[dropcap]M[/dropcap]ashu Hemnani began her journey as a freelance designer back in 1995, bringing her expertise in semi-precious pearl jewelry ranging to classic accessories for woman. Quick to understand the demand of the market, she registered “SARASA by Mashu ®” in 2003 & created her niche as a wedding and corporate souvenir designer.
SARASA derives itself from the Sanskrit word “beautiful as a Swan” & true to its word, these encrusted sparkling wonders bedazzled every recipient & made a lasting impact.
In a very short span of time, Mashu established “SARASA by Mashu ®” as a leading brand, particularly in the NRI community, with creations being widely distributed and gifted in cities all around the globe – from USA, South America, UK, Australia, India, Spain, Dubai, Accra, Lagos, Hungary, Japan, Jakarta, Pakistan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore & of course to Hong Kong.
We have a quick catch up with Mashu Hemnani – Founder of Sarasa who gives us some interesting insights on starting up your own business.
1. Tell us how Sarasa began? What made you start your own business?
[colored_box color=”yellow”]Sarasa wasn’t something planned, it happened by chance. Having a flair for putting things together since a young age, I used to design accessories as a hobby for friends. The pieces got appreciated and more people got interested and finally it came to a point that I had to start charging. After freelancing for some years, a dear friend of mine encouraged me to register a brand and company in 2003 and I have not looked back since. Sarasa began with accessories but now its primary line is innovative corporate, religious and wedding souvenirs.[/colored_box]
2. Since the time you started in 2003, what have been the trends since then and how have they changed over the years?
[colored_box color=”yellow”]In 2003, very few people were willing to experiment, most wanted to choose from my religious collection. It took a lot of convincing to get clients to move away from idols and choose out of the box concepts as souvenirs which eventually got them amazing feedback. Thankfully, now everyone wants something unique as this gives me ample opportunities to create beautiful pieces exclusively available only at Sarasa and nowhere else. Anyways, there is a lifeline for any trend and the minute I realise its dying out, my homework on the next concept is already done.[/colored_box]
3. You have your clientele all around the world. What makes them come back to Sarasa?
[colored_box color=”yellow”]10 years back, social media and internet was not as advanced and it was word of mouth that helped me establish and grow. I have always let my creations speak for themselves. When one receives an exclusive unique gift, they will always want to know the source of it. Sarasa gifts are made of very high quality raw materials and Austrian Crystals and I keep them at very affordable prices. Clients truly get value for money. Corporate, private functions or weddings build a lot of stress on the people involved, everyone wants things done smoothly . Those who have already worked with me, know the level of co-operation, efficiency and attention they will receive.[/colored_box]
4. What makes Sarasa different from your competitors?
[colored_box color=”yellow”]My passion and perfection for my work. Where my religious collection is concerned, I am very particular about the face of my idol statues. People get religious idols because they have faith in them and I strongly believe that a statue’s facial features should be so perfectly chiseled that it should speak to you. For my non religious collection, I will keep improvising till the concept is made in the most practical and user friendly way. I want people to use my gifts when they receive them, not stack them in a cupboard or pass them on. I have clients whose souvenirs are still remembered by their friends and family after 10 years and that’s what makes Sarasa different.[/colored_box]
5. Any suggestions for young married women in starting up their own businesses?
- Find something you are passionate about – Having your own family and kids can already be very distracting, so do something in your comfort zone, then work won’t seem like a burden but a pleasure.
- Keep your overheads low – many times having a family will need your time and attention, you don’t want added stress of a high maintenance business. Build up your portfolio slowly and steadily.
- Be committed to your work – Trust me, there are loads of amazingly talented people out there but most lack commitment and get distracted very quickly. You have to constantly improvise. If you’ve started a business, don’t lose interest.
- Don’t copy, be original – Make your mark in something unique and different, there is so much scope out there, whats the point of doing something that has been exhausted already. You can copy an item but you can’t copy the brain behind the item. Copying items will just make you lose your own credibility.
For information and products pictures of Sarasa by Mashu, you can email email@example.com, or visit their Facebook page here.