Meet the SHEROES - Veena Ajmera
Veena Ajmera is based in Vadodara, she graduated 50 years ago in B. Sc. She took the entrepreneurial road at the age of 65 with her venture BeadBlossoms which gives me a sense of self-accomplishment. She is also an avid reader and likes to stay updated with the world around me. SHEROES in an interview with this SHERO who didn’t let age deter her determination to start-up-
Tell us about yourself.
Women in my family were always busy crocheting, embroidering or sewing, besides looking after the homes and families. We, as children, grew up in this creative environment and learnt from them.
Marriage moved me from Rajkot to Mumbai and into family responsibilities. Mumbai exposed me to a city of learning opportunities. I continued to learn arts and crafts from books and attended classes and pursued my hobbies. Creating beaded flowers was one such self-taught craft which later went to become a business.
Being from Saurashtra exposed me to the art of Three-bead work. For generations, this was done by women of the family for their daughter’s dowry in the form of mats, wall hanging, cushion covers and also bead-covered furniture. This art is now on verge of dying. It is my dream to preserve it in a form of a book for future generations. Extensive research has already been done and information has been collected. I am looking for a publisher to help create a dream into reality.
What got you started with Beadblossoms?
After fulfilling my family responsibilities, I had ample time in my hand. Now was the time when I could do and learn all that my heart desired, without any binding responsibilities. Making French beaded flowers had always been a hobby and all my creations were gifted to family and friends. It had never occurred to me to start a business. My children encouraged my to create french beaded flowers and sell them. With my family’s encouragement and support, I started working towards my first exhibition. Karigars were employed and they helped me create flowers in bulk from designs I provided. Apart from books, observing nature got me to create new designs for flowers.
The first exhibition was a sell-out. It introduced me into the market and orders started pouring for bulk and individual use.
Cost of a bunch of these flowers is comparable to that of fresh flowers. They are easy to maintain and last forever. Customers now prefer arrangements of these flowers to gift. Apart from arrangements, Beadblossoms also offers beautiful table accessories such as candle stands, napkin ties, and runners. These are affordable for corporate gifting as well. Special designs are created for bulk orders.
Was starting up at 65 a challenge? Did age play a factor?
I had never worked for money in my life. Starting at 65 was challenging because I was stepping out of the home to earn money. I had to learn to calculate costs, pricing, banking and work with suppliers and karigars. To keep up with market trends, I had to learn the nuances of internet. It still is challenging for me to browse though Google and keep updating on Facebook. But that doesn’t stop me from trying. Its been five years since I started BeadBlossoms and still feel the need to keep learning and evolving. Each step forward gives a sense of accomplishment.
Message to all SHEROES out there.
Age cannot hold you back. Each phase of ageing is special. I encourage you to always pursue a hobby and never stop learning. In your twilight years, this is what will make you feel young and look forward to each day.