Bangalore-based startup Sosha Creations turned a year old only a few days back. Sosha Creations’ personalized handmade gifting business may still be young, but, it has already achieved a lot within this short span of time. The chief architect of the success is Soumya Harsha who is also the founder of the startup. If somebody asks us the prime reason that led to the successful journey of Soumya Harsha as an entrepreneur, our answer would be a single word which has 10 letters in it. And, that is “Motivation”. Motivation plays an important role in our lives. It inspires us to do better. Soumya’s case wasn’t an exception either. Since school days, she started taking large interests in learning new creative things and her handmade gifts used to bring her significant appreciation. Soumya’s paternal aunt always encouraged her to pursue her interests. This is something which has always kept her motivated.
Soumya holds an MBA in HR. She also has a vast work experience of 9 years as an HR. However, she always dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur and wanted to turn her passion into her profession. And, her passion was to make handmade gifts that would bring smiles on other’s faces. The chance ultimately came after her elder son was born. It was during that time Soumya decided to quit her corporate job to look after her child and spend the rest of the time in making beautiful creative products.
This is the story of entrepreneur Soumya Harsha in a nutshell. Her story is much more than what we have shared till now. Today, in this interview session with conflatingVisions, the creative and the talented lady behind Sosha Creations joins us to share her inspiring story with our readers!
Hi Soumya, welcome to this interview session of conflatingVisions. Please introduce Soumya Harsha in a few lines to our readers.
Thank you for letting me share my work in conflatingVisions through this interview session. I am Soumya Harsha, a Fashion Designer and MBA in HR by qualification and have work experience of 9 yrs as an HR.
I am blessed with 2 lovely kids. My elder son Gandharv is a child artist, who loves Drawing and enjoys Clay Modelling and younger daughter is just completing 3 months.
Harsha, my Husband, is a Civil Engineer by Profession, and he is into Construction business.
My Mother and Brother are my backbone who have always helped me to build my career.
Soumya, when did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I was very creative since school days and keenly interested in learning new creative things. My paternal aunt Indira who is my Father’s elder sister discovered my talent first and encouraged me financially to pursue my interest.
I always had a strong inclination towards creativity which finally became my inspiration for me to resign from my corporate career and take a step ahead towards my passion. Infact, it started more as a hobby, but with the kind of response we are getting from the past one year motivated me to take it very seriously.
What were your initial steps towards becoming a self-dependent woman? What were the challenges that you had to face in your early days as an entrepreneur?
These creative works were mainly my hobby. I was using my skills to gift my friends and relatives with creative handmade gifts. After my first kid was born, it was important for me to give quality time to him and hence decided to quit my job. Now at home, I was bored soon as going to job was missing from my routine schedule.
So, I started creating few of these handmade gift items. I published the pictures of my handmade gifts on Facebook and started promoting them online. Along with that, I also started doing some arts and crafts making classes. I had never imagined that there are so many people interested in purchasing my handmade gifts and products online. Looking at the kind of response, my brother (who is an expert in Digital Marketing) took this to next level and orders literally multiplied.
Since the whole setup is from home, the cost of starting the business was not much. And as a woman, it was very tough to make the household work, going out to get the materials, couriering the products, etc. The biggest challenge everyone faces is to get clients. Marketing is not everyone’s cup of tea. When we used free marketing methods, results were limited. Now by using the right tools, we have grown out of proportion.
Please tell us about Sosha Creations. With what idea did you launch this venture?
Infact it all started more as a hobby, but with the kind of response that I received initially provoked me to keep a big footing as a business. While I sat and thought deeply, was very convinced that in today’s world creativity is the key and innovation is the big thing which is in fact the mantra for the survival of biggest fortune 500 companies as well.
So by pursuing this as a career there were two-fold objectives, tap the hidden creativity in young minds which would obviously be the future pillars of society and support few young girls and boys who want to make their own earnings.
Sosha Creations caters to personalized handmade gifting options. We started with just one simple product and now we have more than 100+ products.
Our specialization lies in handmade cards, scrapbooks, lamps, bean bags, photo frames etc. Now, we have more than 100+ options and we are planning to have 500+ options in the next 3-6 months. The official website of Sosha Creations was launched recently. Soon we will also be launching our mobile app.
Sosha Creations was launched to help the loved ones to express their emotions through customized gifting solutions.
How do you go about planning/choosing the designs for your products?
I keep experimenting with new things. I learn mostly through trial and error method and as a reference point I do take a lot of inputs from the internet. The moment I experiment and succeed in one, I will be enthused to discover the other one. And I do understand the client requirements and design as per the needs.
Which one is your personal favourite and why?
My personal favourite is Magic Cube. I have a special place for this product as we launched the company with this one product and it is one of our highest selling products even today. We started with cardboard version and now we make it with wood.
Unique feature in this product is, you can rotate the cube totally 360 degrees; which is magical and we are exploring to innovate new methods which would be revealed in the near future.
Here is the Video link of the Magic Cube.
How is the journey so far for Sosha Creations? Has it influenced your life in any way?
Journey with Sosha Creations has been really good. Though we started in November 2015, in less than a year, we have more than 3000+ clients and 93000+ followers on Facebook.
It has influenced me to be on my toes and find new things as people are demanding for newer options. It constantly forces me to think and innovate new methods/styles because same customers buy multiple times and obviously they wouldn’t want to buy the same product every time.
All in all this venture has pushed me to be an entrepreneur from a simple homemaker.
Logistics play a vital role for any e-commerce venture. How do you maintain the logistics section of your online gifting business?
True and having a reliable courier service is key, and we do not cut short on using the reliable logistics partners. Because this has to be on time, every time and especially it has an emotional bond with our customers and meeting deadlines is very critical. We use some of country’s best logistic companies to handle our products.
We ship our handmade gifts and products worldwide. Hence, to ensure everything is in order, we do a personalized follow up until the delivery is made and pod obtained.
What are the present challenges that you are facing right now? How do you plan to overcome them?
The present challenge is in taking this to the next level. We want to scale the business to a multi million dollar company and that is where we will have to have the best practices and processes to be implemented in a way to make it scalable.
Second biggest challenge is to automate our business. Since most of our products are handmade, it is not possible to completely automate, but a lot many processes could be automated. So we are experimenting to ensure everything is made in a way that we could scale this to the level we want.
What are your future plans for Sosha Creations?
In the next two years, we will be marketing our products on most of the market places available. Our next target is to bring DIY (Do It Yourself) Kits and training in most of the areas we specialize.
Our next target is to bring DIY (Do It Yourself) Kits and training in most of the areas we specialize.
Yet another innovative synchronization is under the wraps, which can’t be discussed right now. We are very confident that this would help us grow multi-fold.
In the next 5 years, we would have retail outlets of our own, where we would be selling it offline via franchise model.
And, in the next 10 years, we will be scaling this business worldwide.
Soumya, anything else you want to share…
I would like to thank conflatingVisions once again for giving me the opportunity to share my views. I would like to tell anyone who are reading this to never stop dreaming. Keep doing what you are good at. With the digital space opening up there is room for everyone to make best out of whatever talent they have.
And, one last question of this session Soumya, if you have had one wish…
I wish to create job opportunity for women and especially help those needy and struggling class of people, creating and building confidence in them and helping them to achieve financial security.