Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Brigade that Builds Brands: Air Force wife Anamika Sarkar's crafty business

Hello everyone! Welcome back to The Brigade that Builds Brands. Today, I'm chatting with Air Force wife & teacher-turned-crafter Anamika Sarkar. She left her well-established teaching job when her son was small and turned her hobby into her profession. Something that she could pack and take along on all their postings across India, Anamika has found immense joy in her handmade craft business. Here's how she's done it, and how anyone with a wisp of a dream + the gumption to work, can do it. I hope Anamika's story inspires you to take your dream by the horns and turn into work that you can juggle along with the bustling service life.

C. Please tell something about yourself- what do you do, where are you based and how long have you been a Fauji wife?

A. I have been married to a fighter pilot since the last fourteen years. It was an arranged match, and since I came from a pure civilian background, I had no inkling of what I was getting into then. Till that point in my life, I knew very little about Fauj in general and the Air Force in particular. Fourteen years and seven postings later, here I am, a well-travelled Fauji wife presently based in Delhi, and slightly more knowledgeable, in how to set-up and decorate a government allotted accommodation, invite friends over, manage the household, and wind-up and move to another part of the country, and all this in a short span of two to three years. I have attained a Masters degree in Museology, and a Bachelors degree in Education. I love listening to music, reading, and a bit of a movie buff. Painting and Craft are my stress-busters. I have a son aged nine years, and he is in the fourth standard.

C.  What has been your business or creative journey been like; how and when did you start your venture?

A. I have always been into the teaching profession, but realized my actual passion towards the Creative Arts only a few years back. Though I have been interested in painting and creating hand-made objects since I was a child, but it was only a couple of years back when I had to quit my job from a renowned school in Pune, (as my son was very small) that I decided to take up Creative Art as a career. Today I work as a freelance artist and conduct workshops with various art forms.

C. Were you in a different profession and re-trained for the current one? If Yes, can you share how/where you learned the skills required for your current profession?

A. While I was pursuing my teaching profession, at times I used to enroll myself in short courses and workshops to learn various art forms like Mural Art, Decoupage, Mixed Media, and Palette-knife Painting. I used to keep following updates by artists and crafters on YouTube as well. My thirst for learning and experimenting with various art forms still persists; and I try my best to keep myself up-to-date with the latest happenings in this particular field of work.

C.  Fauji wives make their home in an assortment of obscure places across the country. Our lives are about living in the moment and doing what we can, when we can. Can you share how you stayed creative or found work that satisfied you while moving across the country?

A. It was tough initially. Though I never let go of my paints and brushes, but dealing with murals and associated materials was a problem. However, I always used to put down my creativity on simpler and easily obtainable objects like glass bottles, canvas, wooden boxes which I would gift to my friends and family. Now with the online boom happening in a big way, it was a godsend for me as I could order and get hold of the required raw materials at most places.

C.  How do you market your business and products while moving from base to base, place to place, and often to remote areas?

A. Marketing in remote areas is mainly through word of mouth; and I do have a Facebook page ( ) and I do take orders online. Thanks to the new age of the internet, I have gathered a few clients; however most of them come from the same Fauji crowd.

C.  How do you juggle that load of social commitments and welfare activities that are an integral part of the Fauji community, while nurturing your  passions and meeting deadlines?

A. My work is more of a stress-buster for me. It de-stresses me and I always take the time out to keep my creative juices flowing. Mostly I work at nights when there are no distractions and I can continue to work uninterrupted. I have never transformed my passion into a full-fledged profession, and hence it has never been a load for me.

C. As a creative/ entrepreneur+ Fauji wife, is there something that you cherish very much about being a apart of this community? And is there something you feel must/can change for the better?

A. The best part about being a Fauji wife is that you gain a family outside your own family, and the Fauji fraternity is always ready to go out of its way to help each other. The biggest proof is the very fact that not having known you personally, you have agreed to include me in your Series - 'The Brigade That Builds Brands'. There have been instances where relatives have turned away their faces while our Fauji friends have gone beyond their capabilities to help us. I have no regrets in being a part of this wonderful fraternity and love every single moment of it. I am proud to be a Fauji Wife.

C. What challenges have you faced in balancing work and Fauji life?

A. Well, I wouldn’t call them challenges as my work has always been a stress-buster for me. I love my work and can spend hours creating stuff. Fauji life - I love every bit of it; and balancing these two has never been a problem for me.

C. What tips would you give to Fauji wives out there who'd like to pursue their dreams while living at small and busy bases (many still believes or led to believe that you can either be a Fauji wife or a professional, and that's not true)?

A. I would like to advise them to never stop chasing their dreams. It is never too late to start something new and nothing more satisfying in doing something you enjoy and love. Just chase your dreams and soon you'll find your wings to fly.

C. A parting quote or philosophy that helps you to stay calm and do what you do?

A. Sometimes there is no time to wait for the sea to calm down; if you have to reach your destination, let your voice start and let the storm be your part!

For more fauji wife + entrepreneurship tales, dig into all our stories here.

Note: If you'd like to be featured in this series, write to me with details about your work & how long have your been doing what you do at (we feature creative spouses who move along with their husbands on postings & make their project/brand work from the boondocks).

A few more interesting tidbits:

A bucket-load of women’s wellness & green lifestyle goodies at Gorgeous Girls Go Green.

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