This is the 4th time I have started out in business, the first one being in 1984,it has been a bumpy ride full of experiences wanted and unwanted:) Now when I look back I see that I could not have been here where am I minus the bumps, so this blog is not only an update of what we are doing at Blue Lotus & with our 8 brands but also 3 cheers to the spirit of entrepreneurship and the determined me. Inviting all to glimpse, buy, comment, cheer and TELL D world :) Dedicated to Blue Ocean Theory.
Last weekend we had taken over my friend Sangeeta’sliving room and her life :)
My very own Indian Bazaar…was born in April 2011.An experiment, which brought immense happiness, contentment and excitement .Me and the family whose home I had taken over all were so exhilarated with the entire experience that I repeated the entire exercise, a month later.Voila!!! We were very successful, yet again, being in love with retail, I was super excited.Two months in a row, same location, both the exhibitions super successes…WOW!
I tried counting the number of colors,failed miserably:)
The first exhibition, the first customer was my friend Sangeeta and she asked me to hold an exhibition at her home. I dilly dallied for couple of months and then kind of closed in on some date.Spreading the word, sending sms, emails, designing the marketing all brings up lots of harrowed folks, but, then the adrenalin rush when the final products are all ready is a great ego booster.This time we had designed a poster, first time we saw all our brands on a single surface, felt GOOD!Designing each logo, coming up with the brand idea and then the brand name, most of it, is though, all jumbled up inside you and from the clutter; you have to reach the space of complete clarity.This process takes sometimes very little time and sometimes, months and years.
We are a start up, and like any start up have lots of teething issues, and also I found people cannot fathom the variety of brands, it will eventually sink in…The entire idea being so new.At the end of this exhibition, I felt the exhibition requires its own unique identity, Moving Bazaar,Bazaar on the Move, Home Bazaar, and many such options floated around and then I decided on “Weekend Buzzaria”
I am sure the Giraffe never expected this
My team and I met Sangeeta and her family and all her friends, for those three days we were part of their lives. Phoebe the 6-month-old Yorkshire terrier stole our heart. The domestic help, the two maids who informed me when I entered ,Oh she won’t answer her phone as she is not near her phone:) this was in response to my query of where is Sangeeta? They loved the stuff and spent hours helping us set up the Bazaar, and what do I find, the next day, they came shopping and not only that they invited their friends too. This was simply fantastic.
The BluPear Chappals crossed all income barriers :)
Sangeeta’s mother in law and sister in law live on the ground floor. Aunty I have known for 30 odd years as Sangeeta’s husband Vicky (Vivek Chopra) is my classmate from school. Though this was the first time, I was getting an opportunity to show her, what I do. I had brought everything to her doorstep.
Aunty Sukirta is an energy healer, has been teaching Reiki for a very long time. She does PLR sessions, angel card readings, crystal therapy, theta healing etc, so Aunty does not really go on regular shopping jaunts. When I saw my Bazaar from her eyes, I felt so good…so very good.
A friend’s friend Anjuli visited with her friend and they were amazed at the range of products, they fell in love, with the Skirts, the Chappals and the Jewelry. They shopped to their hearts content, continuously declaring that they are very conservative shoppers, they do not know what has come over them. Then they came back the next day, Ira, with her daughter who was wearing her mother’s slippers bought the previous day. Oh, I was on cloud nine seeing this little girl smiling her feet dazzling with the silver BluPear Chappals, and she bought one more for her daughter & her daughter’s friend. Anjuli came back too with her husband to look for more skirts,Mimathyma skirts were a big hit.
All tables were covered with Jewelry - no food here :)
The star of the show though was Shweta Chopra, Sangeeta’s daughter; her birthday is around the corner.All her aunts bought her gifts of her choice; she got herself lots n lots of Mimathyma skirts.Shweta is in first Year College and is not into truly ethnic Indian attire, but she loved the skirts as they appealed to her as fun n young and yet Indian enough to make her mom happy that she was willing to wear something other than her shorts.I am sure we will come back to the Chopra household this time invited by Shweta, next year, very close to her birthday…Ha-Ha
Vir for the first time saw so many women all in the span of 3 days shopping to their hearts content:)and that too at his home. Moreover, of course when we had issues, with the tempo guy and the packing staff, not turning up and dear Vir, even with his fractured arm, decided to assist us in best possible fashion. You see he was the man of the house for those 3 days as his dad was out of town.
Namita,Sangeeta’s sister in law, came straight from school, she is a teacher, she looked at me with her twinkling eyes and said you know I saw your poster I had to come straight to the first floor, without even going home for lunch, I just couldn’t resist. The glee I saw made me forget all the stress n strain of setting up the bazaar:)
I can go on and on about Sangeeta’s hospitality, the lovely coffee, the food, the garden her lovely home and her smiling and calm face, but she will make mince meat of me:) Oh I can surely tell you she is a wonderful Business Coach, and also completely involved in running the training workshops on Productivity.(Mission Control Productivity Workshop)
I also got a chance to meet my school batchmate Kamal, after some 30 odd years. He spent practically an hour pouring over all the jewelry and picking up stuff for his nieces, daughter and wife. It was very gratifying to see that a Man could also go through such a humungous range ofproducts and ask us the why and how’s about many of the pieces.
Our bazaar did attract a fan from FB Arunima, who came in saying she saw the Chappals on FB, bought one pair, went out down the stairs and after few minutes came back and said give me the other one too. I think that has been the fastest return customer :)
Thanks Anu Behl for coming all the way from GK2....for the IamRa Bracelets
Thanks Nilufer for taking our visiting cards to your dinner party :) Thanks Kiku, Meena, Nandini. Thanks Kavita, Sagrika, Anita, Anu, Dr Deepika, Kanika, Mehek, Sarviki, Urmi and all the other whose names I could not gather. Special thanks to the gentleman who came and asked for the cards with store address and said we look forward to visiting your store, start it soon. He spent an hour choosing stuff for his wife and daughters. Special thanks to Sonu Vandanaa Chhabra, Sonia Sharma (I am sure you saw your groove), Preiti Singh, Sumita Pant Joshi
We are still, fine-tuning, the art of moving our goodies. Moreover, while going to Gurgaon found us in a very helpless situation. In walked an old friend Sunil heading back to Gurgaon and offered to carry a carload of stuff:) And in the bargain i discovered he is a collector and one of his passions is to collect Hundis (Promissory Notes) Then on our way, back I asked my cargo person who happens to be Sunil too, to help us out, he and his dad came to take the stuff but the helpers did not turn up:( Sunil who now turned into an angel moved all the big boxes all by himself and got us home well before it turned midnight :)If anyone is looking for a good cargo guy Gautam Roadways are good people.
Now off to do more planning work for the next one this one is atAabha’s home in.Noida