Deep desire, burning passion for art, grit, joy and compassion gave rise to a brand that connects tiny villages in India to major cities and towns spread across continents.
Meet Aarushi, the economics graduate who embarked on her entrepreneurial journey in 2017 at a young age of 23 and made a tremendous success story out of it.
Look good, support India’s artisans
To create the fabric of India by weaving together its various art forms, ethnicities, cultures, rich colors, threads that result in a rich tapestry is no easy task. Today her business offers a worldwide stage for jewelry and handicrafts.
Any entrepreneur who’s just taken the plunge is often ready to confront challenges head on. What other factors enable growth? Read on for some insightful lessons.
What is your name and the name of your business?
My name is Aarushi. The name of my business is Lavish.
What is Lavish about?
Lavish is an export house dealing with:
- Fashion accessories
- Costume/handmade jewelry
Our designs are handcrafted and suited for both casual and formal wear. Our designs embrace the feminine in all her hues — a fine blend of the bold, defiant, ethnic, bohemian, sensual, elegant — they’re all woven in intricately.
We also have our collection of premium designer jewelry. With Lavish, you will carry with you a dash of color, a tiny bit of a culture dating back to centuries combined with sophisticated modernity, artisan work, a bit of India, when you don an attire or a piece of jewelry.
There is a collection for men as well that is growing as we speak – one that allows for expression through myriad styles and colors.
Our crochets and handicrafts are also in high demand across countries.
Why did you start your business?
I always nurtured a dream to build my own venture. I was passionate about doing something unique.
Besides, I dreamt of giving employment to others through my business. The passion took form and translated into what Lavish is today.
What was your first big business milestone?
My current biggest milestone, during this pandemic, is shifting to a bigger office in a span of one year with increased production capacity, new clients and increase in the number of employees.
There are many milestones to list.
One of them, and perhaps my earliest, is having six to seven well-known international clients at the age of 27.
We have clients from the United States, Greenland, Europe, Mexico, Switzerland and many other countries.
How many artisans do you employ?
I have 60 to 70 artisans working on daily wages. They are gainfully employed even during the pandemic. This is also where I derive my innermost satisfaction from.
How has COVID affected your business?
Initially COVID-19 was quite a challenge. It was unanticipated and unchartered territory for us, like it was for every business world over. Our ongoing orders were on hold for an indefinite period.
Payments did not occur in time and the delay was almost by half a year.
We managed and overcame the crisis in the months to follow, everything began to stabilize.
That’s wonderful! How did you manage it?
We discussed the situation in India with our clients. We explained to them our overheads, payments to be made for labor, raw material etc.
With strong communication established, we were able to iron out any difficulty and reach quick resolutions. Efforts on both our ends resulted in timely payments that continue even today.
I would like to emphasize that our clients are wonderfully receptive and understanding, which has resulted in swifter business.
Excellent points! Any teething problems?
Many, but here’s what I’d like to highlight.
Initially, in 2017, when I started out, things looked quite dismal. I had very few sales. It was tough to identify the problem.
However, in 2019, we created our web presence and launched our website.
Sales multiplied over time. Our art was touching corners of the world. We had enquiries pouring in.
Investing in an online presence helped build the business and streamline processes. Visibility and ease of business resulted in inflow of orders.
What are your long-term goals for your business?
My long-term goal is to carry forward our art worldwide and open a handcrafted retail chain.
What has been your proudest moment as a business owner?
The fact that I have given employment to skilled artisans spread across villages in India and that this list of artisans is increasing with time.
How has GoDaddy helped grow your business?
Building a website was the gamechanger in my case.
I needed something uncomplicated but robust in features. GoDaddy Online Store had the perfect combination.
The features and formats are easy to access and help create a website in easy and quick steps.
Our clients are all web-based and access the website regularly. They are very happy with its look, features and performance.
How do you measure success?
Success for me is definitely in terms of my personal joy and satisfaction. One should never forget or forego their joy for material possessions.
What’s your advice for entrepreneurs who are struggling right now?
My advice for young entrepreneurs would be to go with the flow and live your life. Struggles, failures and successes come and go, handle them positively and with patience.
Image by: Lavish