The Cambridge English dictionary defines “mompreneur” as, “a woman who sets up and runs her own business in addition to caring for her young child or children”.
In our today’s #FridayFeature for our #WonderWomen segment, we’re proud to present a mompreneur who refused to give up on being an independent woman, despite life throwing unexpected curveballs at her, personally as well as professionally. Meet, Heena Patel, owner and founder of Magic Needles and a hands-on mom to twin daughters. What’s her story and how does she manage being a good mother as well as a successful businesswoman? Let’s get to know in her own words.
“I have had a successful professional career with full-time jobs in reputed companies, including big names like ICICI. Being an independent woman since the time I became an adult, it was difficult for me not to keep myself engaged in some or the other professional as well as challenging work.
So, when I had to take a career break because of a personal loss, knitting came in as a saviour; it not only helped me heal emotionally, but it kept me engaged creatively and productively too. As a child, knitting was a thrust upon hobby, but after I had my twins, it became a job, which had to be done if I wanted my girls to be protected against the colds with something I could trust.
That’s how Magic Needles came to be, as something which I knit for my children, to it being appreciated so much, that I had to do it for others too; as the requests grew, I knew my work had to be given a proper name and structure. Hence followed, the naming, the logo designing, the registration, setting up the website, hiring people to help, and all the other big-small things that go into making and building a business; which I must admit, would not have been possible without my husband Kalpesh Patel’s pushing or even his help.
As I always admit when someone asks, “I am the business part of Magic Needles, but everything else, right from creative to marketing and promotions, is the brainchild of my husband”. It was, and is, his dream to make Magic Needles a brand rather than just a platform where people can buy knitwear; the logo designing, getting the business cards printed, registering and trademark, setting up the website and keeping it updated even today, coming up with the idea of labelling each product, are all his doing.
If today, I am able to focus on the manpower management of the 100+ team of Magic Needles and take care of the growth and development of Magic Needles, it’s because he has helped me streamline it all. The women who work with and for me in Magic Needles, are mostly not that well-educated. However, this has never been a problem for me and neither for them, as I believe in hard work and dedication, more than anything else; which is why, all my employees have grown with time, as much as Magic Needles has.
Today, Magic Needles has expanded from just baby clothing, to women’s clothing, home décor and even into jewellery, because I have that much time on hands to think about expanding the business, because everything else, from supply to designing, is taken care of by my reliable team. Magic Needles has gone on from a home-based business in India, to reach across the globe in countries like UK and USA. People have defined me as badass and a no-nonsense kind of woman, but I take that as a compliment, because I have learnt it the hard way, that if you want to get something done the way you expect it to be done, you can’t be a pushover; and once the job has been done, I don’t shy away from appreciating it either. And I mean real appreciation, monetary benefits as well as a pat-on-the-back kind of; The way we work is, “if you show loyalty and results, Magic Needles is here to acknowledge and appreciate, if not, we don’t hesitate from showing you the door.” Irrespective of age or qualification, we take in women from all walks of life and I am proud to say that I have been phenomenal in my role to such women empowerment.
We already have a strong online presence in India, UK and USA, through platforms like Amazon, First Cry, Flipkart and now even Myntra; however, my goal is to spread Magic Needles across UAE and Australia in the next two years. The future plan is to expand on the range of products, by venturing into arenas outside selling of yarn, yarn clothing and knitwear, and to something which can help us sustain during summer and monsoon as well. My focus and aim is to make Magic Needles a niche brand, rather than a platform which is just another option in the many brands falling under clothing and accessories.
If I’m selling the same products which can be easily available in the local markets at a cheaper rate, how am I going to stand out? And that’s what my mission and vision for Magic Needles is, to stand apart from the crowd and provide something unique. My learnings from all personal and professional experiences, through ups and downs, and success as well as failures, has been to keep oneself busy; if you keep yourself engaged in work, you will find your calling eventually and once you do find it, don’t waste it but build on it. Being a practical person, I believe in scientific and mathematical theories only when they’re related to life, hence Einstein’s “Energy can never be created nor destroyed” came to my full understanding through my own energies which converted a hobby into a passion, and eventually a business through Magic Needles.”
You can connect with Heena and her Magic Needles, or order one or more of her amazing creations by following the links below: