Elon Musk says,
“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favour.”
In our today’s #FridayFeature, we present a #WonderWoman who started off her professional journey because it was required of her at that time but has now become a businesswoman to be reckoned with. Meet, the founder and Brand Owner of Uniq Bags, Divya Kacharia.
How did Uniq Bags come to become such a success and what is Divya’s story? Let’s hear it in her own words:
“Uniq Bags initially took shape purely for survival reasons. As a 20-year-old wife, mother and daughter-in-law, I wanted to do my bit to support the family. Back then my husband’s business was at a very nascent stage so when the opportunity to contribute in my own way came in, I immediately leapt at it. Eventually, as a young girl who had never ventured out of the house – this experience made me into someone who took pride in the money I brought home. I took pride in not being a damsel in distress instead took charge and was accountable for my family, not just emotionally but financially too. My husband and I were true partners, with equal responsibilities.
Of course, it wasn’t easy starting out and there are struggles I face even today. I was a young married woman in a field full of strange and unknown men. Meeting wholesalers, retailer and middlemen to get orders took strength, will power and a lot of support from my family. Money was limited too, and we were operating out of a garage with one tailor and a machine. Much of the touch ups and additional embroidery was hand done by me and my mother -in-law at home. There was a constant struggle to manage and take care of a joint family, 2 kids and the business. I was the scouter for buyers and walked through markets with bags of my products for samples. I was the delivery person who carried huge bags with 100s of products by bus to the store. Even my 3rd pregnancy did not deter me from pursuing this with equal fervour. If anything, it fuelled and inspired me to work harder for my family.
The turning point for Uniq Bags came when an agent spotted our products in the market and reached out to us to exhibit in Saudi Arabia and South Africa. This was my headway into wholesale exports. I remember a trip to Johannesburg back in the 90’s when it was so unsafe for women that my agent insisted that I be back in my hotel room by 6 pm. But I am glad I took the chances, that I took the not-so-ordinary decisions that gave me the not-so-ordinary results.
My biggest motivation for starting off, trudging on and continuing even today is my husband, who never questioned my decisions. My mother-in-law was a huge support too because she was not only my first work partner, but also turned caretaker for my kids when I had business matters on hand to take care of. But,more than these two, it was my three children, who I believed (like any mother would) deserved the best of everything. Knowing that I could make a difference; that I could fight against all odds and achieve bigger things taught me self-worth. Besides this, as the business grew, the success, respect and self-confidence that came in, also worked as motivators and energy boosters to help me keep going.
The journey so far has been a wonderfully fulfiling one. We currently
export to 11 countries and supply locally as well. We provide work and housing to over 50+skilled laborers and continue to go to distant villages past Bihar and UP to find craftsman willing to learn. Many of them have been working with us for over 20-25 years and their weddings, children and children’s education have been major milestones for us. My 2 daughters and one son have grown up learning about resilience through example. I am proud that my daughters are ambitious, loving and confident women who do not believe in societal barriers. My son is a kind, respectful and hardworking boy having been given the same opportunities as his sisters and no more. My son and daughter in law have recently expanded Uniq Bags into the online retail space and their enthusiasm and dedication gives me pride for having set the steppingstone for them. E-commerce is the present and the future and I am glad we’ve kick started our journey in that direction.
My learning through every personal and professional journey have been to remain humble and to always help and remember those who have helped you grow. Also, give back as much as you can because someone is always in the position and need of something, where once you were.
You can get in touch with her or order some of her amazing products by following the social media pages below:
Besides these, her products are also available on Amazon.in