Meet the SHEROES - Anisha Singh
Anisha Singh is a mother to a 4-year old daughter and co-founder of Letternote. Her love for design and art led her to start Letternote. She tells us about her journey, work and challenges she faces in an interview-
Tell us more about yourself.
I am a design and art lover at heart. Post my Graduation in History from Lady Shri Ram College, I decided to pursue Masters in History of Art from the National Museum Institute. A stint at the renowned Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Delhi Chapter) gave me the chance to protect and conserve India’s heritage, and spread heritage awareness amongst the public. I also led the hugely popular Heritage Walks programme in Shahjahanabad and Mehrauli Archaeological Park. A keen interest in visual arts led me to work closely with many reputed artists and art galleries in conceptualising exhibitions.
In 2007, I joined my husband Gurpreet to work at Ideaz Inc- a full service creative agency focusing on brand and communications design, as a Communications Designer. Over the past few years, I have also designed & conceptualised several coffee table books on India including India - Land of Celebration, The Unforgettable Taj - a Collector's Edition, Enchanting India to name a few.
My fascination with visual culture, art history, photography and design trends inspired me to create LetterNote as a product design platform that amalgamates all these strands.
What got Letternote started? Share with us the story behind it.
LetterNote is a product design brand based in India that designs and creates an eclectic range of simple, minimalist yet functional products that are visually expressive. LetterNote merges art and design with simplicity and functionality.
LetterNote’s product range includes fine stationery, graphic art prints, bags, accessories and home and office decor.
In late 2011, Gurpreet and I started discussing the idea of starting up a product design brand. We had been working with clients around the world for over 10 years on diverse design projects. We wanted to create a platform that would enable us to set our own design briefs and express our ideas in an unadulterated, authentic way.
We started LetterNote in December, 2012, with our first store opening in Hauz Khas Village, Delhi.
Looking back, I feel that the experience of owning and running a product design brand has been the second most fulfilling experience of my life, the first being the birth of my daughter, Samaira. I feel that the creative line of work that I have been involved in for the past ten years has found the perfect outlet in LetterNote. Life has, indeed, come full circle for me.
What are the everyday work challenges that you face?
At present, we have 3 exclusive LetterNote stores in Delhi & Gurgaon and retail select LetterNote products at 60 stores pan-India. We alo sell LetterNote products online through our e-commerce website – www.letternote.com. We also create customised and special editions for corporates and various institutions & organisations.
The past few years have been spent learning, unlearning, re-learning aspects that are the core of retail. Retail operations, visual merchandising, inventory management, building customer relationships, social media marketing and devising ways to improve the customers in-store and online experience are key focus areas.
The biggest challenge is finding new ways to engage with the consumer across channels, to improve experience and boost profits.
On a personal level, the biggest challenge has been mastering the juggling act as an enterpreneur and mother to an active 4-year old. I feel prioritising activities and accepting all the help offered has helped me come this far. My daughter Samaira is my motivation, and my husband, Gurpreet a great pillar of support.
Message for all the SHEROES out there.
I think it is a great time to be a female enterpreneur, with the social media boom and changes in the digital landscape, which is giving rise to newer opportunities. If you have a great idea, back it up with a well-thought out business plan.
It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance to build a dream. There are times when patience runs out, but that is exactly when you need to push yourself even more. Running a business is like raising a baby. Both don't come with a list of instructions and you learn something new every single day. Having said that I wouldnt trade the experience with anything else in the world :)
We need to share and talk about our experiences more often. There are times, when advice, from others with experience helps a great deal.