Friday, December 6, 2019

The Brigade that Builds Brands: Army wife, artistpreneur & businesswoman Sucheta Jaitly on creating a successful business on the move

Hello friends! Today, I’d like to introduce you to Sucheta Jaitly, an Army wife & a successful artist and businesswoman, who runs a brand of hand-painted wall plates that decorate the walls of restaurants and homes across India. She also teaches this art to underprivileged girls, runs a brick-and-mortar store in MHOW, takes part in handicraft exhibitions as well as in all the fauji wife activities with elan.

Let’s dive into this interview from The Brigade that Builds Brands series, which turns the spotlight on military wife entrepreneurs aka milpreneurs J.

*For updates on the #workfromhome series & #milpreneur inspiration, do follow us at @chandanamilspo on Instagram + check out the "Be your own Boss from Anywhere" series on Youtube here.

woman entrepreneur
Sucheta Jaitly with her hand-painted wall plates
CB. Please tell us something about yourself – what do you do, where are you based and how long have you been a fauji/military wife.

SJ. I  am an  entrepreneur, running a startup of handicrafts called Earthenwallplates since last 2 years. We have decorates hundreds of client walls across India. Recently our venture was awarded by Times of India Group in Madhya Pradesh , in the art and culture category for creating vocational opportunities for the underprivileged girls.

After successfully creating a workshop in Lucknow, we are presently working from MHOW. We receive most of our orders from our website . Here at the shopping hub of faujis (MHOW),  we took a plunge of opening our first  retail store . We are also a supplier to some famous art selling portals like world art community, Quirkstation and Bomway, to name a few.

Recently I earned an Artisan card from my native state Uttaranchal which enables me to represent my state in various art fairs organized by the government of India like Delhi haat . It’s been 19 years being an Army wife. All the exposure at organizing various club activities and welfare meets, have finally been put to practice while running this venture .

Wall-plates prettifying walls across India
CB. How do you market your business and products while moving from base to base, place to place, and often to remote areas?

SJ. My talent and husband’s vision has made Eartnewallplates a big brand now in the wallplates space in India. We started our business with taking a GST IN, launched our website, active posts on FB and INSTA got us lot of followers. Internet and social media platform is a big help in selling our products. We are supplying our plates in all major metros in the country like Bangalore , Delhi ,Chandigarh , Kerela etc .

Earthen wallplates on a restaurant wall
CB. How do you juggle that load of social commitments & welfare activities + postings and stints of solo parenting that are an integral part of the fauji lifestyle, while nurturing your passions and meeting work deadlines?

SJ. It’s actually very difficult to run a start up while shifting your base as it uproots the business every 2 years. I have been facing this challenge. We have not yet achieved the full benefits of running this business.

But on the hindsight, every new place is brings new opportunities. For example, reaching Mhow ,we realized how people love to shop at this place so we have opened our retail store here . So exploring each place and finding the positives rather than reflecting on the disadvantages alone.

In this age of technology we can hire our marketing team anywhere in the country. With a successful business comes more responsibility, which I do find difficult to handle sometimes. My husband has always been very supportive and has been giving me vision of running this venture according to the changing times.

fauji wife
Sucheta taking part in a social activity
CB. As a creative/entrepreneur + fauji wife, is there something that you cherish very much about being part of this community? And is there something you feel must/can change for the better?

SJ. As said above all the meets responsibilities are enriching us as a person. How many times in civil ,would u get an event hosting? The stage, the mike and the podium given to u, adds to your experience and confidence. We must see these as learning opportunities rather being bogged down as unnecessary work.

Of course the ladies don’t have the kind of time we had at our disposal. Either they are working or are already engaged in some personal activities. In case they are too busy to handle additional responsibilities, I feel they should not be laden with more work.

As home, peace and raising the children is more important. Whatever exposure we were getting , is for making us a well rounded person. In today’s time, if a lady is already a successful working, then there is no need to forcefully teach her anything through the army social activities .

Winning accolades & awards
CB. What tips would you give to fauji wives out there who’d like to pursue a career in your field while living at small and busy bases (many still believe or led to believe that you can either be a fauji wife or a professional, and that’s not true)?

SJ. Strong passion is the driving force to successfully start any venture one has in mind. In today’s time when we are all so well connected through Internet , there is nothing that can stop us from working from the remotest areas.

Thank you for answering these questions, Sucheta! To know more about her work, hop over to her website here

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#faujiwife #milpreneur #armywife #artist #artistinterviews #handicrafts #indiandecor #homedecor #wallplates #earthenwallplates #lovedecor #beyourownbossfromanywhere #workfromhome #thebrigadethatbuildsbrands

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