Entrepreneur: Roshni Tiwari
Business Name: Cats and Bows
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 96
Roshni Tiwari was really moved by the beautiful bow accessories that she saw in the vintage movies. She would always look at the accessories worn by her favourite movie stars. Years later, she conceptualised her business, Cats and Bows, as a brand for authentic and handmade bows for adults.
Roshni brings the graceful subtlety of art while designing each piece to give the best experience to her customers. Launched in 2013, this Ahmedabad-based accessories’ brand has now become a trendsetter among fashionistas.
Selling on social media platforms helped her popularise the products without pumping in much into marketing side. Now her brand has successfully brought back the love for bow accessories. What’s the story behind Cats and Bows? Let’s find out as Roshni walk us through her business journey.
1) How did you get your idea for this business?
So basically I was much inspired by the 60s and 80s trend where hero and heroins use to wear bow ties and Bow hair accessories which really fascinated me a lot as bow accessories are always combined and looked into a kids wearing thing.
So I just decided to introduce bows for adults and tried to design them in a way that they can be suitable for both kids and adults and i did not expected that this idea will be a hit amongst all not only kids but also adults.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
Well I believe people are now getting more involved into handmade things and people in India have finally started accepting handmade, organic and sustainable products more, no matter if they cost a bit higher than the machine made products. Also, I am glad that people in India including age group between 15-35 are finally wearing hair accessories specially bows , which means my brand is successful in bringing the old world charm back.
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become an entrepreneur?
I am blessed with the one of the best parents who never stopped me on taking my own decisions. My family was totally okay with the idea. They always kept telling me that if you have decided to do this, give your 100% and , you need to succeed in this and be the best one in your field.
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
After running a business for last five years on Instagram alone without any team, I’ve learned my biggest mistake was not making a proper website and hustling 24*7 by answering DMS and taking orders from there. Also, I feel not investing into digital marketing was my draw back till now !!
5) What is your biggest obstacle in the next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
Well, to be very true I don’t think I really have any kind of obstacles out there for me , as I have always worked all alone behind my brand all these years and I have always come tackled my hurdles alone. Now I am even planning to go big with some new team members. So I guess things will go more smoother for me , but you never know if it ever comes. I will only remind myself to believe in me and all my supporters.
6) What habits contribute to your success?
Consistency and hard work is the key to success according to me. If you are giving your 100% behind a particular thing , success surely comes. It takes time, but surely it does come. I have waited a long time for it with lots of hardwork and patience.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
I would have planned my brand roots strong with an amazing team , better marketing strategies and most importantly, I would have made a website with sufficient stocks as per my followers’ needs.
Being a one woman army, I am not able to take everyone’s orders and I work on monthly slots. But yes if I would have a chance to go back and start this all over again, I would be more planned on stocks and digital marketing with a PR company specially.
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
You only fail when you stop trying.
9) Where do you find inspiration?
Well, I generally find inspirations from what I visualise in day to day life and my surroundings because bows are my canvas and I paint them with my creativity !
10) What is your favourite book?
My most favourite book of all time is The Secret 2016 and How To Be Bawse by Lilly Singh
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
I will suggest if you have decided to do what you love, grind and hustle hard, and give your 100% to that thing. Success demands efforts and hardwork. It takes time but when it comes, it comes with beautiful and fruitful results. So, just don’t backoff.
Be clear about your goals and targets. Moreover, step into market after you’re fully prepared and never do the mistake I did, which was starting off as a hobby and selling off via Instagram without any website.
Bow accessories were not a popular item in Indian market when Roshni launched her brand in 2013. But her perpetual effort to provide the best product for her customers helped her unlock an opportunity in this unexplored niche. As an entrepreneur, she put her emphasis on the quality of the product and built a loyal customer base.
Building your brand is not a piece of cake today. The competition is getting big everyday. The only way you could survive, as Roshni points out, is by giving 100% to whatever you’re doing. So start grinding today to make you tomorrow better. Thank you, Roshni for sharing your story.