In 2013, during a time when Netflix was unavailable in India, it was just another day for Anusha and her childhood friend to catch up on a Korean drama The Heirs online. A scene had one of the lead characters gifting a purple coloured dreamcatcher to her boyfriend. It was the first time she had seen something like a dreamcatcher and had known what they looked like. She had never seen a cool, beautiful and intricate piece of art. She felt it was one of the best things you could gift someone you love. Anusha and her friend went around Manipal searching for dreamcatchers, but they couldn’t find a shop that sold one. Little did Anusha know that she would end up crafting dreamcatchers on her own.
Fast forward to 2017, Anusha wanted to gift her best friend something meaningful and unique. Once again, she went on to search for dreamcatchers and found a shop selling them. When she examined the dreamcatchers on showcase, she realised that they were not only expensive, but they were something that could be crafted by her. She went on to source raw materials for a dreamcatcher. And through a few YouTube tutorials, she successfully made her first dreamcatcher which took about a month to complete through trial and error. In the end, Anusha’s best friend loved her birthday gift – a dreamcatcher.
Pillars of Support:
Born and raised in a Catholic family in Manipal, 22-year old, Anusha is now an entrepreneur of her venture Feathers Full of Dreams, and is a Physiotherapy intern. Interestingly, she found time to craft dreamcatchers during her class hours, which led to encouragement and ideas from her friends on how to start a dreamcatcher business. During her vacation. this spurred a thought in her, to give a serious thought to the idea of crafting and selling dreamcatchers. Coming from a middle class background, Anusha’s parents were retired by the time she joined college. This also motivated her to become self-reliant and went on to create over 20-30 dreamcatchers, all of them which were bought by her friends and family.
“My friends and my parents are my biggest supporters and critics,” says Anusha.
A Gifted Eye for Design:
When Anusha scours the Internet for dreamcatcher ideas or when a customer gives a reference image, she humbly states that it takes just one look to identify the thread work that goes into a dreamcatcher. Coincidentally being a night owl, she crafts dreamcatchers mostly during the night which takes about one hour to 3-4 days depending on the size and requirement of the dreamcatcher. She works around 5-6 hours a day to craft dreamcatchers every day. She believes in reasonably pricing her dreamcatchers, starting from Rs. 100 going up to Rs. 1,200.
“I ask my best, friends, parents and at times my brother when I price a dreamcatcher. But in the end, the final price is decided by stepping into the shoes of my customers like If I was him/her would they buy from me?,” says Anusha.
A Pandora Box of Customer Stories:
While Anusha has received plenty of positive feedback from customers and even requests from resellers, reselling is something she is not interested in. She wants these feathery art pieces to be reasonably priced. There is no dearth of customers when Anusha is asked to narrate a few customer demands and their antics – a customer who never paid after ordering to unsolicited requests for video calls and a customer who never wanted to pick up his dreamcatcher after paying and so on. She is still working on to meet the demands of customers who request for specific colour feathers due to difficulty in sourcing a wide range of materials. However, with the surge in the number of craft supplies sellers on Instagram, she seeks to expand her scope of work.
Balancing Work and Entrepreneurship:
Anusha is at a stage where she has to be focussed on her career as a physiotherapist as well as work on improving her craft and business. With the bunch of orders during the pandemic, her parents though supportive in her venture, have advised her to find a balance between the two.
Anusha is all set to pursue her higher studies now with a soft pause in her venture. With plenty of her own dreamcatchers decorating her house, they also serve her a gentle reminder to never stop dreaming, literally.
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