Inspiring Mompreneur : Gayathri Jagan
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 Gayathri Jagan who is a Polymer clay artist who creates statement jewelry and customized gifts. She is based in Melbourne, Australia. This Mom started off with an engineering degree and a career in IT. She switched gears to follow her passion after her daughter was born.
From working for four years as an IT professional to statement earrings with polymer clay. 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? No,never imagined. Throughout my childhood academics was my priority,always seen as a nerdy girl in school and I always thought that I will be a career oriented girl, I did not have any particular interest in arts or crafts during my formative years. I did not realise then,to be career oriented,you should have an interesting job to love,deal petty politics in job,sacrifice so much on personal front. Has Motherhood affected your career decisions? Motherhood has certainly affected my career decisions,in a way that,If am looking for a job, I will only look out for sustainable ones which don't affect my family time. I am the kind of mother who cannot work in peace leaving the baby to someone else. At the moment,I am just enjoying both parenting and clay making. How did you find your calling in creating and retailing earrings and other collectibles? After 4 years in IT took a break when my kid was born. I became more creative and confident and wanted to explore new areas. I kept juggling between DIYs,crafts,baking,cooking. It was precisely Navaratri 2016 and I was searching for ways to make DIY dolls and that is when I got to know about polymer clay. I made dolls based on my little one. From then on I started exploring different ways of creating unique items with it.
I soon realized what it was like to work with passion and I was surprised that I could be this creative. I found myself pretty good in designing and with colour choices. Retail however is a momumental task, but I enjoy that too.
How did you decide on polymer clay as the material of your choice? As I mentioned, I was searching for a solution to make DIY golu dolls and chanced upon Polymer Clay thanks to google. I found polymer clay to be a very versatile,therapeutic and addictive medium. You can create sculptures,jewellery,collectibles,miniatures,gifts what not. How do you balance your work with parenting? With an attention seeking toddler at home, I dedicate my whole day to her.bI only use her nap time for working which is ,at the maxium 1 hour per day.
I dont get more than that time, but still I love to do it as I see it as a stress buster. What were the challenges you faced in setting up Pastel n Bold? The main challenge I faced was my own self doubts - my ability to devote time and if I was good enough to produce quality designs frequently. I had to make a choice on whether I was going to keep it as just a hobby or give it a go and make something out of it. I am really passionate about this craft and polymer clay is a costly medium that one cannot afford to keep it as hobby alone. Who was your biggest support while transforming your passion into a business? My Husband. He is of monumental support to me,inspite of his work. He is critical of each and every piece and gets the best out of me. Even if I show the same earrings to him daily, he will give me comments on how I can improve. What has been the highest point/happiest moment in your entrepreneurship journey? The happiest moments are when someone I don't know takes notice of my craft and appreciates my work. I learnt how important feedback is for a creator. It makes you trust in your own work and motivates you to do more.
Most mothers are expert multi-taskers. As a creative person, retailer, and mother, when is the most you have had to multi-task? I am not a natural multi-tasker. I try not to dilute my parenting time . I do my work during her nap time. But after I've created my page I am spending an incredible amount of time planning new ways to promote my page during the day while I do my daily chores. I would action them later when I get the first opportunity. What is next for you? I have just established my page,and so next is to popularise the page.I am planning few advertising activities like GIVEAWAYS so people reading this please stay hooked to my page . What is the one piece of advice that you wish you had received as a young mom converting her hobby into a business? I did not know that retailing was so difficult. I havent yet dedicated any time for retailing alone. But once we are out of this current time crunch, I am planning it to allot a specific time.
Gayathri, thank you for your time! We wish you and Pastel n Bold, all the very best. If you are an Inspiring Mompreneur or you know someone who fits the bill, get in touch with us here or on Facebook.
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