Entrepreneur: Mariya Bhavnagarwala
Business Name: Simply Scrunchy
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 145
Be it for coiling as a hair tie or enhancing an outfit by wearing it in hand, scrunchies always ace in yielding distinctive looks. Ever since scrunchies started trending, their production increased enormously, somewhat lessening their quality.
Mariya Bhavnagarwala noted that clients value more than one thing when buying a product and hence started ‘Simply Scrunchy’ to take care of everything that clients need.
The scrunchies made by her are handmade, high quality, reasonable, have a firm elastic, and do not permit hair to fall. Also, a comprehensive variety is available to accommodate the distinct preferences of various customers.
By offering their choice of material, patrons can also get the scrunchies sutured to suit their outfits.
How was Maria’s startup journey? What habits are essential for starting a business? What hurdles did she face in the past, and what are yet to come? Let’s find out from Maria herself.
1) How did you get the idea for this business?
‘I have too many scrunchies’ – said no one ever. That being said, scrunchies have been trending for a while and I being a 17-year-old girl was obsessed with scrunchies too. There was this time when I ordered scrunchies and they were overpriced and the quality didn’t turn out to be decent either so I thought why don’t I start a business myself? I always wanted to have my start-up too and I clubbed the idea of a start-up and scrunchies and voila! That’s how SIMPLY SCRUNCHY came to existence.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
2020 has been a tough year for businesses. However, technology has made it much simpler. Owing to the convenience of doing things online, it is a very good time for my company to exist, and covid-19 has made it so that people choose to shop from the comfort of their homes rather than to go out physically. For my business, the make in India campaign is also very fruitful as it gives local creators such as me a chance to have the limelight.
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
I am incredibly fortunate that I have a supportive family. My parents helped me through everything and, most importantly, they were there to provide me with positive and critical guidance. They’re always interested in what’s going on and try to help me out every time I need it.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
I think my biggest error is that I had a very small target audience when I started my company. I initially targeted female clients, but when I began receiving inquiries from males to send their mothers, sisters, etc. scrunchies as gifts, that’s when I realised that there is a massive market that I have not looked into before.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
As a one-man army, it is sometimes difficult to handle everything on my own. I plan to take my company overseas in the coming months, so I have to focus on getting work done and doing it right. One chooses how he/she looks at a situation. I have always seen my obstacles as possibilities and will always aspire to do better.
6) What habits contribute to your success?
I have established a regular early morning routine because I think mornings are more energetic and I can brace myself for the day ahead. I am very persistent and optimistic, which I think is the key to success. Since I have to handle both my college and working life in a balanced manner, I have had to give up on outings with friends and family many times. believe in one of the sayings that ‘Success is not accidental’ If you want anything, desire, work hard for it and get it done.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
Well, I started things off pretty well actually, so I wouldn’t want to do it any other way. So far it has been an incredible journey and every single step has been a learning experience for me.
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis
9) Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration can be drawn from so many things – for me, I am very influenced by fashion magazines, books and Pinterest.
10) What is your favourite book?
Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life – Albert Liebermann & Hector Garcia
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Just do it. Start where you are and with what you have. Running a company is a constant challenge and despite each obstacle, you have to be enthusiastic about what you are doing to drive your company forward. You’re going to have to put the amount of effort and hard work twice to prove yourself, but don’t give up on your dream.
The pandemic has awakened the entrepreneur in many of the individuals; isolation actually helped people unleash their creativity to build unique startups. Seeing those overpriced, not-so-good quality scrunchies, Maria got an idea of starting her online business, Simply Scrunchy. Being a one-woman-army and one of the bestsellers of scrunchies, she is a true influencer.
Her products are being sold in every state and city of India, and soon she is planning to go global. The 17-year-old ambitious girl is now not only selling scrunchies but also stickers and necklaces as well. It’s time to support local creators instead of companies delivering bad quality, too-expensive products.
Want to order stylish scrunchies? Check out Simply Scrunchy now.