Published: 18th May 2018
She was barely out of college when Harshietha set up her first company, now at 26 she has two!
Naga Harshietha is only 26 but she's got her own company plus is running a company along with her brother and mother as well
A lot of students try different ways to make studying more interesting for themselves, for 26-year-old Naga Harshietha D, it was making her books look pretty. As an architecture student in RV College, Bangalore, Harshietha found that all her sketch books looked extremely boring. So she decided to create her own sketchbooks. It was only expected that soon her classmates also started to get interested in her books and asked for similar ones.
So she made a few for her friends and then they made requests for books that they could gift their friends but this time they insisted that they would pay for them. Now the friends of her friends were coming forward to buy her books too. The demands were increasing. However, after she finished college, Harshietha found a job that kept her at the office all day leaving her little time to do anything else. She had no time for any other activities besides work and missed out on life. One day she decided to set up a Facebook page to showcase her work but soon strangers started sending in requests. She then started to sell her products on forums like Amazon, Snapdeal and others.
Young genius: It all started for Harshietha when she was just a student in college
After a while, she thought it would be best to set up her own online store and she named it - NAHADS. "I myself don't enjoy mass produced stuff. Which is why I started creating my own sketchbooks. My friends also enjoyed the products when it was customised to their liking," Harshietha said.
She didn't spend too much time looking for funding and pooled in the money she had saved from working as an architect and the money she made from selling a few of her items. "I would take an advance for the requested products and that would cover the expenditure mostly. So that way I didn't run short of money," she added.
NAHADS is an online boutique selling stationary.
The products are handmade and eco-friendly
The sketchbooks and notebooks are completely customised
The innovative designs are created with mixed media as well.
The products make unique gifting options
The company has about 500 clients
The products in Harshieth's online store are not always made of handmade paper unless it is requested for by a customer. However, she uses the most durable material, "In most notebooks and sketchbooks the leaflets always come off just after a few months. In my books, I ensure that the pages are of good quality and don't come out easily, in fact if you want to tear a page from the book you actually have to cut it out. I focus on the technicalities of the book as much as I focus on the design. So it is stronger and more durable ," she said.
Now besides sketchbooks and notebooks, she also designs guestbooks, photo albums and other stationery. Over the last three years, the brand has grown in leaps and bounds but NAHADS is still run by a one woman army. "Depending on what the customer needs, I collaborate with photographers, graphic designers, printers and others artists for that particular project. But the ideas are always mine so I pretty much do all the work on my own. The customers who come to me are looking for a certain style and therefore, I take up the design myself. " she explained.
NAHADS is working on products that are eco friendly and durable with wide range of designs. We are bringing innovative graphic designs into handmade products using traditional and modern methods.
- Naga Harshietha
But because she does it all by herself, it does take time. How does she manage? "People do tell me that I should have a stock so they don't have to wait too long. There are a few popular ones in stock but most customers want personalised products, so that is the big selling point," she said. What makes the online store popular is that it's priced very reasonably,"The costs range from 150 to 1000 and sometimes a little extra depending on the demands of the customer. Since customers get personalised products for such low prices, they choose us," she said.
However, Nahad is not the only start-up Harshietha has, she also runs the Milan Academy along with her brother and sister-in-law. The Academy trains women from all age groups and backgrounds in fashion designing, salon skills and also entrepreneurship. "Some of the courses are only one or two months but the students who leave almost immediately set up an online store or even a physical one. Many who have passed out from here successfully run their businesses. Recently, one lady designed clothes for a relatives' child for a function and then everybody started to ask her. She got orders immediately," she says with pride. So with two businesses at such a young age, Harshietha has her hands full but she's rearing to conquer more territories in the next few years.