How one baby blanket altered the course of this corporate trainer’s life
Anne Rakesh gave up a successful career to build a successful crochet business. Here is her #PassiontoPaycheck journey.
For Anne Rakesh, the birth of her daughter Megan, was life-changing in more ways than one. Amongst the gifts for the newborn was a stunning crochet blanket gifted by her aunt Usha Kapoor. Fascinated by the intricately interlocking loops, she persuaded her aunt to teach her how to crochet.
What started as a hobby soon became all-consuming, and Anne was soon crocheting dresses, caps, and other accessories for Megan. It was then that Anne decided to quit her 13-year career as a corporate trainer to take up crocheting full-time.
In 2012, Anne started an online brand Happy Knots with the support of her husband, Rakesh.
Anne says, “I had always wanted to work on something very creative, and I found my calling with HappyKnots. My brand clearly defines our slogan ‘Designed just for you’. However, none of this would have seen the light of day if not for the immense love, companionship and support of my husband. Pictures of my crochet accessories on Facebook soon fetched me a lot of orders, and we decided to launch our venture at Sunday Soul Sante (an event featuring art, craft, music and food) on May 6, 2012. It’s a day that’s very close to our heart. Happy Knots started as a hub for creative ‘crochet jewellery’ and ‘dreamcatcher accessories’. All the products are exclusively handcrafted by us. Our designs are intricate and boho-chic in their styling."
Weaving through challenges:
“Since the whole business grew from passion and not planning, we simply wore our hearts on our sleeves and went with our instincts. A growing customer base and the demand for an assortment of products helped us overcome rugged paths; and the support and positive response we got, propelled us to do better as we met each demand with diligence. Besides, we are not from a business background, so each day we learn and improve. The major challenge is the shortage of time, since we specially handcraft all our products.”
Anne sees the competition as a motivation to do even better and strive for perfection. She says quality and attention to detail are the things she never compromises on.
Crafting a new story:
Anne has recently launched a new vertical for HappyKnots called ‘HappyKnots Events’, which is focused completely on venue styling. Explaining the concept, Anne says, “We at ‘HappyKnots Events’, carefully design wedding venues with accessories that bring out the essence of the event. It is unique and awe inspiring. We are known for our fresh spin on decor, and for creating one-of-a-kind design pieces. We basically customise each venue based on the couple’s choices and make sure they have all the little details that will make their big day perfect. We have also incorporated an efficient labour, light and sound team to help us see the design through within the specified time limit.”
Anne says that crochet design and production takes hard work and perseverance, and is a continuous process of learning, sacrifice and most of all takes a lot of love for what you do. Anne’s passion sometimes has her working 24/7 and has given her countless sleepless nights. But in Anne’s own words, “The appreciation we receive from our customers, irrespective of whether they buy our products or not is very encouraging and my passion for the art and for creating new designs keeps me going. We couldn’t have asked for more. We are blessed to be doing what we love the most.”
Anne’s mantra for success is, “Focus, passion and the will to push yourself beyond your comfort zone to explore new realms.”