"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live. "
- Dorothy Thompson
There are many ways to express oneself; through art, your sense of style, your lifestyle, your thoughts, and more. Siddhi Shah found a way to express herself and make a living out of it through her business ‘Dark Reflections’, a home-based business that mainly focuses on producing handmade dreamcatchers, jewellery, home decor and more.
Creatively inclined since childhood, Siddhi always found joy in creating crafts and doing art in general. She always used to research different craft trends and try her hand at them.
One day, while searching for new craft ideas online, she came across the concept of dream catchers. This was the initiation of the journey of ‘Dark Reflections’. “I’m not particularly a religious person but I am very spiritual, and the concept of dreamcatchers attracted me as they have a lot to do with energy, your special dream journey, and growth,” she added.
Dreamcatchers catered to both her inclination towards art and her spirituality, thus she was intrigued by the concept and pushed herself to learn how to make them and started sharing her art with others.
She has been in the industry for almost 10 years now, first starting to make dream catchers in the year 2009 and then establishing ‘Dark Reflections’ a year later in 2010. When asked about her educational qualifications she answered with a smile “ Well I haven’t had any training in the field of art, I’m a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, I’m also a musician with a diploma in drumming.”
The name, Dark Reflections stemmed through Siddhi’s love for dark colours, horror films, and metal music. “I wanted the name of my business to represent me and my style. I always knew I wanted to do something of my own. Even as a kid I remember making crafts and going around my neighborhood trying to sell them.” she adds
She established Dark Reflections in Pune, with a strong customer base. Now she is based in Mumbai, she runs Dark reflections while also holding a job at Singapore International School, Mumbai as a drumming Instructor.
When asked how she manages both a job and her business she replied; “ Since I started working as a drumming instructor, for the past year and a half I have focused on making specially customized dreamcatchers only.” to help out with orders she has trained three other women who work from home, they help out in making stock for events and retail. “my team prepares the bases of these orders while I add the finishing touches.” She adds
Her plans for the future are to shift back to Pune and focus more on her brand. She says, “I intend to shift back home, as I think I’ll be able to get better opportunities in Pune and I’ll be able to devote more of my time to my company as I haven’t done anything more than focus on customized orders.” She aims to explore and experiment with the expansion of her brand.
Every business has its good experiences and its challenges, so did the journey of Dark Reflections. “I have a lot of fun participating in festivals, stalls, flea markets, and exhibitions. People generally love my work and the responses that I get interacting with them through these platforms is very motivating.” She adds
“One of the biggest challenges I face is that there are a lot of producers that have copied my concept and there is no way for me to actively do something about it, as the concept of dream catchers has been around for a while and I don’t hold any kind of copyrights over it.” She says while talking about her challenges.
“One thing that has stuck with me throughout my journey in running Dark Reflections is that as an entrepreneur, especially nowadays, it is very important to be versatile. While starting one has to be well versed in everything right from marketing and social media to getting your products packed.” Adds Siddhi.
She believes that every entrepreneur should be self-dependant and versatile enough to handle the ups and downs of a business.