Tuesday, 7 March 2017

From a finance professional to the owner of online handmade gift products - Meet Anuja Singh


We have Anuja Singh, owner of Hand magic crafts sharing her story with us. After working with famous banks and finance institutions, she has become a business woman who is earning from home. Her love for handmade gifts helped her to become a successful woman entrepreneur. She has quit her job and now able to find a perfect work life balance at home itself. Read on to know her success story.

Tell us a little about you:

I am Anuja Singh, owner of Hand Magic Crafts. Crafting has always been my passion ever since my school days. I would say my soul is happy when i indulge in crafting.

I have done my schooling in Convent of Jesus & Mary, Agra. I have done my MBA specializing in Risk & Insurance and have worked close to 5 years with financial brands like ICICI Bank, HDFC Standard Life & ICICI Prudential Life Insurance.

I am born & brought up in the city of Taj - Agra. I have been in Bangalore close to 9 years.
My Husband is an IT professional. My father is an Engineer & mother is a home maker.
I have a 7 years old son who s the biggest admirer of my work. He constantly motivates me.


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Tell us about your work from home business:


I officially started crafting business from Aug 2014. Although, working by my hands was all in my mind since my school days. Craft classes always left me waiting for more. I later got busy with corporate job and I had no time to indulge in my passion but it never left my mind.

I resumed my passion on a more dedicated & full time basis motivated by family & friends. After attending a workshop I started with Decoupage- A form of art.


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Postcard Collection8


Why did u choose work from home career?


I am an Artist but a mom first. My son is my world. I never wanted to compromise with his upbringing. In today’s fast moving world, ‘Time’ is the scarcest thing. I wanted to be there for him in all the important milestones and to see him grow.

I chose to work from home so that I could strike a balance between my work and son. I like to give my 100% to any work I indulge in, Thus I work during my son’s school time, play time and when he sleeps at night.


What is the scope of earning in your business? 


Money was never on my mind when I started and still, post 3 years I still do not maintain any balance sheet. Yes money is the vital part. If I need to take my work forward, money is the deciding factor.

I do indulge at least 7-8 hours in a day in my work, sometimes more. I do stay up whole night for a lot of projects with absolutely no time bandwidth. My products are priced on parameters like creativity, uniqueness, customization & the product finish and quality I provide. 

Handmade products cater to a specific customer genre who have an eye for art. For the rest of the people they compare it with ready made products available in the market and thus, do not justify the time input, labor that go into a handmade product and thus price justification for them lacks.

Handmade is valued by people who look for unique, customized pieces of work. Festive season is definitely the most busy period as people look out to gift their family & friends, so the demand for the product rises as a result most of the times raw material supply is slow or short and thus the end product suffers. Thus, as an Artist I keep my left brain busy creating works with various or at hand raw materials yet not compromising on the finish product quality, value for money and of course, the final look. Festive time means constant visit to the market to fetch the desired raw materials.


About your turning points and milestones in your business:

  
It’s like my baby being nurtured each day with a lot of hard work, motivation & determination. Every single piece of work is a milestone as it teaches me something new. 

For an Artist, a tiny little appreciation does wonders thus I would say my first article brought in a major boost to my work.

People who had a notion that I am pursuing this as a way to keep me occupied as I am a stay at home mom they took notice of my work and actually grew some respect for my talent & creativity.


Tell us about the difficult times you went through and how did u recover:


Well, the start is never smooth. Since it’s a home run business and the risk is high. A huge investment cost was there. As it’s a sole run business sometimes lot of work pressure comes as the time bandwidth is less. But planning helps sort things in a big way. Also, as my work is getting all the appreciation customers are much understanding and provide me with all the freedom to work and I find myself in a better position to convince the customer about the time line to finish a particular project to bring out the best of results as “Handmade takes time”.

How are balancing work and personal life? 

Its very important to strike a balance between work & personal life. I am a kind of person who likes to give a 100% to whatever task I do. Thus, I plan things according to the time at disposal. Also, prioritizing one’s task is vital. 


Do you face any difficulty daily in working from home? 


Working from home sounds convenient & appealing but its surely is a challenge to strike that balance. The discipline is tough to stick to. Prioritizing the goals is the key. 

Top 5 lessons you have learned from this business:


1) Money has to be secondary, First is an “Artist passion” for the piece of Art, that’s the driving force which keeps one going.

2) Customer & self happiness after the work completion is utmost important. For instance, sometimes, my customer is good with the end product I created, but as an Artist I am not pleased and completely satisfied with the work I have done with a mind frame to start the project all over again to achieve that level of self satisfaction. 

Believe me I have ripped off few projects and have made them all over again. So, that’s when I can say “Handmade is Happiness”!  

3) Handmade has a specific genre of customer.

4) There is a constant comparison with the ready made stuff on the price parameter.

5) Handmade is not cheap. As the end product is unique, customized and the raw material which goes in making the same is expensive but keeping in mind the quality of the product shouldn’t deteriorate.


Share some of your customer testimonials you have received for your work:


All my products carry a story behind and that is what makes my work standout, unique & special.

But feedbacks are very important as that’s the motivating force.

My most precious feedbacks come from my 8 year old son. Few friends who always motivate me with their lovely comments Amrita, Roshni, Richa Sharma, Adilaxmi, Archana Srivastava, my sister Gunjan, a very talented co-artist Pooja Haria.

Two of my school friends Meha Goyal ,Divya Swami who are in US&Canada believe that my work is going to be loved abroad too. They suggest me to have a website which functions internationally.
I would like to mention two of my valued customers who always have an eye for Handmade- Rashika Mandoth and Shraddha Bajaj.


I would like to quote few of the testimonials I have received from my customers:

Shraddha - I love your boxes”

Roshni Jain -Thanks for making this year's rakhi extra special for me and my brother. He loved the watch box custom made for him by you! One of the best surprises he got on this special day even though I was not there in person to tie the Rakhi. Thanks for making such amazing box".

Asha Arunkumar - “Had ordered for a customized chest of draws of SpongeBob as the theme for my little sister n v absolutely loved it. I just told about the theme I wanted it n left d rest to the talented lady. Loved your work completely. All d very best!” 

Rashika Mandoth This box is so pretty!”


Tell us about your future plans:


Planning to showcase my collection at few Exhibitions, international E-commerce sites, if the logistics work out well.


How to contact u if anyone is interested in working with u or buying from you?


All my precious collection is showcased on my Facebook page – “Hand Magic Crafts”  Page link- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hand-Magic-Crafts/711839862220582.

You can also reach me at – 9945588142 or leave a message on my page and will be promptly responded.





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