A wise man once told me, the life of women in India is difficult, but it is even more challenging if the woman is working.
I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a jewellery designer who is expected to give her 100 percent in every role she juggles with. I am not alone. I am sure all the women in India have a similar story to tell.
Nowadays, entrepreneurs in India are hailed for their courage, tenacity and creativity. I am a woman entrepreneur who started her business way back in 2014 with an investment of just ₹ 500. Because of the blessings of my friends and my hard work, in a span of just two years, I now own a boutique near my house. I have my Facebook page for fabric jewellery called Ananya’s Creation. With continuous efforts, I have been able to establish a reputation of the products I design and manufacture.
But, let me tell you that life hasn’t been a cakewalk.
Some of my customers who come to the boutique are always looking for unreasonable discounts. I am sure this is something a lot of entrepreneurs face.
Thousands of people in this country have launched small startups in their homes to lead an independent life. There are so many talented women who, just like me, are designing and manufacturing handmade jewellery. But, sometimes, I feel our work is horribly slighted by the buyers.
Making handmade jewellery is not easy. Often, we have to work for days to complete just one design. It puts a lot of strain on our eyes. We always suffer back pain all the time. Many of us have got spondylitis because we have to stoop to look closely at the patterns. Besides the hard work we give to our dream projects, we have to fulfil our responsibilities at home. We do all the household work; we raise our kids, take care of our families and balance all our roles and responsibilities.
I have also employed two people in my workshop whom I pay ₹ 700 per day. I work with them throughout the day and also make sure that they are provided services and amenities that every employee should be.
Just like any other entrepreneur, we too face ups and downs in our business and swim against the tide to keep it profitable.
I aspire to become a famous jewellery designer in India. I am not joking! I work hard and I, too, have a right to dream. If you do not have words of encouragement for me, it is perfectly alright. But, please do not insult my work by haggling with me over the price of jewellery I make. I am not a beggar. I am a designer.
I understand that as a consumer, asking for deals is your right. Buyers always ask for discounts. But, do you ask for discounts when you visit shopping malls?
Every year, the demand for quality increases but people are not ready to pay the price for the efforts gone into designing products of such high quality. Everybody wants the best but pay the lowest.
My request to all the people reading this is that people understand the constraints under which common people like us run our businesses without any support from big corporates or politicians.
Please do not bargain with people running small scale businesses. Please do not insult their hard work and circumstances. If you have absolutely have to, please try your bargain skills at showrooms, not us!