Welcome to the Times Of Amma Mompreneur series where we talk to mothers who have transformed their passions into money-making ventures.
From online jewellery stores, to handmade craft collectibles to Potential Actualizing workshops and much more. We hope that their accounts of the highs and lows of their entrepreneurial journey will inspire other mothers to hold on to their dreams and follow them through.
Kick-starting the series we have, jewellery designer and online retailer, Parvathy Adwaith. This young mother has a two and a half year old daughter and is based in Kerala.
From a Degree in computer science, to co-founding a restaurant to a Jewellery Designer. As a little girl had you ever imagined that you would be working in fields as diverse as these? What did you want to be when you grew up?
I come from a family of lawyers and workaholic ones, at that! As a child, growing up around them, the only thing that struck me was their busy life and how they hardly had any time for themselves. My father and grandfather used to be up working at odd hours and weekends were the busiest!
So as a little girl, my idea of a career was a job which would not keep me as busy as my father was. Of course , later as I grew up I understood that the amount of hours you put in for your work is a personal choice and it seldom has to do with one's profession.
Has Motherhood affected your career decisions?
No, not at all.
In fact, it was only after I had my baby that I found my true calling. Before I became a mother, I there was no particular career that interested me. I started off in the IT industry like most of my peers, but quit soon after as I was looking to do something more creative, and on my own terms.
As a person, I cannot involve myself in a job if I don't enjoy doing it. So, at that point of time I was just going with the flow.
When my husband quit his corporate job to follow his passion to start a restaurant, I jumped right in. We did everything ourselves, right from designing the interiors, to deciding the menu, to training our staff, handling our customers etc. It turned out to be a huge learning experience for me and I really enjoyed it.
Later when I became a mother, I realized that I love being a hands on mom and I enjoy every bit of it now. I really do not want to miss any of those wonderful moments with my baby.
How did you find your calling in Jewellery design?
As exciting as motherhood is, sometimes it's also tiring, as all mothers would agree!
I was looking for ways to unwind at the end of the day after my baby was asleep. Around that time, paper jewellery was starting to be a trend. I read up on it and watched some videos before giving it a try.When I put them up for sale at a local event, the positive response I received, got me thinking. That's when I decided to start a Facebook page for my designs.
The fact that it did not affect my little one's routine also appealed to me. Later, I forayed into making beaded jewellery and now I also source other types of jewellery for customers.
How do you balance your work with parenting?
I do most of my work when my little one is sleeping. My 'working hours' are usually after 10pm. These days, she has started playschool, so I get to use that time, as well.
What were the challenges you faced in setting up the business?
I started my Facebook page in August 2014.
My main challenge in setting up my online business was getting a good visibility to build up a valuable customer base. My initial orders were mostly for friends and family. It was by word of mouth that I got more orders. Even though online shopping has picked up in a huge way now, there are still a lot of people who are skeptical about buying a product, especially jewellery online, that too from a new seller. Another factor which would help increase sales are customer reviews on the page. Most customers share their happiness my messaging me personally, but very few actually remember to put in a review on the page. The business is picking up very gradually.
Who was your biggest support while transforming your passion into a business?
I think I've been very lucky in this regard to have a very very supportive family. My husband, my parents and my in-laws have all been equally supportive at every stage. My husband, Adwaith is my go-to person for any kind of doubts about business. He and my parents are always there to give me that extra nudge to do my best whenever I'm feeling low or out of energy. They are the main pillars of my strength.
The couple of times that I had done an exhibition, it was my mom-in law who helped me put up my sale, and my mom who took care of my daughter while i was away :). My biggest advantage is having the whole family around. In fact my daughter ,who will be turning 3 yrs soon, also tries to support me in her own little ways.She even offers to help me make jewellery now!
What has been the highest point/happiest moment in your entrepreneurship journey?
Every time a customer appreciates my work I feel on top of the world! That's what keeps me going. One of the highest points in my journey was when I got to do a show about handmade jewellery for a T.V channel. That was another new experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Most mothers are expert multi-taskers. As a designer, online retailer and mother, when is the most you have had to multi-task?
Sometimes I get queries from customers when I'm alone with my daughter . That's when I need to multi task more as I have to be communicating with both my customers and engage my little one at the same time. Most of my regular customers understand the way I work, so they are only happy to wait till I'm free.
What is next for you?
My first priority always, is my daughter. All my activities are centered around her at the moment. I haven't taken any formal training in Jewellery designing yet, so maybe in a couple of years time, after she starts school and I will get more time for myself, I would love to pursue that.
The Times of Amma wishes Parvathy all the very best! We hope this conversation has inspired other aspiring Mompreneurs out there.
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