From 500 to over 1 lakh followers: How one Instagram reel put this woman entrepreneur’s business on the map
Pune-based Akshata Jain started gifting service Knot Your Type with an initial investment of Rs 10,000. With more than one lakh followers on Instagram, the business now clocks Rs 50 lakh in revenue.
The internet is known for its volatile nature and the fact that absolutely anything can happen – and new-age businesses are making the most of it.
A case in point is, an Instagram-born, personalised gifting business, which gained about 75,000 followers within two weeks after one of its reels went viral, garnering over 19 million views.
By May 2021, all of its reels had crossed a combined view count of more than two crore, and now more than one lakh people are following it on Instagram.
Behind the scene is Akshata Jain, a Pune-based homemaker who is relentlessly creating these trendy reels, reaping the success.
“I started this only to nurture my skills as an artist rather than just sit at home. From thinking of making about 10 to 15 orders per month to utilise my time wisely, I am now working on 200 orders a month,” she tells HerStory, adding that the reel changed her plans and trajectory to run a registered business.
Akshata always enjoyed art and craft and loved to make handmade gifts for others over purchasing them. Self-taught through resources on Google and YouTube, her skills in furoshiki, a Japanese art of gift wrapping with fabric, hand letterings, and handmade cards are famous among her friends and family.
An MBA graduate, Akshata also pursued a year-long diploma in fashion designing and developed a love for embroidery. Knot Your Type was started as a passion project to make all things related to embroidery.
When a friend was getting married during the pandemic, Akshata curated a gift by designing a personalised embroidery hoop, and posted a reel that blew up. Within a week, she received a hundred orders – all customised – and had to actually pause on accepting orders in order to deliver them on time.
In one year of operation, Knot Your Type has completed around 1,500 orders, 20 percent of which were international orders.
From being a one-woman army manning everything from social media to handcrafting the products, and tracking orders, Akshata now has a team of 10 women, who she has trained in embroidery and hand lettering from scratch.
Akshata has also moved the business from her home to a studio space, and eventually set up a website for ease of tracking orders.
“It was difficult to track every order manually from direct messages and sometimes, there would be spelling errors but that is solved now.”
With a team in place, the delivery period from the time of placing an order has reduced by more than half — from 60 days to 20-25 days.
Tapping the gifting industry
Starting and sustaining the business during the pandemic was a challenge. Akshata and her team had to switch between working from the studio and her home several times due to the lockdowns in the last couple of years.
“Lack of space and raw materials at home was a challenge. And most of the products were not immediately available for delivery as well,” she says.
However, started with an initial investment of just Rs 10,000, Knot Your Type has been profitable since day one, and the entrepreneur claims to have clocked Rs 50 lakh in revenue. Best known for its wedding hoops, Akshata aims to diversify into other product ranges like bags, nameplates, and everything customisable with embroidery as a USP.
As disposable income increases in most middle-income households in India, the gifting market, valued at $119 million in 2019, is expected to reach $ 159 million by 2025, according to TechSci Research.
Akshata may have started Knot Your Type as a hobby, but she now hopes to build a strong personalised, gifting company.
To anybody considering starting a business, she advises, “Just start it and do it with 100 percent of your heart and you’ll succeed one day. Do not let the fear of failure stop you.”
Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta