She is presently engaged in something amazing! With her creative terrariums, she fills up our houses with fresh oxygen. She is Aparna Duggal. Terrariums not only enhance the beauty of our homes but also they are great oxygen boosters. Aparna, who hails from Delhi, developed an interest in terrariums after she came across an article on it in an inflight magazine. Soon, she made a few terrariums and gifted them to some of her family members and friends. Everybody loved the concept and appreciated her creativity. This pushed her forward to take it up as her profession. Aparna holds an MBA degree and was earlier attached to the digital advertising industry before starting her own venture. Today, in this session, Aparna tells us about her dreams. She shares with us the story of her venture “nature in vogue” and what she is planning to do ahead.
Hi Aparna, glad to have you among us today in this session at conflatingVisions. To start with please tell us a few lines about yourself.
Brought up in Delhi, I have done my education here itself. Have done my Bachelors in Science and went on to do my MBA here. Started off with the corporate world and was with the digital advertising industry for the past decade before hopping to my own venture.
Tell us about your venture. How did you get started into this terrarium business?
On my way back from a holiday an article on terrariums in an inflight magazine caught my eye. That really interested me and I gave in to my love for plants. It was then that I decided to take it up professionally.
From being in a cliché 9-5 job which practically extends till 10 at night, I felt it was time for me to hang my boots on my present and pull up my socks for future. With limited means, I decided to take baby steps towards my dream and one fine day launched nature in vogue. I started all alone, with help from my husband on weekends who works for an MNC bank on weekdays. In due course of time, I hired a small team who now help me in my venture. I am now looking forward to hiring a marketing guy and a production in-charge to assist me.
What was the first terrarium that you built? And, which one is your favourite till date?
The first terrarium I built was a small pot which I gifted to my Mother. So, initially, I started making it for my friends/family before taking it up professionally. My hot favourite is the Buddha terrarium which is one of my hot selling pieces as well.
Terrariums are great oxygen boosters, and they also look good in our homes. Aparna, tell us how do you blend creativity in your works?
It’s all about creativity in this field. A terrarium to me is like a white canvas on which I can throw in my colors of imagination. At the same time, it has to look good for people to own it. Aesthetics is something that I have to be super careful about.
All my themes are inspired and blended from everyday life. What I see around and I like what goes into my miniatures. It can be a solitude beach theme, an arid desert, pond in a garden theme, the enchanting Buddha, etc.
At other times I customize terrariums to my client’s liking. So, I have to keep up-levelling myself in terms of knowledge – what plants can I use, what accessories will look good, how can I make it better.
How is the journey so far for you?
Tough yet satisfying!
It’s just completed one year, and the journey has been great, challenging, exciting. Starting something from scratch is difficult but at the same time gives me that kick. Ever increasing clients keeps me moving and believing that we are heading in the right direction.
Narrate some of your success stories.
I am now active on some of the prominent e-commerce portals in the country, getting repeat orders, having corporates as my clients. They all add up to my success.
There is a long way to go from here, but it’s a start!
What are the present challenges in this terrarium business? How do you overcome them?
My present challenge is to send these beautiful pieces out to my customers outside Delhi/NCR. I end up sending them everything in separate boxes with instructions on how to make their own terrarium (DIY Kits). But I am still to crack a way for myself where I can send these out of Delhi.
Terrariums though so beautiful are delicate articles and hence prone to breakage. Packing them well is a constant challenge.
What are your future plans?
I want to establish nature in vogue as a prominent brand in the greens!
This field is dominated by nurseries and gardeners who may or may not understand the taste of their clients well. I want to blend greens and aesthetics well. There is a lot of potential since these pieces are the perfect gifts for every occasion including birthdays, anniversaries, house warming parties, festivals and other celebrations. In corporate events where a bunch of flowers lasts for a day or two, these are long lasting gifts which recipients love. And all this for almost the same cost.
Anything else you want to share with us.
With a wide variety of oxygen emitting plants, terrariums act as great natural air purifiers.
And one last question of this session Aparna, if you have had one wish…
I always wished to start my own venture someday and by God’s grace, I have been able to do that. I am really thankful, I just wish to carry on with it and hope my creations put a wide smile on my client’s face.