Humble Beginnings

Humble Beginnings

Today is the 8th anniversary of my "friendly neighborhood" retail store. Yupp. I opened this store on this very day, in the year 2013, although I didn't share about it with my old blog readers until February the next year. And even though I have been operating this business from my home since the pandemic hit, going through this old post nevertheless brought back a lot of fond memories. I will soon wind up this business for good, but I definitely want to save this post here for my record. [Originally shared on 21st February, 2014]

. . .

Sometimes, it takes a close encounter with death to make us start living our dreams.

Since late 2008, I have dreamt of having my own business... not the virtual online kind that so many of us are venturing into these days, but a real tangible place, where I sell goods/services to customers IN PERSON, and not just to email IDs or Facebook profiles or mobile numbers!

My Dad wouldn't let me do this though, citing several reasons, the most important ones being:
1) the risk involved with the capital invested in the business, and
2) the future of the business in the event of my marriage.

My illness in August last year, however, led to some serious medical complications. "Serious" as in "life-&-death" type serious. I didn't mention this here earlier, or to anyone in touch with me on a one-to-one basis back then, 'coz I was afraid that talking about it would make the worst come true somehow! I didn't talk about the circumstances that led me to the ICU either, and I still won't. I don't want to journal them here and be reminded of them every time I read this post.

Anyway, that entire phase of my life is enshrouded by a thick layer of fog now (as is customary of nature -- it blocks out the most stressful parts of our life in order to protect us from pain). So I don't remember exactly how this happened, but Dad finally gave in. He realized that starting my own neighborhood business would help me recover, and he agreed to let me have my own shop/office/whatever-I-wanted-to-call-it, if only we could find a suitable location that we could afford.

Fortunately, with the help of a lot of Reiki, we found just the right place! In fact, the previous tenant of this shop vacated the place just about a week after Dad started inquiring in the neighborhood, for a shop on rent! There were a few obstacles, naturally, but with Reiki, we diligently kept overcoming them, and on December 13th, 2013... the very same day that Vasundhara Raje took oath as the new CM here... I officially opened my new "neighborhood shop"!

I know you all would have a lot of questions about it - "What do you sell there?", "What does it look like?", and so on! So I am sharing a few recent pics with you here.

It's called Kopy 'n' Kitab, by the way, continuing the 'K' series... Kasin Websoft and KraftyFingers (both of which have ended up as sort of unofficial subsidiaries of Kopy 'n' Kitab!)... and this is what it looks like at the moment...

That's the front of my shop, with a boutique opposite it, hence the female models in the display!

And that's Dad, manning the cash counter. I tend to return extra change to the customers, so this place is reserved for Dad, in order to ensure financial viability of the venture! [Ahem!]

And THIS is the current stock! (I know... I started REALLY small! :P) ... Office stationery, school stationery, colors (one entire shelf dedicated to the hobby range!), pens (loads of them!), even kiddies' slates and chalks!

Some more stock! Notebooks, coloring & activity books, board books for toddlers, stickers, different kinds of papers, even tattoos!

Finally... my workstation! This is where I run Kasin Websoft from... unofficially, of course! And KraftyFingers has its space reserved at the back, behind those curtains. That's where I'll start hobby classes for kids, in their summer vacations.

This is it then... a cross between a shop and an office... and, in future, a hobby school as well! It's a small start, but I figured I should first learn the "ABC" of running a business, and the "book" would write itself automatically when the time is right! Right? :)

As for my health, it is still not fully okay... but I'm getting there... slowly... one day at a time! :)

. . .

LOL! The shop looks so EMPTY in those early pics, doesn't it? Okay, I'll let you in on a secret...

I hadn't expected that business to last more than 6 months. That's why, I had invested such a little amount of money in it. Even the furniture was all such that could be easily sold on Quikr or Olx!

But guesss what... that business had its own life force, which was apparently as strong as mine! It lasted a FULL 6 YEARS... almost TRIPLING its original net worth, and has then dragged through a couple more years from my home as well, during the pandemic lockdown!

The Kasin Websoft and KraftyFingers plans didn't quite pan out though, although I did manage to sell some of my art work - both digital AND handmade.

I had shared some more pics on my old blog when my shop turned ONE. I'll find that post and save it here too. (DONE. Linked it in the last sentence.) Anyway, as I mentioned earlier, it's time to let this business go now. A new journey awaits me... :)

Here's more in MyDiary...

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