We’d moved from Delhi to Madhya Pradesh due to some sudden changes in our life. Even though I tried to engage myself here, I was missing something. I always loved making handcrafted skincare products, candles and much more. Handcrafting products has been my hobby since the days of my youth. So, I started handcrafting DIY skincare, cosmetics and beauty products, says Poonam Sarda of Kalaakriiti, a homegrown brand that deals in cosmetics, skincare and beauty products.
I started Kalaakriiti 3 years back in 2017. In the early days, I procured limited raw material to manufacture limited products. Since then, I exhibited my products in exhibitions in various places. The response was overwhelming, but at the same time, I manifested the thought of expanding my business
When I started, I made candles, soaps and beauty products. But then, I thought of focusing on a niche instead of manufacturing different products simultaneously. Then I realised, soaps and herbal products are a significant part of our daily lives. Therefore, I focused on them specifically and thought of handcrafting candles occasionally in the festive season.
The place we currently live in doesn’t hold much scope of products like ours. It was at this juncture that we took our business to Instagram. Social Media has undoubtedly helped us scale our business exponentially. The advent of taking Kalaakriiti to social media made me realise that a mobile phone is no less than a magic wand. Earlier, we used the same device for recreation and entertainment. Now we use the same device to reach out to a million people. The digital presence of small businesses has given them a massive boost.
My family supported me in my pursuit, but the major credit goes to my daughter Deepali. She is the one who digitised Kalaakriiti and strengthens its social media presence. While I handcraft the products and handle client dealings, she takes care of the social media platforms of Kalaakriiti. As of now, it’s only the two of us managing everything. If we receive bulk orders, then we hire labour, other than that is taken care of by me.
I don’t precisely consider myself an entrepreneur, but it sounds good, and more than that, it feels good. The biggest motivation that I get is from the feedbacks our products receive from customers. Other than that, through Kalaakriiti, I have become self-dependent, which is another factor that adds to my motivation.
When I started handcrafting the products, my family thought I am doing it out of boredom. However, when slowly, I started packaging and shipping my products all over MP and Pan India, my husband started helping me. I have witnessed a lot of positive changes in my family ever since I became an entrepreneur. You have to make several adjustments when you become an entrepreneur, especially when you’re a housewife. The entire family needs to adjust accordingly support each other provided the work pressure.
Along with the work pressure comes the competition with similar sellers. The only defining feature that sets you apart from the rest is the quality of your product. It has been three years since we started Kalaakriiti; many of our clients are still purchasing from us. Along with consistent clients, we also received bulk orders from abroad because they loved our sample’s quality. So, we believe in providing premium quality products since that is the only way to deal with the competition.
One of the most significant positive change that Kalaakriiti has brought into my life is confidence. Kalaakriiti has given me a new level of trust and a sense of identity that I have something of my own that I have built myself. Another positive change that has come my way is the lens with which people now view me. They indeed start admiring you and looking up to you.
I believe you don’t require a significant amount of money to start a venture. Before this, I thought of opening a boutique or something in home décor, but it required a substantial investment. However, with the kind of products I am making right now, you don’t need much investment. If you are ready to work hard, you don’t need investment. You will have to put in extra efforts, but you wouldn’t require a large sum if you’re willing to travel that extra mile.
This was Poonam Sarda, founder of Kalaakriiti, an Instagram store for skincare, beauty and cosmetics that beautifully came out of a passion. They say if you love what you do, you can create wonders with it. The same goes for this brilliant entrepreneur who is making locally handcrafted skincare products a huge hit.