sandook full of all things fit for a new bride. That is when the idea of Ek Sandook was born,” says Dutta, a writer by professiaon.

“A sandook can include anything from spices collected from a trade fair or a cup bought off a roadside seller or an artisan sitting in Bihar making Madhubani art to gourmet items sourced from all over the country and even online stores,” says Dutta.

The sandooks are Rs 4,000 onwards. “But the earning is not much vis-a-vis the amount of work being put in. Most of the work is done by me, but I have a super supportive partner who is great with the paint brush. My friends and sister also guide me when I am in a tricky spot.” says Dutta, who gets 25-40 orders a month.

Every box comes with a QR code to a song chosen to add background music to the unboxing. There is also a personal note or fiction story written specially for the receiver of the gift. “And this is what gives us an edge. Our effort to combine gifting with storytelling,” he adds.


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