“The thought of quitting my well-paying corporate job to take forward my interest in doll-making indeed felt daunting at the start, and rightfully so! Coming from a middle-class background, the whole idea of running a business, especially in a niche segment like this made the chances of my success seem rather impossible. And though they are very supportive, my family too had their reservations on the eventual probability of my initiative working out.
But with the idea cemented firmly in my mind at thirty-eight, I had an unabashed sense of confidence in making my dream, a reality. So I gave myself a buffer of six months, withdrew a considerable portion of my gratuity fund and went head-on into the research work required at once. Now, though, the art of making dolls was popular until a few decades ago, I noticed very few people, and only elders that too, remaining in the field. Every corner of the country I went to, searching for suppliers and observing the techniques, I realized how disinterested the kids of those families were, towards the skill, especially due to the lack of adequate compensation for the amount of effort that goes in.
And seeing this, I knew that I had to do my bit, to bring back the lost artform, whilst educating today’s folks on the rich history behind it! So, with the help of social media, I started spreading the word on the cultural significance of doll-making, additionally showcasing the man hours that go into the making of each piece. Now to my surprise, people did actually resonate with the initiative with orders started steadily piling quickly, up for my fabric figurines with each post!
What was additionally fulfilling in the journey was being able to teach the skill to other interested pupils, and nurturing their growth too, in the field. At one point all of us artisans in our association even got together to create a Guinness world record for the most number of hand-made dolls, created and displayed for public view. Those moments felt surreal and helped me gain every ounce of respect I’d initially lost, back in abundance. All who questioned my choices, started viewing me differently from then, and that felt even more satisfying than what I was able to earn through my venture.
Today, my family members are my biggest cheerleaders, and I often find myself beaming with joy, whenever my father-in-law saves articles about me carefully, or introduces me as an entrepreneur in a family gathering. The feeling is unmatchable, and I guess it’s moments like these that truly make us cherish all the odds that we had to cross in our unique yet beautiful journeys!”