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Inspirational Woman: Mrs Shweta Soni | Founder of Amber Jaipur

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Tell us about yourself and your background 

I was always an average student throughout my school and college days. I did my Bachelors in Fine Arts. I was never an ambitious woman. Never in my dream did I think that I will end up starting a company of my own and that too without anyone’s support. After completing my graduation, I got married in 2003 in Jaipur and lived a life of a contended housewife with 2 children. In 2012, my husband suffered a heart attack and that was the first time I realized the importance of being Self Reliant. The future of my young children and aging in laws made me more worried. Finally in 2013, I started my own company, “Amber Jaipur” with just 1 machine and 1 employee. Being a creative person since my childhood days, I chose to get into clothing line. I started my venture with a very meager amount. I had no clue how will I design my clothes, how will I sell them, where will I sell them? All I had in mind was to start a clothing company.

Call it my sense of clothing (of which I wasn’t even aware about/hidden talent) or luck, things started picking up soon. I started my sales 1st by selling them to close friends via whatsapp. People started talking good about my products but not many people were buying it. It was very demotivating for me that my 1st step itself doesn’t take off even after so much of appreciation. I then decided to expand my market, so I took the risk of doing my first exhibition directly in Mumbai and that was my 1st morale booster as I got tremendous response in the most upmarket area of Mumbai – WTC, Cuffe Parade. This boosted my self confidence and it was enough for me to know that I was going in the right direction.

Post this success, I later started selling my products online on e-commerce websites and through Social Media. In a matter of few months, I got my 1st international client from Australia. And since then, there has been no looking back. Today I export to countries like Australia, UK, Dubai, Thailand and Greece. We also have a long list of domestic clients primarily in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Goa among many more.

Tell us about the company you have set up – when did you set it up, what products or services do you provide, what is your target market?

As stated above, I started my company in 2013 with just one employee (Master ji) and one machine. Being a novice, I learnt a lot of things by myself. I would ask lot of questions to my friends who were in the clothing line but soon I realised that it was me who had to do it by myself.

Today we have 10 machines and 15 employees at our unit factory itself. Styling, cutting, stitching & designing is done under my direct supervision.

We specialize in cotton kids clothing (Jaipur hand block prints) for boys and girls (age group – two years to 12 years old), wherein we offer a wide range from western wear (Culottes, Short & Long Jumpsuits, Kaftans, Frocks, Shorts, Shirts) to Indian (Kurtis, Ghagra Cholis, Palazzos, Modi Jackets, Kurta-Pyjamas).

Why did you set up the company? / What drove you to become an Entrepreneur?

As mentioned above, being a completely unambitious woman, it was after my husband’s heart attack that I decided to become self-reliant who could take care of my two young children and my in-laws.

What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?

My biggest challenge was that I had to start from the scratch and that too without any knowledge in the clothing line. Before that I had never worked, this definitely did not add to my confidence. Since it was doing everything alone, I had to take care of managing my employees, marketing, operations, sales, finances apart from Designing & Styling my clothes. I had no idea how to ship my products to Australia when I got my 1st international order, I dint even have the required licenses to export and I took my 1st order also. However I learnt everything on my own and I would like to thank my friends and family a lot for teaching me so many things.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

In less than three years, we have become a very well known Kids Clothing brand and this is a very big thing for me in itself. We recently, got featured in the list of “Top 10 Kids Clothing Companies” in India by “VOGUE” Magazine, which I personally feel has been my greatest achievement. Also the fact that we have been exporting to more than five countries speaks a lot about our products.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspiration has been my husband and my kids. It was my husband who supported, guided and motivated me at every step of my venture, without whom I wouldn’t have the courage to do what I am doing today.

How do you balance your work life and home life?

Fortunately for me my factory and my house is in the same compound, so I don’t end up wasting my time commuting from my home to work place. Also since my husband and I share most of the personal and professional responsibilities, it helped me balance my personal and professional life, almost perfectly.

What advice do you have for women starting out on their own?

I always advice to most of the women that if I can become an entrepreneur, any women can. I was an average student in studies, I was not ambitious, I never wanted to work, I was low in confidence and I thought I had no talent in me. It was difficult, but my venture helped me find my strengths too. Today I have received many awards for women entrepreneurship and feel very proud of myself. I have been applauded for my designs not only domestically but also internationally. So give yourself one chance and you never know what you have in you. Don’t wait for something to happen, just do it (that’s my mantra).

Can you recommend any organisations or networking groups that have particularly helped you on your journey?

I am thankful to Kidsstoppress, Your Story, Vogue for appreciating my work and me. It has been a very strong booster for me.

If you could ask for one thing to help propel your business what would it be?

I am very confident about my clothes, designs and its comfort. I am sure Amber Jaipur is going to be one of the biggest Kids Clothing Company in India soon. But as most of the startups face the problem of funding for marketing so that you can reach maximum number of people as soon as possible, even we are facing the same. However there is no hurry and will reach all the mothers of India sooner or later, its just a matter of time.

What does the future hold for you?

I want to continue make stylish, comfortable, Jaipur hand block print design clothes for Indian and International markets. My aim is to be present in all the major stores across Indian and the world at very reasonable and economical prices.

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