Akshaya Krishnakumar is the founder of Happy Pique – an online store that sells handlooms and accessories. With a dream to start something of her own, Akshaya started her business of selling handmade jewelleries during her college days. She even quit her job to take her business full time and still continues to excel as an entrepreneur. Akshaya shares more about her business story with WOI- Womenpreneursofindia
Whatever it may be, give your best and leave the rest to God. Don’t compromise on quality. Whatever product you may deal with, quantity will speak only for a lesser time. Quality will remain forever! There’s nothing wrong if your growth is slow. Let it be steady. There will surely be few people happy for you and your work. Don’t forget them!
I grew up in a very close circle from a middle class family. I did my schooling and bachelors in Chennai. My parents have been my huge support in every decision that I made. Mentioning this because we had a Hindu – Christian marriage and coming from an orthodox Hindu family, my parents accepted my decision.
I always wanted to create something of my own. Happy Pique was started when I was in my college final year. Initially, I named my business as Pique and later named it as ‘Happy Pique’. I was selling quilled jewellery during my college days. My first customer was my college mate. I remember selling to her a pair of owl earrings. Back then, we would deliver the packages personally.
Later, I started selling jewellery through Instagram. By that time, I had no idea what Instagram was all about. I would just click pictures of my products and posted it. People started liking the jewellery and I slowly started getting orders. It was a very slow progress that I just had 10 orders a month.
After college, I was working with Amazon in Chennai. Once my business started growing, I couldn’t concentrate on both. I really wanted to give my everything to Happy Pique. Then, I started concentrating on my own brand ‘Happy Pique’ which was renamed in July 2017 and slowly people started recognising my brand even more.
Initially, I couldn’t help myself going under so much of mental stress and anxiety as I did not know anyone other than my family and 5 friends to help my business word spread. And, it was difficult to cope up with my expenses. Also, convincing my parents was a biggest task!
My parents did not like the idea of me quitting my job. But then, on seeing the business growth, they gave their support to me. I can’t express my gratitude to them in words. My husband, lover then, was also my pillar of support and still he is.
I remember packing 50 orders in a go, from packing maximum 10 orders per month. I couldn’t contain my happiness and excitement, that I clicked so many pictures of the packed orders! There are days when we would stand outside India Post until midnight to post our express packages to send dispatch of the day.
My main support system is my family and very few friends. I keep myself motivated by trying to learn something daily. I read blogs and books. Sometimes, I cry my heart to my parents, sister or my husband. Because, one cannot stay motivated all the time. One needs a shoulder to cry on. There are a few customers who are supporting me from beginning. I owe them something big!
The biggest lesson I have learnt in business is, it is easy for people who easily network and make contacts. Without contacts, it is difficult for people like me to grow a brand. I thank my lovely customers who spread the word about Happy Pique and few influencers/bloggers who truly loved working with us and helped our brand grow!
To be honest, I feel stressed all the time and feel like I’m working 24X7 as an entrepreneur! But, I love doing that. I work hard as much as I can to bring in quality products. I try to make my brand eco friendly. I don’t use plastic boxes and plastic covers for packaging and I am proud about it. I also do not charge my customers for packaging even though there is a lot of money going from my pocket. I strive hard just to see the happy smiles of my customers. That smile sums up all the hard work done and all the struggles I go through every day!
Lastly, I would request fellow people to support entrepreneurs from their family or friends circle. It will really mean a lot to them! Mental support and motivation is all that is needed in this fast growing world! Let’s support each other and let’s grow organically. Loads of love and peace to all!
Thankyou Akshaya. You are such an inspiring self made women entrepreneur. We hope your story motivates women to start working on their dreams beyond their limitations. We are very glad to feature your business story on WOI. We wish you all the best for future endeavours. Keep Inspiring!