Welcome to yet another edition of 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.
Today, we speak to Sharada Dilip from HappyMomentzzz, a full-time mother and crafter from Bangalore, who completes five years as a Mompreneur, this May.
1. From an MBA in finance to creating personalized handcrafted collectibles. 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 have been crafting since I was a little girl. Sitting by my Grandmother, watching her
sew and craft, it became almost natural for me to follow in her footsteps. As a girl I
was clear that I shall be doing something of my own , being my own Boss was what I
wanted to be when I grew up but never thought I shall be doing what I am doing
today . I was studious and went with the flow and completed my studies with just one
goal of being independent and a self made person . I'm grateful to be here today !!
2. Has Motherhood affected your career decisions?
Yes, Motherhood makes you realize that you have it in you to do much more than
you are already. I was searching for something I would love to do all the while till
motherhood led me to it. It was after being a mom I realised that as a woman,
and as a mother, I have an instinct to nurture and an uncanny ability to be patient,
which are two very essential skills for any entrepreneur.
3. How did you find your calling in creating and retailing handmade crafts?
HappyMomentzz came together as a opportunity to fulfil my creative instinct. When I conceived my son in 2009, there were so many happy moments during pregnancy I wanted to treasure. I started scrapbooking to organize our photos, but it turned into a passion when I was asked to create some scrapbooks for friends and there it was the niche I was looking for. I ventured into card making to make Birthday Invites & party favors.
I started up with a Facebook page HappyMomentzz and showcasing my brand at different events.
From Sunday Soul Santhe my journey of retail began and since then I do 23 shows
in various cities in a year, and then there was no turning back!
4. You call yourself a hobby butterfly. Could you tell us about some of the different
hobbies you have dabbled with?
Fascinated by the beauty of Indian sarees, I went on to design & got trained to do
handwork on Sarees & Dresses. Over the years I got into painting and watercolors. I
tried my hand at different mediums, each one equally interesting and challenging as
the other, like Tanjore painting , nib painting.
I started blogging when quilting was my passion in 2009 so I have made baby quilts , bags and so on... and then I was attracted to the art of paper quilling , currently with scrapbooking and cardmaking. I have started Mixed media projects as well.
5. How do you balance your work with parenting?
I work from home so I can balance my two separate lives, enabling me to have
complete flexibility to work as well as be around my boy. I’m working harder than ever
but to be entirely honest, I’ve never had more fun in my entire life.
7. What were the challenges you faced in setting up the business?
When I started back in 2011 only the basic crafting material was available in India,
for moving to the next level most of the tools and material had to be sourced from
abroad, that at the end of the day raised the product cost. I had to ensure our customers got the products at the most competitive rates without compromising on quality and this was one of the biggest challenges.
8. Who was your biggest support while transforming your passion into a business?
None of this would have been possible if not for the immense love, companionship
and support of my Husband (My Best Buddy ) who is the reason for who I am and
where I stand today creatively. He is my strongest critic who has always believed
that I have it in me to do better and pushes me to open up and go for it.
9. What has been the highest point/happiest moment in your entrepreneurship
The appreciation of my work and most importantly, the choice that my
customers make to buy from me makes me elated. My customers include people in and around India, Singapore , Australia and San Diego.
10. What is next for you?
I am currently on board with crafting Companies as their Creative Designer , this
shall take HappyMomentzz to the next level.
12. What is the one piece of advice that you wish you had received as a young mom
converting her hobby into a business?
You really don’t have to be a “perfect” mom to be a great one.
Try to keep a balance between work and family. Family and responsibilities should
not be a burden – it should be taken as a key for self-growth. Push yourself beyond
your comfort zone to explore new realms. That's all it takes, besides ample hard work.
As a bonus to our readers, Sharada has also shared a simple craft that parents can create with their kids.
Click here for an Upcycled Notebook Craft
Thank you, Sharada for taking the time out of your busy day to talk to the Times of Amma. We wish Happy Momentzz a very happy 5th birthday and so many more to come.
We hope this conversation has inspired other aspiring Mompreneurs out there.
For more conversations with Inspiring Momepreneurs like Sharada, follow the Times of Amma on Facebook and Instagram.
If you are a mompreneur who would like to be featured, message us via Facebook or email us via the contact form here.
We'll see you there!