It’s been eight years since the foundation of Fashionista Factory Events (FFE) and I can proudly say that I have managed to create a niche for myself in the event industry. We, at FFE, curate events for local business owners and women entrepreneurs, where we provide them a platform to showcase their products to the customers at a very minimal investment.
With over 100 events that I had successfully organized in the span of 8 years, I have established a solid relationship with my vendors, clients and customers. With our branded events - The Big Shopping Festival, HowZatt Flea, Foodietron, ArtBiz Flea and Thank God It’s Weekend, more than 7000 women entrepreneurs and start-ups all across India had gotten a platform to not only showcase their talent, products and break the so-called ‘glass ceiling’ that women and start-up owners often fear but to also chase their dreams.
Apart from this, I have also created a Facebook Group, Pune Entrepreneurs - Made in India Shopping Bazaar, which I actively work on. The group was formed with a vision to give a digital platform to women entrepreneurs and mompreneurs, and with 50,000+ members all across India, we are striving hard to achieve more engagement on it.
To help alleviate the hardships that the local business owners were facing during the pandemic, we had also hosted Online Virtual Flea Market. In the current scenario, where we have to move on with our lives amidst a pandemic, the initiation of digital flea markets by FFE have allowed shoppers to browse goods from more than 500 registered small local vendors and independent retailers, all in the same place. In a span of 2 months, we have successfully conducted more than 155 live shows until now. This initiative has given plenty of opportunities to the entrepreneurs to sustain their business without leaving their house.
Entrepreneurship is appealing and exciting, but everyone has a different motivation to get started. After marriage, I had to quit my job as I was shifting to a new city. Then, after my pregnancy sabbatical, I couldn’t rejoin as I had to take care of then five-month-old son. But I never fell prey to the societal pressures and was never intimidated by small things that came in the way of living my dream. Hence, the idea triggered inside me & motivated me to start something of my own, where I could dedicate my time to my family and also pursue my dream of helping other mompreneurs, who had to struggle between choosing their career and family.
Though there are major financial risks in building a business from the scratch and long working hours in the event industry, the nuggets of joy and satisfaction at the end of the tunnel makes everything worth it. Being an entrepreneur has its own fair share of ups and downs, but with passion and commitment, the success that I have achieved had led to the satisfaction in life, which I had cravedfor! Initially, of course there are million of things to figure out and take into consideration, but starting my own company had given me the flexibility to manage work and personal life, which I had thought a 9-to-5 job wouldn’t give.With my father being an entrepreneur himself, I have grown up seen him doing work with passion and I think the skills and passion were somewhere inherited in me.
Ideas, I believe, are always within us. The world is full of ideas - everyone has got an idea at some time – but not everyone knows how to act upon them.
“Whatever you do, be different, always think out of the box– that was the advice my parents gave me, and I can’t think of a better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will definitely stand out.” - I firmly believe that if a woman tries, she can surely succeed in building an empire for herself. Hence, I enhanced what I was good at and what made me feel great. My father is a successful entrepreneur and I have grown seeing him build brands.
The favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur, for me, is the flexibility of time. Since I live in a nuclear family with my husband and a kid, it makes it easier to manage the needs of my little one while handling my work. Though there are long working hours, but I manage it with my kid’s schedule. Fortunately, I met clients who cooperated with my schedule and my team too, has been very supportive. Also, being an entrepreneur has given me ample amount of opportunities to learn and take risks.There is no restrictions in implementing out of box ideas. I am free to experiment themes for very event of mine
The most interesting thing after becoming a Skillpreneur is that my kiddo has also started taking interest in my passion. Whenever I am out for the entire day at my events, the call that I receive from his side saying that “Mumma I miss you – Come back soon” is super energizing. Also the series of appreciation that I keep getting from my vendors & clients for the work.Once a lady came to me saying that she gets so inspired with the way I manage things all alone giving beautiful platform to so many ladies and is always motivated whenever she is part of my event.It gives immense pleasure to hear such genuine words.
In this competitive world, it is difficult to create your own identity but not impossible. It is really important to stand out from your fellow competitors. The USP of our company is that we are always there for our vendors & clients. In a service industry, it is important to satisfy your clients and customers, andprovide them great and loyal service. Thanks to our clients, who mean family to us now. I still remember the first event that I did , I had 50 exhibitors at the event inspite of being new in the field ,and now we are big family of 7000+ exhibitors all across India. We have become a brand that people can trust and their word of mouth has really helped us grow. For our company, the happiness of our clients and customers is everything!
I feel it is my passion towards my work that keeps me going. Of course, there were lows in my journey but I feel, we can’t look for motivation outside and it should be within us. Because I am passionate towards my work, I love what I am doing and the loving response that I get from my clients and customers, help me stay motivated. As it is said, when life gives you lemon, make a lemonade. I just sit back and enjoy my cocktail whenever life throws a lemon as I know in the end, everything will be fine and treat it just as a phase. Like when the lockdown happened, I too, wasworried about the company’s future but thinking out of the box with a calm mind helped me figure out a solution and was the first person to start the ONLINE VIRTUAL FLEA MARKET for my registered vendors.
The essence of being an entrepreneur is that you become addicted to growth, hence, I am always looking forward to the next thing, then the next thing and it goes on just like that. Like every entrepreneur, I too believe that no one can do the job better than me. My business became my priority, so to speak - a 24x7 commitment. I just feel if I had someone to share some of my responsibilities from the early stage so as to get some rest myself would have helped me in my journey.
But I am so passionate about my work that I have even worked consecutively for 5 days events with just 15 hours of sleep. So, the mistake that I would like to avoid is that henceforth, I must give importance to my health.
Initially, it was a bit difficult to manage a healthy work-life balance with a little kid at home and a business to start from the scratch. When I had started by journey as an entrepreneur, my son was very small and I used to take him to the client meetings. Then, I realised that not only my work needs to be scheduled, but my life too. I reserved time for everything that needed my attention and made a schedule to follow, taking in consideration my son’s routine too. With the passion and dedication, I had for my work, it was also important to realise when to switch it off. Thankfully, I realised it at early stage and despite being fully engrossed in my start-up, I had taken out time for my family too. Also, I realised the importance of delegation and with time, I hired a team to help me out.
The only thing that I would like to say to the aspiring entrepreneurs is don’t fear from challenging yourself. There’s so much to learn in life. Take the risk, don’t fear the failure and just believe in yourself. You are full of great ideas, so keep your vision clear at all times. Success doesn’t come overnight. As Steve Jobs said, “if you look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” So, invest your time in your company, learn from your mistakes and deliver more than what is expected.