Nnazaquat the brand for everything handmade was conceptualized in the year 1996. Our official store opened up in 2000. We catered to handmade customized outfits with intricate embroidery to Jewelry , artifacts , tatting lace , knitted sweaters to lots more. What started out as a 10/10 feet store today is an online boutique with clients based in more than 80 countries.
As a budding entrepreneur the struggles I faced were innumerable. I was a commerce graduate with no formal training in designing. I did possess an innate desire to learn and master every craft which stood in good stead. During my growing up years my mom kept my sisters and me busy with embroidery projects which included matti bedsheets with intricate patterns all over it, curtains to cushion covers , dresses tailored and embroidered at home , sarees with Zardari , beadwork and Mukaish, blouses with embroidery and painting. What I didn’t realise at the time was these skills would one day help me run a successful business .
Over a period of two decades my main aim was teaching under privileged women the skills I had learnt over the years . Hence started the training sessions in my boutique in Belgaum where I trained nearly 700 women who are now earning well and independent. Free training with material was provided which resulted in a lot of production of intricate embroidery on cotton outfits, tailors were trained and hired, Karigar’s were given work from home jobs .
So while I was focusing on empowering women my brand grew and before I knew it we got written about in the newspapers . My story is also part of an MBA textbook featuring women entrepreneurs in India. This helped in brand building and promotion.
After completing two decades in Belgaum where my children completed their education , it was time to move to the city of my dreams…Goa. Although I spent every summer vacation in Goa as a kid , we did not have any contacts who could help us relocate here. So OLX came to our rescue . August 2013 , we got a response to our requirement on OLX and we moved to Goa. A store in Panjim and a house in Caranzalem were rented. My elder son had moved to Auckland for his education and continued to stay there working in an IT company and pursuing his passion of fashion photography. Husband, a doctor in the army was posted at the wagah border in Amritsar , so my younger son Anurag and me were in Goa with a store and a home.
After a year of experimenting we realized that our online business had picked up and we were just wasting our time and money maintaining an offline store which couldn’t draw in too many clients with the eternal parking problem in Panjim. So we bought our own place in Mapusa and shifted our business from offline to only online and we continued to sell through our website www.nnazaquat.in and a few leading shopping portals.
Now we specialize only in tribal jewelry and accessories. Working with beads , stones, shells, mirrors sourced from all over the country we have nearly 3000 designs listed on our website. Thus started an interesting concept of working in pajamas. Anurag manages the online business from photographing to marketing , packaging to shipping while I focus on the designing. Nepali girls are trained who work for me , since now we need to focus on volume.
I have recently started a new venture of training the physically challenged to make beautiful wire baskets . The baskets are sturdy, reusable, washable and remind us of our grandmas who used to knot these baskets. I market these with a minimum margin to cover up my costs , with the intention of providing continues work to them as they don’t have too many options of earning.
Five years into this and we now do selected exhibitions , ship worldwide and the rest of the time we are exploring this beautiful city of beaches.
Salute your spirit and perseverance and entrepreneurship. Well done and all the best.