In the bustling city of Delhi, India, a young woman named Sharmila found herself facing an uncertain future. It was March 2020, and the government had imposed a country-wide lockdown to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. Sharmila, 25, lost her job as a receptionist with a small business in Delhi due to the lockdown. She had been employed with this small firm since the past 3 years, after she had completed her graduation from a local college.
As the days turned into weeks and the lockdown persisted, Sharmila found herself confined to her small 2-room apartment in Laxmi Nagar, which she shared with her family of four, including her parents and her younger sister. With ample time on her hands and no job to return to, she decided to utilize the internet as a resource for personal growth. She started exploring video lessons on tailoring and fashion design on YouTube.
Determined to learn the trade, Sharmila dusted off her mother's old sewing machine, which had remained unused for years. With sheer enthusiasm and a hunger to learn, she dove into the world of needle and thread. Day by day, she followed the video tutorials, practicing the basic techniques diligently.
Within a month, Sharmila was confidently creating basic Indian women's clothing such as kurtis, blouses, and petticoats. She realized that she had discovered a passion that brought her joy and a sense of accomplishment.
As the lockdown restrictions gradually eased after a few months, Sharmila decided to turn her newfound talent into a business opportunity. With just five thousand rupees borrowed from her mother, she ventured to the Gandhi Nagar wholesale market and purchased some beautiful fabrics.
With fabrics in place, Sharmila set up a small sewing space in her apartment and began crafting kurtis. To showcase her creations to the world, she created Facebook and Instagram pages for her business. She clicked the photos of her handmade garments using her smartphone and posted them on social media.
The initial days were challenging, and it took three weeks before Sharmila received her first order, which came from one of her supportive friends. Undeterred by the slow start, she persisted with her social media postings and diligent sewing.
In the second month, Sharmila's perseverance paid off as she managed to sell five kurtis. It wasn't a significant number, but it fueled her determination to continue. With each passing month, her sales gradually increased. By the sixth month, Sharmila was selling around 50 kurtis, earning approximately the same amount she had earned in her previous job.
Emboldened by her growing success, Sharmila began dreaming of expanding her business further. She realized that she couldn't manage everything on her own, so she decided to employ two talented women from her community who were skilled in tailoring. Together, they worked passionately to meet the increasing demand for Sharmila's creations.
Word spread about Sharmila's unique designs. Soon, she was responding to numerous inquiries and orders receive via Facebook and Instagram from all over the country. Life was finally looking up for Sharmila as her business thrived.
Fast forward to 2023, and Sharmila's hard work had paid off. She now receives 200 to 300 orders each month, showcasing her growth and success. With a smile on her face and a sense of fulfillment in her heart, Sharmila managed to create a stable source of income for herself and the women she employs.
Life had indeed taken a positive turn for Sharmila, but her journey isn't over yet. She aspires to achieve even greater successes, expand her business further, and inspire more women to pursue their passions.