Weddings are once in a lifetime occasion. All of us want to make it a memorable event. Wedding albums and videos are passé. To make sure your wedding is a story worth sharing, Vishal Soni and his friend Prakash Raghupathi came together to start The Missing Shoe. The Missing Shoe documents the story of your marriage in a short novel format.
Both founders come from creative fields. During his graduation, Vishal was the editor of a city magazine, and now takes care of operations, finance, marketing, and new business development. Prakash was a freelance journalist. At The Missing Shoe, he takes care of creative execution and works on product development apart from writing the novels.
While speaking about their motivation behind starting The Missing Shoe, Prakash says, “Over the years, having friends in the wedding industry (mainly photographers) and watching other friends getting married, we realized that wedding is a big event for Indians. Also, candid photographers, filmmakers are dime a dozen and therefore, we realized there is a lack of something that stands out in this clutter – the one thing that you could claim is ‘different’, unique and more valuable than what you could have imagined. Hence, we decided to write novels. Novels about weddings that cover every facet of the event and people involved. In a sense, we can spin a fairytale around any wedding, big or small.”
After getting an assignment, they go to the marriage venue and interview family members of the bride and groom to come up with the various angles for the story. Once the marriage is over and they have documented everything they come up with the first draft. The revisions are made according to client feedback and if it is approved the story is published and shipped to the client.
“For the discerning reader, it is a treat; for the others, it’s an object of great value. After all, they have a book – an account of their life story – that they can share with friends, family and children and keep for posterity. There are many moments, recollections, anecdotes that people would love to capture. However, it’s not always possible with photographs or films but it is with a book. In addition, our offering isn’t limited by aspects such as location, dresses, setting, etc. We can make anything seem special with the same emotion that our client experiences, “ Prakash adds.
As it is a new concept in India, the challenges in adoption are huge for the first mover. It is hard to get people to believe in you as there is no one to compare your services with. Moreover, considering the budgets for a wedding are finalized in advance and people are not aware of the idea of wedding books, it is quite difficult to seal the deal. Getting them to expand their budgets for this is a huge challenge especially when services like candid wedding photography, pre wedding shoot come into the picture. However, persistence is the key here.
Sharing an interesting incident while covering one of the weddings, Prakash says, “While covering a wedding in Kolkata, most people couldn’t figure out what two guys were doing with a notebook and no camera at a wedding. We were also questioned by a watchman who assumed that we had gate crashed into the wedding to write about it in the newspaper. “
Talking about the lessons from their journey, the founders say:
- It is very important to believe in your idea. Because if you don’t, no one else will.
- Find the right support system to work with you. You need to work with people who share the same level of passion as you do, else it becomes very stressful and you will always be unhappy with the work being done.
- It’s very important not to shortchange people and respect them for what they do. A lot of people get carried away with the new found power and hence, it’s important to have your head on your shoulders at all times.
Visit The Missing Shoe.
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