Striking work-life balance is never easy especially when you are a mother. And what happens when you are entrepreneur too? You end up learning the art of working through your child’s play dates and meal times! Meet one such super mom, Sunanda Kashyap, founder of Crazymee
Sunanda, first of all tell us briefly about Crazymee
Crazymee Bespoke Stationery is a graphic design company that specializes in popular products like cards, money envelopes, wine bags and wrapping papers available for personalising. Our exclusive bespoke services extend to personal and corporate stationery, gift packaging products, and party and wedding invitations for a discerning clientele. Crazymee strives to be environment friendly with a line of products that uses 100% environment friendly paper.
So how did the idea of the venture come about? When and how did you start Crazymee?
Crazymee started at the time I was taking a sabbatical after working in the publishing industry as a book designer. I had given up working in a company and was freelancing before the birth of my daughter. The journey started a year and a half after she was born. I designed my father-in-laws 65th birthday party invitations – a complete DIY project at home. Friends loved them and asked me to start designing their kids stationery. My initial designs were printed on generic machines and paper. I had no links in the printing industry as I had been a designer for a company and never had to look into the production processes. It was a huge struggle to find the printers I use today. One of my main printers is someone I found on Google and I remember landing up at his office pleading him to print my tiny order. I also remember literally being in tears when I had my first major delivery and the printing machines had broken down. The largest struggle has been quality control with printing such small print orders and getting printers to understand the level of perfection required. I think the biggest achievement of Crazymee as a company has been that we started out with an investment of Rs 8000 to pay a print deposit. We have managed to self sustain and grow from there.
Oh my, can’t imagine the horrors you must have gone through. On this blog, I write about real and raw emotions of being a mother. You are a mother. How do you find work life balance managing your own venture?
Honestly, it is very difficult, despite having a very strong support system. I have great nannies and extremely supportive and hands-on in-laws. However, design requires focus and concentration, and creativity never seems to flow according to a timetable. So in terms of balance, I have failed! I work from home as I have one child and want to focus on her. The guilt of not having another (after all guilt and motherhood seem to be companions!), requires I am always around as sibling, friend and mother.
Over time now, I have become used to working through playdates, tantrums and meal times. I enjoy the process now and actually can’t work in any other way! However, most of my major creative work is done late at night and administrative and process-driven work during the day.
What are the challenges you face in running your venture whilst taking care of your family and kid?
I think time is the major challenge. It’s balancing time with your husband, family, child and friends. Luckily, my husband is a self-made entrepreneur and is extremely encouraging of anything I choose to pursue. The other challenge is working from home. It comes with many advantages and disadvantages too. There are too many distractions and you have to keep motivating yourself to work. One is constantly distracted by tiny things – like what is the dinner menu! – which breaks concentration and would not happen in an office environment.
Oh yes, it is tough to work-from-home. What’s your message or advice to women aiming to be entrepreneurs….
To women it would be that you must go for it. Entrepreneurship is an amazing journey and the best growth experience. The number of experiences you have, the people you meet and deal with, and skills you develop along the way are extensive. It teaches you accountability, patience, persistence. For mothers, I would say be careful because it takes a lot of time and dedication – and so does a child. You need to have a great support system and be willing to cut back at times.
Great advice, Sunanda!
Mommas, do check out the website and order personalised stationery for your kids and yourself!