The Beginning of Everything Great
It's my first post this year, and it's going to be a reflective one.
Two years ago, without any real product in hand and without a single sale - we did an elaborate photo shoot of our first collections. I remember the first time someone wanted to buy some product off me, I felt almost reluctant to let go of these things I'd spent so much love and time on. But no-one prepares you for the crazy journey that is entrepreneurship. And it's probably a great thing because it's the fools who don't believe the nay-sayers that decide to take the jump anyway !
I realise that most people who look back on their journey end their story with a fairy-tale happy ending.
But that's not our story, as yet. It's been a struggle for me, personally to understand how I want to grow the business, and to stop trying to learn from everyone who is willing to share some advice (Sometimes, what worked for them doesn't quite fit in with your style and your business). We are still very much in the middle of the learning curve and yet to really get the business off the ground. When I started out, I was in love with making beautiful products and had no real plan to make money off them, but I quickly realised that that approach wouldn't get me or my artisans anywhere. And so Olie grew little by little, we tried stores, we tried selling them ourselves ( which was always a huge boost, meeting everyone who had the loveliest things to say always keeps us going ) and then finally, we decided to try selling online. (best decision ever!)
I'm going to backtrack a bit here and tell you a little bit about our family-run business.
We are a small team - there's me, I handle everything from design to finances, quality checks, marketing and social media. My husband, Sid puts in all his free time on weekdays and weekends. My mom Asha, drops in to Bangalore once a month to do extensive stock checks and reports ( without which I am lost ! ) and our team of 5 artisans who handle all things production -these guys are amazing, and I never have to worry about the making of the product thanks to the incredible quality of work they now achieve.
Our website has been so precious to us, it's got us directly in touch with the people who change our lives everyday. Every order is a celebration, and a relief ! Working with artisans, I learned leaves you with a sense of responsibility that pushes you to do more that you would have otherwise reached for and I constantly feel both excited and fearful for the next day or month. Social media has been a lifesaver, the more we focus on it and the more we hear from you - the more inspired we feel. For the first time ever this year, we have been at markets meeting people who already knew all about Olie and every collection and I wanted to jump for joy. This way, we know we are on the right path, and headed towards doing what we really wanted to do from the start - bring a little magic into homes everywhere with our bits of whimsy.
So I'm jumping into this year excited to see what it holds for us, full of plans and ideas for new products, and thankful to be lucky enough to do what I'm doing.
much love x
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