Entrepreneur: Tanvi Sekhsaria
Business name: Little Ms. Designer
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 59
Little Ms. Designer may seem a bit odd for the name of an interior designing firm, but that’s how Tanvi, its founder, would like to define her business – off beat, yet close to heart! Tanvi always had the feeling that she was a designer at heart.
The first thing she did after school was joining an interior designing course to learn the craft and hone her innate home designing skills. After having worked with some reputed companies, she plunged into entrepreneurship. That’s how she founded her brainchild, Little Ms. Designer.
As we catch up with Tanvi, she tells her story and discusses what does it feel like to be an independent designer, and how it helps her evolve.
1) How did you get your idea for this business?
I was flipping through a magazine and checking out some beautiful furniture and home decor. That’s when I realised that I possess a strong passion in designing home. The next thing I did, was getting a degree in Interior Designing.
It is a creative profession that gives designers the freedom to experiment constantly. There are many young interior designers out there who work on challenging projects and unique platforms, which is very motivating.
After becoming an interior designer, I wanted to start my own interior design firm. I had set self goals to accomplish my dream and gained the required work experience that would help me excel as a independent designer. I worked with some of the best designing firms to master the art of interior designing and got the required practical exposure.
But, I always knew that nothing will be as satisfying as starting my own firm and doing what I love. I took inspiration from my coworkers and thought that starting my own venture will give me more freedom and work satisfaction.
Hence, I started Little Miss Designer, to show the world that my designs and I experiencing the joy of independently designing beautiful spaces.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
After obtaining experience from large and small designing firms, ‘Talati and Panthaky Associated Ltd and Gauri’s Design Studio, I had gained the knowledge of designing budgeted and high profiled projects.
As I quit my job, I got the opportunity to design two interesting projects, The Zegdo Men’s wear Boutique and The Pop- Up Hut Cafe.
Designing these two places gave me the confidence to start my own firm. The timing was fantastic. I realised that I could accomplish a lot by starting my own venture. Having lesser restrictions would widen my scope of work and areas to design.
Today, from having a dream, to freelancing at home, experimenting projects, I am now proud to say I have completed my 5 year plan.
I have a small office with talented employees, hardworking team of contractors and we have completed nearly 20 projects in the span of about 1 and half years. So as I believe timing is an important factor, now was the best time to turn my dreams into reality.
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
My family has been very supportive and encouraging towards my success as an entrepreneur. Ideally, they expected me to work in the family run business or take up a corporate office. But they understood my dream and helped me to pursue and achieve my goal.
In fact, my mom helped me visualise how Marketing and PR would help my firm. She has been guiding me with my marketing and PR right from the start. I have been successful only because of my families constant support.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
Fortunately, I haven’t made any huge mistakes that I should be regretting. But one always learns with experience.
I have learnt to be more cautious about precision and timelines. I’m prepared for last minute problems and I know how to resolve it immediately.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome?
I’m lucky that I don’t have any obstacles so far!
6) What habits contribute to your success?
I firmly believe that my strong principles and work ethics have helped me succeed in all walks of life. My team and I always stress on enduring perfection. While executing projects, we ensure the clients demands are fulfilled aesthetically.
No compromises are made in terms of quality and design. We respect the client’s budget and work on a flexible timeline as much.
I’m of the opinion that without sans teamwork, effective coordination and communication, no project can be executed. Clients being happy with our work and recommending us to others is a sign of success.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
My business plan was a well-thought 5 year plan. I am very happy with how my plan has been executed successfully. If there is one thing I could change, I would have worked more on my social media and adverting from an early stage. I would be greedy, if I say I’m expecting more in such a short span of time.
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
The true Entrepreneur is a Doer not a Dreamer! This quote by Nolan Bushnell, has inspired me at every stage in my life.
9) Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration can be derived from anything.I find inspiration in the smallest to biggest of things/places around me. I could be sitting at a bar and I can get inspiration from a beautiful light hanging from the ceiling.
Finding interesting minute details from something that might look common to someone else, is something I love doing. I always tell myself, “Be Your Own Inspiration!”
10) What is your favourite book?
I don’t enjoy enjoy reading but when I read its always Interior and Architectural magazines.
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Every new journey that you begin will go through ups and downs. Always be prepared for the good and bad things. Just when you think you are doing great, unexpectedly the situation might turn against you.
Negative situations shouldn’t discourage you or make you loose hope. In fact, let failures encourage you to work harder and make sure you achieve what you aimed for.
No dream is big enough if it doesn’t scare you. So keep dreaming and accomplishing. Also, always remember perseverance is the key to success!
Transforming an idea into a lucrative business takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Tanvi advanced in her niche with the right steps. She began humble, amassed as much as experience she needed and set up her business. Now she has an extensive clientele across the country.
Entrepreneurs need to take the right steps at the right time. That’s the only way to thrive. As Tanvi rightly put it, entrepreneurship is all about preparing for anything. Your ideas may triumph or tank, but the important thing is to keep your hope intact despite the failures. If you lose hope, you lose everything.