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Are you a designer? These 5 entrepreneurs show you how to make your craft sustainable

As the online marketplace for crafts and handmade goods—Etsy—launches in India, here’s how the creatively inclined can use it as a launch pad for their dreams.

brand stories Updated: Oct 17, 2018 11:19 IST
Etsy,designer,handmade
Global e-commerce platform Etsy empowers artists, designers and curators to start and grow creative businesses on their own terms.(Etsy)

A common grouse among the creatively inclined is that the pressures of adulthood keep them away from their passions. This is all the more true when one can’t find a way to make their art or craft financially sustainable.

But, what if we told you that you no longer have to choose between your passion and your profession?

Let these five creative entrepreneurs inspire you to take that leap of faith. Armed only with their immense talent, these individuals dreamt of, created, and finally sold their distinctive and quirky creations on Etsy – one of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms for handmade wares.

Here are their stories.

Going places from Lucknow: Ruchi Pugalia
Etsy shop: ComfyMommy

Ruchi Pugalia was an assistant director in Bollywood, but she knew that she wanted to pursue something on her own. It was during this time that she also moved to Lucknow as she was expecting Yuvaan, her baby and future in-house model for ComfyMommy. Her friends suggested Etsy, and one day she decided to start her shop. The fact that she had an NID degree really helped. Ruchi initially began by making dresses, but finally found her niche in maternity clothing. Seeing how there was a lack of comfortable, utilitarian, and at the same time pretty clothing options for expecting mothers, she decided to do something about it. Now, Comfy Mommy has customers in the US, UK, and other parts of Europe. Her entire family is supporting her in this initiative and it all started with just one dress.

Making cotton fashionable: Shilpi Yadav
Etsy Shop: KharaKapas

A true blue army brat, Shilpi is always on the move for new challenges and new milestones. Being the creative head of an e-commerce company was just not doing it for her. So, she hung her 9-5 shoes and became the founder of KharaKapas, her Etsy store, which specializes in handloom dresses. For the longest time, Shilpi was the designer, photographer, and marketer, with a small team that brought her amazing designs to life. Today, her Etsy family and wide base of buyers keep her motivated to constantly improve and update her creations.

The one-woman army: Kriti Jindal
Etsy Shop: KariByKriti

Kriti grew up surrounded by her mother’s love for sarees and handlooms and went on to study apparel merchandising. Her job took her places, one of them being Australia. However, she met with an unfortunate accident there which led her to be bedridden for six months and eventually quit her job. Her indomitable spirit didn’t allow her to think of this as a setback; instead, she started blogging about her love for textiles and weaves, thereby laying the foundations of her Etsy shop, KariByKriti. Today, selling her wares online not only makes her happy but also adds a lot of creative satisfaction. How many of us can say that about our jobs?

An engineer with a creative streak: Ruchi Jain
Etsy Shop: ArtRevaLane

Ruchi was a software engineer by profession who worked in the US. However, artistically driven, she would often end up in the library or art shops. She liked playing with different media – watercolors, pastels, and what not, but glass always held a strange pull for her. Finally, one day, Ruchi ditched her corporate job in favour of art; more specifically the Tiffany glass-staining technique. Today, her Etsy store is a delight to go through, with a myriad of dainty, beautiful objects made of glass, ranging from ring boxes to candle holders. Given a choice between a 9-5 job and her Etsy baby ArtRevaLane, Ruchi will always go for the latter because she is the happiest when her hands are busy.

Artist for the soul: Dithi Mukherjee
Etsy Shop: StudioAnahata

Even as a child, Dithi was drawn to art and painting. However, adulthood brought on marriage and jobs which required her to travel away from her home city Kolkata to Switzerland. While abroad, Dithi rediscovered her love for art. To make up for the restrictive costs of art supplies, she started selling some of her prints on Etsy. Soon, she sold enough prints to confidently take the plunge of dedicating herself to art entirely. She moved back to Kolkata, undertook formal training in art and printmaking, and now spends her time at her beautiful studio immersed in creative pursuits.

As you can tell, these 5 wonder women started their businesses alone, without a big team or a huge seed investment. They simply followed their passion and focused on creating unique products. The rest, as they say, is history.

If you too wish to be a creative entrepreneur and set up an online shop, join Etsy as a creative seller now.

First Published: Oct 03, 2018 12:40 IST