Wonder Women

When You Refuse To Bow Down to Societal Expectations & Stereotypes ~ An Artisan of Dreamcatchers Shares Her Story

Michael Jordan says,

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

 

In our #FridayFeature blog focusing on the #WonderWomen segment we proud to bring to you a woman, who overcame obstacles thrown her way, refused to bow down and made a name for herself in a field of her liking. Meet, Tejaswini Gopalakrishnan, who is an Artisan of Dreamcatchers and Founder of Junicorn Crafts and Junicorn Crafting Materials. She proudly calls herself an artist by passion and profession. So, what kind of obsctacles did she overcome and what made her turn a hobby of making dreamcatchers into a full-time business and profession? Let’s find out in her own words.

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“I started making art as a full-time business at a very low point in my life.

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Until then, it was only a hobby, a part time thing that I used to do to cheer myself up amidst a mundane lifestyle. I am a victim of a hypocritical, gender biased family/society. I worked as a software engineer in a reputed MNC for 3 years with a handful pay. I used to make dream catchers and other art works after office hours.

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My life was fulfilling and happy with my job, art, friends and a home that I had made for myself. But everything changed when my family/so-called relatives forced me to quit my job as I did not agree to their plans on my marriage. I had no emotional support except for my father who is a little better person compared to the rest of the group.

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Unfortunately, he wasn’t of much help too and as a result I ended up in a 10*10 room at my parents’ home with no job. I was devastated for the next 2-3 months and couldn’t accept the injustice that was done to me by my own family as I watched all the dreams and plans, I had for my life fade away.

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I had a lot of suicidal thoughts, (I still do sometimes) and I was completely drowning in depression. I’ve tried communicating with them multiple times, but apparently Indian families care more about their daughter’s marriage than her mental health and ambitions. I’m very sure that this is the case with many families in India.

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It was at that point when I started making more dreamcatchers just to keep my mind away from depression. The love that my Insta fam gave me for my works was precious and that’s the only reason I could survive through the past year. I started getting more orders and it really helped me cope with depression. When I started making Dreamcatchers as a full-time job, I required quality materials which was very hard to find locally.

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That’s when I began my research and started a small online store for good quality raw materials as well (Instagram handle: @junicorn_craftin_materials). I was very keen in providing good quality materials and I received very good response for the same. Now I have an employee who is from a not-so-privileged background working for me.I’m sure I would be able to provide more such employment opportunities in the coming years. The situation with my family hasn’t changed much, but I will never give up on who I am and will never compromise for anything less for myself.

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I take inspiration from women leaders from various walks of life. There was this quote I once came across which goes, “It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.” And I related to it so well that I intend on not being silent about what I want, ever.

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My learning has been that,

“They may beat you down the ground, but it’s up to you to succumb to it or you can fight for what you believe in. The latter may take time and it may be very hard, but I believe it’s completely worth it.

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Michelle Obama is one woman I am highly inspired by and she said, “You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.” So, overcoming the adversity I faced and still face is my strength and not a challenge for me anymore.”

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To drop in a message to Tejaswini, check out her eye-catching dreamcatchers, inquire about them or buy one or more for yourself, follow the links below:

If you’re a DIY and art enthusiast yourself, do check out Tejaswini’s other venture through which she provides art and craft materials:

 

 

 

 

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