I am Soniya Agarwal (born on 6th October in Rourkela), based in Mumbai, I’m an entrepreneur, an interior designer, and a crafter. Let me take you to the beginning of my journey as a crafter. It all started with converting my hobby of craft into establishing my own full time business. In my childhood, I was always attracted towards crafting and designing new things out of whatever material was easily available. I pursued my study and got my graduation degree from one of the most recognised colleges in Pune – Marathwada Mitra Mandal’s School of Interior Design (MMSID) and just after graduation I worked with interior designing companies as a designer for five years, specializing in corporate office designing.
After giving birth to my little daughter in Jan 2012, I wanted to preserve all of her precious memories with me in a form of a scrapbook. I searched for crafters, who could design a scrapbook as per my requirement for my little one, but did not find any one in India we can make one for me based on my requirement and budget. it was then, and I decided to make the scrapbook all by myself and there begins my journey.
I was always passionate about the intricacies of designs and it is a substance of my soul. I started trying out a few things, and soon started getting orders. I realized my talent and passion for designing and developing crafts and my bond with creativity, colours, and paper. I took steps to sharpen my skills and improve on my weaknesses, so that I could start my business- “Growing Craft”. I have created a few scrapbooks and mixed media art for my family members, but the scrapbook for my daughter is still pending.
Initially, it was a struggle between taking care of my child and my work, but now it is much easier as my daughter has grown up now. My husband always motivated and supported me throughout my whole dream a lot and I really thank him to take care of many things at back at home as well as at work. My daughter, who is about 4 years old now, understands a lot of crafting. In fact, she helps be a lot at times with little things when I am working.
Now, I work to design all my products with great care. My biggest goal is to capture precious memories of my client into one unique product and to see them happy and smiling with my work.
‘Growing Craft’ specializes in handmade personalized articles for all occasions, gifts for wife, token of love for your beloveds, gifts for girlfriends. I began with designing handmade scrapbooks first and expanded it later into several varieties of products such as handmade calendar, record books like a pregnancy record book, party record books, journals, handmade photo magnets, mixed media art, varieties of scrapbooks, creative utility items, etc. It has almost been three years and we now, cater to clients and customers not only in India, but, also in the U.S., Bangladesh, and South Africa. We specialize in creating unique products customized according to the style, needs, and choice of customers. We ensure that we get all the details of the client’s requirements and work particularly in accordance to that demand, so that they can get something special for their loved ones.
The expertise of our company is to deliver unique and customize products for individual as well as for corporate bulk orders. Our company targets mostly women from 20 to 40 years of age in the market. Usually, women ask for something unique and exquisite or something distinct for their home.
In my three years of work experience, I faced the biggest challenge when I had to complete my second order for a lady from Ahmedabad. Her unique request to me was to assemble more than 700 photographs of her younger daughter into one single book, with the specifications that the book should be handmade and personalised for her. That time I was lacking in certain resources and tools, it was one of the biggest challenges for me to collect all materials required for the project and assimilate it into a beautiful project perhaps in the given period of time. Eventually, it was a great moment of joy for me and the lady gave ravish reviews on the product.
My family has been my biggest inspiration for all time. They have been always there to push me forward and encouraged me, whenever I faced any tough or hard situations. I would also like to add that my customers also inspire me a lot to produce something fresh and innovative every time. Over the time, I came in contact with many people who have often walked an extra mile for me to provide support for completing my order.
After having spent almost three years in this domain, we came up with a new idea of launching a new platform- http://www.zibica.in. It is a new marketplace where niche product sellers can reach additional audiences, providing them all new experience of buying and selling. There are plenty of products under different categories to offer. With the vision to become India’s one of the finest online flea business, the major focus of our business is to enable small entrepreneurs who may or may not have an online presence but sell a niche product. The artisans and designers can expand their business reaching millions of users in India. The growing internet penetration rate in India and rising demand of online shopping will cater the interest of both, the artist and the buyers.
http://www.zibica.in will help many artists all over India who want recognition for their work and a platform to showcase. If things work out as planned, I am sure, things for many artists would simplify to some extent.
One tip I would like to give to all the women out there is that for those who want to be independent should always follow their heart and never be afraid of experimentation. But, before setting up a business they must do a thorough background analysis, and check that they have all the resources and scope of completing their work. Things may look a little complicated at few times, but do not lose hope and work consistently; in the end your patience will be grandly rewarded.
Website : www.growingcraft.com
FB page : www.facebook.com/growingcraft1