Sisters-in-law Priyanka Sharma and Anjali Dawar started The Doodle Hut a year ago. Priyanka (29) says that she would spend her weekends collecting pieces of art and decorating the walls at home along with Anjali (34). After bouncing off some ideas over a cup of coffee one weekend, they decided to design their own wall art and decided to start up.
“This was an opportunity to be creative and entrepreneurial at the same time. The idea was to create customised products that spark the same joy of wall designing in others as well,” says Priyanka, who has a master’s degree in Mass Communication and journalism from Delhi University.
Based in Delhi, The Doodle Hut designs home décor essentials and gifting solutions like string nameplates, door hangings, personalised engraved boards, and DIY string arts, among others. The products are priced between Rs 299 and 3,500, and delivered in four to seven days across India.
Thriving on social media
During the first few months of operations, they exhibited at well-known festivals and flea markets in Delhi, including Horn Ok Please. At the three-day long festival, all their products got sold out.
However, the co-founders are making the most of internet platforms. Priyanka and Anjali launched their business on Instagram in August 2019, which also provides a basic insight into customer interest and behaviour and helps nurture leads. They say the days of looking for shops and negotiating for rent and other benefits are long gone. Instagram, along with WhatsApp for Business and Amazon has lent itself very well to perform B2C operations.
Started with an initial investment of Rs 90,000, Priyanka says they are focussed on expanding their product offerings and not actively seeking funds. The entrepreneur claims that each post on Instagram gets sold within two hours, and the company has registered profits twice its initial investment so far.
While arts and crafts is not a novel idea on the internet, they believe that understanding customer’s needs and offering customised gifting products sets them apart from others in the space.
Additionally, “The online gifting industry is one of the contributors to the growth of the Indian ecommerce space. The way I see it, having more players in the design and gifting space only helps boost creativity,” she adds.
Hiring and challenges
While they take care of the designing and the craft work, Priyanka’s mother has also joined the business. Her skills in crocheting has helped introduce new products like crochet and macrame wall hangings and plant holders.
A team of eight women, Priyanka shares that while hiring and expanding the team, the candidates do not require prior skills and are trained for 15 days.
On her nieces’ birthday, Priyanka donated a part of The Doodle Hut’s revenue to an NGO for old people in Delhi. She says she saw