so i have been managing my small little brand for a little more than a year now...and what a great learning year it has been. i never really thought i'd wake up one day and find me working for myself.
the work that goes into this small enterprise is endless....running around, sourcing fabric, negotiating with the tailors, working out the costing (i hate it), shooting the products, cataloging, blogging, facebooking, exhibitions, sending out consignments to various stores, clients and the list goes on...!!!
it hasn't been so easy....but it hasn't been difficult at all if you know what i mean...
i truly feel like god's special child and firmly believe in the famous SRK dialogue (or the philosophy of THE SECRET if you will even though i knew SRK before the book :D) "agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaaho to puri kayanat usey tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai."
i have met so many wonderful people on this journey (some not so wonderful as well i admit) and agree with the "har ek friend zaroori hota hai" ad campaign!
among st the may wonderful people i have met..there are a few who stand out and today i'd like to acknowledge them here on my blog :)
i'll start with my parents for they were the first ones i met on this journey called life.... (so corny i know but so true nevertheless)
my parents have been soooo supportive and appreciative of my work....not for a day they made me feel that quitting my job was a bad decision!!! i love them soooo much!! they like everything i make unconditionally.
my parents always cared for me more...yes it is true...a little unfair for my brother (sorry), who used to crib about the doordarshan campaign "care for the girl child" and say to my parents, "when will you start caring for the boy child?" they were very liberal with me, thought i was a gifted child..(sometimes this freedom was problematic for them) but most of all i think they trusted me which is very important. mom well...you know how mom's are...they always know more than you think they do and certainly more than the fathers and therefore their trust is not as blind as the fathers' :p...i have been quite a handful for my mom and have given her many a sleepless nights! but today she is my best friend!!
however now i am reminded of small incidents from my childhood where my father (who is a man of few words when it comes to expressing emotions) did critique my art works and the dishes i cooked, the school plays i was a part of...if i made a portrait and showed it to him he'd always say..."but one eye is smaller than the other" and i'd come back sulking to my mom! if i cooked baingan ka bharta for the first time and wanted him to taste it...he'd just taste and say nothing....or mumble something...any play i was a part of he'd think that i do all that only to feel self important...when i flunked in math and physics in my class 11 (i eventually had to change schools and take up arts..something i wanted to study all along), he thought i needed to be taught this lesson (i did go on to top in humanities and psychology in class 12 just so you know i'm not stupid :). my father was my biggest critic...he treated me like an equal and so was equal in his praise and his critique.
i didn't understand it so much then....but now i do and today i value his opinion the most and i know both my parents are super duper proud of me. they are happy with the small progress that i have made, it doesn't matter to them that i don't make enough money, they are super proud of my husband too and think i made an excellent choice :) i am their daughter...but i think they think that he is the better half (so do my friends actually )... they encourage me to do a little more everyday and in every way!
too long for you? i feel like ranting on so i will continue to do so....you may want to take a break! :)
vivek, my husband...if it hadn't been for him...anek designs wouldn't have been!
i have questioned his contribution to the brand, called him no more than a driver, threatened him with "oh i will go and get a job..its not worth it dialogues" emotionally blackmailed him so many times saying "its true what they say then...a woman must never quit her job in order to be an equal." he listens, i fight, he still drives me around on weekends when he can (i drive on weekdays only :), he still makes all the excel sheets for anek designs, thinks that i under value the products and takes care of the costing...helps me decide if a bright red is better than a deep red (ha), he helps me think, he helps me do. i trouble him sooo much and he still puts up with all my tantrums....i am truly blessed to have him in my life and to share this wonderful journey with him.
my in laws...well they want me to do bigger things...upscale and be proactive...it is a little overwhelming for me sometimes....but i know they too think that i may be capable of doing more...it is such a wonderful compliment don't you agree when the in laws have such high expectations!! oh i trouble them too....but my mom in law still talks about my creative abilities, finds me new contacts and thinks about my work everyday. she cuts up newspaper articles, thinks i should study a little more, introduces me to her relatives who are in the similar fields and is constantly coming up with new ideas and resources i could tap into. my father in law is so proud when he introduces me as his daughter in law, i see it every time he does that! i may not be able to effectively communicate this to them (i know i don't) but i appreciate the fact that they are interested and wish to help me do more.
when i started blogging...i met so many of you here and you were all there to listen and to talk, to support and encourage...its been wonderful really!
i made a friend here in the residential complex where i live, in pune, who found me through my blog and website...and now we walk together every morning...your company and friendship means a lot to me!
riddhi, my most favourite customer, who also found me through my blog and turned out to be a neighbour. this just shows you what a recluse i am doesn't it? neighbours find me though my blog!!!!
riddhi is a very creative woman herself... find her blog here. she had a successful boutique of her own when she was in calcutta and did very many exhibitions then. she recently started her own small business and makes pouches, envelopes (i dare say inspired by me...:) etc. she is an avid embroiderer and has bought herself a funky new machine that i am still to check out! so when i had written a few days back about the struggle i have about the duration of stay in pune and setting up a workshop, riddhi came forward and has very kindly offered to take on some of my stitching job work. it's such a blessing to have people in your life who come forward to help you!
i did have my questions...."why is she helping me?, what will she get out of this?" give the brain sometime to think and it starts to feed on your own insecurities!!! but i have given up now....given up worrying (couldn't help myself from quoting this ad :) i think most people are good and that trust and friendship is the only way forward. however i still want riddhi to make some money out of this...not for herself..but for my satisfaction!
she'll soon be shifting into a bigger abode where she plans to dedicate a room for her workshop. i hope to help her set up the workshop cum studio and am totally excited about it! i would love to work with riddhi for my projects and perhaps we can look at combining our resources sometime in the future! riddhi....thank you!
the stores that wanted to keep the one cushion i had posted here (the only one i had made by then), telling me that they could help me sell it better...how can i begin to express the feeling when that first consignment was sent out..?? bliss, indian kitsch, gudgudi, afday...and the newer ones that are launching soon...thank you for your faith!
madhu (of loose ends, mumbai) thank you for telling me that necklaces with the potlis would work much better and sell faster than the key rings....it is true and our potli necklaces are the bestsellers!!
the riders at the orange bicycle, especially gunjan who i interact with most, for being so professional ( you make me want to make better excel sheets :) for keeping ahead of the stock and telling us constantly what is selling better. bangalore and the orange bicycle have given anek designs an awesome response! we have never faced delayed payments or sales reports from them. oh and guys TOB has turned one....so go on...shop till you drop to help it turn two!!! cheers!!!
krithika and team shopo, you rock! yours is a wonderful platform and anek designs is proud to be a part of it....extremely prompt, thorough professionals....and what a team!!!
so cheers to all of you, thank you for your faith....and apologies for delayed bills and invoices, late consignments, bad excel sheets, tiny stocks and many more faults.....but i promise you...we are working hard and trying our best to live up to your standards and learn the ropes!!!