Finding Oneself

There are so many roles an individual plays. As we walk down life path get so engrossed in the different phases of life facing everyday challenges that we forget ourselves. I am happy to find myself. There is no looking back.

The Womenz team had an opportunity to interview Anuja Singh, Founder of Hand Magic Crafts from Bangalore, India and here’s what she shared with us


Hi Anuja , please tell us about you, your background.


I have been born and brought up in the city of Taj, Agra. Ever since my school days I had a keen interest in different form of Arts. I was blessed to have studied in a school (St. Patrick's Junior College, Agra)  where extra curricular was equally emphasised with academics. During my schooling only I got to learn a lot about painting, sewing, stitching etc. Learnt glass painting, Batik, tie and dye, screen painting and lots more. I love the feeling of my hands messed up in paints. I have a un conventional choice in everything. I am very picky about things. All my things can be simple, elegant but at the same time those need to be different and standout from the crowd. I get immense happiness and satisfaction from my work. Its like a stress buster and a therapy for me. I never get tired of working and everyday I look forward to it as it’s a new learning each day.

Though,at my home academics was required to be given more attention and I never disappointed my parents when grades were concerned, but years later too my heart was in my work. I can happily say that I am one of the lucky few who are able to turn their passion into profession.

"Doing what you like is freedom, Liking what you do is Happiness"


Tell us your initial days of career

I hold a master degree in Risk & Insurance. During my working span of close to 4years have worked with financial institutions like ICICI Bank, HDFC Standard Life Insurance, ICICI Prudential. Last I was working as an Underwriter with ICICI Prudential Life Insurance.

 

A regular desk job dint appeal to me much. Of course every work has something to learn from but I always felt there was surely a spark missing.               


What made you to quit your job?

I am a professional but a mom first. My son is my priority. Post my son was born I quit to look after him. All through the while I was working I could always feel that there was something missing. Over the years it had turned out into a monotonous routine job for me. Though every job has a lot of learn from, but somehow I found myself out of place and not content. There was nothing exciting. My son’s arrival gave me a chance to rethink over my professional interests.




Anuja with her son- Suyansh


 

What made you start Hand Magic Crafts?

 

After quitting my job in 2009 and looking after my son was a conscious decision which I will never regret. All this while the professional independent individual took a backseat and I wholly dedicated myself to my son. Soon when my son grew a little and started his regular full day school I had some time at my disposal. I started my creative journey from my home. I would put in lots of time and effort in managing the décor, gift wrapping for my son’s birthday party. Would offer my friends with return gift packaging in a creative way. Soon, my son, close friends and family started appreciating and motivating me to start my own work. That’s when I gave it a serious thought and gave wings to my passion.

 



Which art you have expertise in?

 

An Artist can never be tied to a single form of art as it is a lifelong learning process. I work on various Art forms like clay work like wall hangings, glass work like glass votive holders, during the festive season I create lot of traditional product line like roli chawal boxes, painted diyas, rangolis etc.,  but majorly I am into Decoupage. Decoupage gives me the diverseness to create for various age groups, traditional or contemporary, colours, gender etc.  

 

There is a vast line of products catering from home décor, utility to creating personalized gifts.



 

How you sell the products

 

All my work goes up on my facebook page in the name of "Hand Magic Crafts". On the suggestion of few friends and clients I do post my work on my Instagram account too.  All the sales happen through the above mediums. I do have lots of loving friends, family and clients who do refer me among their social circle as they like my work.  Moreover I take it as a huge compliment when I am referred because of work uniqueness. It gives me immense happiness that my work is well appreciated. Moreover, I believe that no marketing can match up when your work can do the talking. My work is my marketing medium.



 


What made you to focus on your fitness?

 

It was overwhelming when I indulged in my passion. Taking my passion to the next level I gave my 100% . Long standing hours, and sometimes continuously working late nights took a toll on my health. I realised it when my first interview was in pipeline and I was asked for my recent picture. I scanned real hard but couldn’t find any picture which I would be happy looking at in print. At that time I shared one of old pictures but was not happy about it. I promised myself that next time I should be able to provide my current picture and that’s when I started looking after myself. I took out 1hour for myself during a day and strictly adhered to it. As its said “A happy & healthy mind leads to everything positive”. This proved true and I indulged in my work with a lot more positive energy reflecting the happy vibes in my work. 




 

Did you face any hurdles in your journey so far?

 

Every work has challenges. Hurdles are a part too. Handmade is a challenging work in itself. There is a great deal of time and labour input. Also, the customer base is not huge. There is a specific category of customers who have a liking and eye for Handmade work. There are less people who understand the feeling of “specially been created”- the value of personalization.

 

For a person like me who did not have any background in Arts it was very difficult initially to create an impact among people. Most people do not take your work seriously. They have a notion of doing all this to deal with boredom, to prove my work worth  is a big challenge in itself.

 

Competition is another hurdle as there is no talent deficient. One’s work has to truly standout to sustain the competition around.

 

Another major challenge being the price & costing. As an artist I feel sad that sometimes I am questioned regarding the price of my products. There are very few people who have an eye for Handmade and thus many a time I come across constant bargains. Ofcourse the other segment of people who simply adore Handmade totally understand the worth of a Handmade product. Along with the customisation, uniqueness they respect my time, effort& thought process which goes in creating a unique piece of art. I believe one’s work is the key defining the pricing If your work is unique, adhering to the quality parameters pricing will justify itself.

 

How did you overcome them? 

 

It’s up to an individual discretion as to what are the few key parameters which majorly governs one’s work. As an Artist I am particular about- Firstly, Uniqueness of my products. All my products are made with a story behind thus making them unique and adding a meaning to the same making it standout.

Secondly, Quality is a vital criteria. A returning customer is of great happiness and a good quality ensures that.


 

Tell us something about your family & their support to you in this cause.

 

My father Mr. Bhujveer Singh is a retired engineer. He is the one who's instill in me the need to be perfect in one's work, and my mum Mrs. Brajbala Singh is a homemaker, from her I have learnt the meaning of 'dedication'. My husband Mr. Sachin Gahlaut is a software professional and is the most calm, cooperative and patient person I have come across. He is my 'silent supporter' and my lifeline my son Suryansh, he is 8yrs.I am the eldest among three siblings. I have 1younger brother Vipul and sister Gunjan, though both of them are younger but are highly motivating and protective. They will always scan the market and tell me the prevailing prices and persuade me to charge for my work appropriately.

 

Anuja with her parents


I am blessed to have a wonderful family. My parents and husband are my pillar of strength and support. My son is my biggest critic and constant source of motivation. I am blessed to have some wonderful group of friends 14 to be precise, from my school and a very dear pal Amrita who are always there when I need any kind of suggestion or advice. All of them give me such positive energy that every day is a new learning.


Anuja with her husband - Sachin



Any message to the aspiring women out them struggling to prove themselves. 

 

Struggling in itself means never giving up! So keep going and don’t ever give up as faith in oneself helps to achieve any challenging task or milestone. 


 Anuja, we at TheWomenz team express our earnest appreciation for sharing your encouraging story with us. We believe it will surely stimulate fellow women in every country and continent in the world.

     

  

Anuja  can be reached on Instagram facebook

 

 

 

 

First Published: 16-Jan-2018- 19:40


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