Real stories are relatable, they leave us with a personal impression of a lifetime, they teach us life lessons and inspire us. On my blog I share about such stories which are influencing because they have a huge impact on us, they make us the kind of a person we are, how we react to a situation and finally what learnings we take away from them to grow as a person.
The saga of passion, perfection and success
“Trust in your craft enough to admire it, study it, perfect it, breathe it. Never stop getting better at whatever it is that you love to do“
“My eyes won’t rest until the harmony is reached between the accessories, papers and the theme of this scrapbook”
“If it is not something unique and extraordinary it is still not done”
“It has to please me first and I am not very easily pleased”
“I can spend 3 months on one album to make it an out of the world experience for my client”
“It always has to be the best possible picture of the card or album otherwise my work is incomplete”
Niharika’s determine is evident in each of her quote. Standards and class may feel naked when Niharika starts crafting. She pours her heart and soul in her scrapbooks, albums, cards and projects you may call them whatever you like. For her, It’s a piece of her that she parcels you through FedEx.
Niharika Expressions is all about taking care of your memories. Niharika’s handmade box cards, scrapbooks and baby albums are a sheer pleasure for one and all.
Her success is happiness of her clients. To give you facts, her baby albums are a big hit amongst our very favourite Bollywood and television stars alike. Time and again Niharika and her work has been praised, acknowledged, interviewed and published by various organization’s and magazines in India. Naming a few NDTV, The Times of India, Chennai live 104.8FM and The Idea book
She has been on many design teams and has been brand ambassador for crafting companies in India and now abroad in Gothenburg too. Check out her works at Bob n Betty, BlooMar designs, P13 paper products Flavir design, Fab Scraps. They call her the master crafter at Craft Chaos for a reason. The Queen of scrapbooking is no less a mention that she has earned through her hard work. In all of these accolades, she is always grateful to her mentors and teachers with a special place for Rajni ma’am who undoubtedly is the epitome of creative crafting.
A Battle Of Freedom Within And Outside
Unlike most of us at college, Niharika was one of those who married immediately after her B.Tech and Sanvi was born in the next year. If I remember right Niharika always had an excellent academic record. After Sanvi, she went through a tough period battling with feelings, emotions and bodily changes, missing pregnancy hormones and new funny emotion of post-pregnancy depression. Along with that, she could never see that steady monthly income which made all of us proud but slog disinterested day and night.
She never had a need to work for money but that freedom to be her own boss was addictive and igniting. The feeling of being able to sponsor her family’s Singapore trip is a feat unimaginable. The good thing is this fire in her is apparent and scatters when she is around you inflicting everyone with it abundantly.
She has had her share of struggles because we live in a world which is unanimously disapproving and not supportive of people with a modern vision and approach to things. Numerous incidents she quoted that happens to all of us and breaks us down but she never let them shake her confidence instead her resilient self, learnt from these incidents and created a new path for herself.
She was challenged by close kins and friends to prove the worth of her cards and if this business she started was any good a business – ignorance in people and their understanding of something new, creative and exuberant.
As zealously Niharika explains she has tried everything ethically possible to reach where she is. She has collaborated for Design teams, Guest posts, Tutorials etc. Sleepless nights are an understatement. Crafting is a field which takes a lot investment in terms of time, money for supplies, patience and creativity.
I have now started to feel that artists, writers, bloggers and now crafters too are probably one of those who always need another backup profession which helps them earn money because the work we do gives us name and fame more than bank balance.
Realising her self worth was the biggest learning from all the collaborations Niharika has had. She continues to explain that ‘Crafting Industry has lately started growing in India and there are many women who would like to work for this industry. So there is a hurry and competition to grab any project a crafter can get. This sometimes is not a healthy or organic growth.’
She was once asked to work fixed rate that will be decided based on someone elses knowledge and understanding of her work. This is the funniest replies she has “Mujhe pata hai isme kitna time and efforts lagega but aap kaun jo decide karoge iska price kitna hai” ( I and only I can know how much time and effort I put in a project who are you to decide how much will be the cost “. One thing is certain with time and experience one gets clarity of thoughts, understands difference between charity, work and collaboration. So did she. Her confidence is because of the consistency in her work, uniqueness of her ideas and her creativity.
She continues to tell me “I have sacrificed a lot of things for my brand Niharika Expressions, and I wish to give full honour to it and to every bit of support my family and friends have given me. Especially my husband Jatin who has shown an enormous amount of love, support, patience throughout these years and my parents who trusted my vision and passion and got me my first ever die cutting machine”.
As a woman entrepreneur dealing with clients, suppliers, logistics, shopkeeper has been a roller coaster ride for each one of us but we all succeed when we support each other. “It is because of tremendous support from other women in the crafting industry I have thrived and created my brand” she adds.
A story of inspiration from around the world
Niharika being one of the top crafters in the world has faced the same struggles as I or you face as a women entrepreneur. There is a lot of inspiration that can be drawn from her story. Our stories may be different from each other but we are all humans with a soul.
1. Being humble and grateful for what we have and who has helped us in our journey roots us strong in the ground.
2. Having highest order of respect for ourselves and our struggles because every minute we spend is precious, every idea is unique and only when we are proud of ourselves, the world shall be too
3. Never settling for anything less than perfect because that is the standards we create for our brand and ourselves
4. Talking to family and friends regularly because they wish well and success when life seems difficult.
5. Getting rid of negativity from our life’s is the fifth point here but the first thing we should do. Relationships, people, things, memories which cause pain or bring sadness should be removed for us to look forward and think creatively.
6. Being a parent especially as a mother we are always more emotionally involved this is our strength and we must acknowledge it with grace.
I bring her story with a hope to inspire every woman out there to trust their talent and start their journey. Niharika Expressions started with a 70 Rupee card being sold to a neighbour. She is currently in process of setting up Niharika Expressions in the snowy Gothenburg.
I wrote this piece for sharing on international women’s day.
This post is a part of ‘The Woman That I Am’ Blog Hop #TheWomanThatIAm organized by Rashi Roy and Manas Mukul #RRxMM. The Event is sponsored by Kraffitti.”