"God has given you one face, and you make yourself another."
- William Shakespeare
“Believe in yourself and have patience. There will be a lot of people who’ll tell you that you cannot ; but you can.” – Riya Sapare
Imagine naming your business inspired by the concept of failure. Well, you would definitely give it a second thought. But this wasn’t the case with entrepreneur Riya Sapare and her business partner, Priyanka More who together started The Failed Project – a pop-up shop selling quirky stationery, lifestyle and other customized products.
These young co-founders are from an advertising agency background and were colleagues before they started their venture. “That’s when we came up with the idea as we’ve always wanted something of our own. I have a fetish for coasters and she absolutely loves diaries and calendars. We’re both stationery hoarders so we thought of designing something of our own because we also come from a design background. So we started but later all of it took a backseat and everyone around us was like ‘what a failed project this is’. So when we resumed, we decided to name it exactly that – The Failed Project”. Eventually, people’s discouragement did not stop these two talented youngsters from doing what they loved.
Having pursued educational qualifications as diverse as fashion communication and english literature, both of them have full-time jobs apart from their business. Says Riya, “We are both Pune based and have been working in an ad agency. I now work as a marketing manager for a very well-known restaurant in the city and my partner is currently freelancing as a Social Media & Graphic Design Specialist.
As they say, balance is key and these super-women are a live example for doing it brilliantly. “It is of course challenging, yet fun trying to manage our jobs along with the business, but we try our best!”.
About running their business, Riya says,”My partner helps maintain a good balance when it comes to managing the production part of our business as my job is time consuming. As for the design part, we have divided it between us. I am the fun one and she is the quirky one, so we both lend our personalities to the brand quite well.”
When it comes to their amazing products, Riya draws inspiration from her former boss in the ad agency. She considers her a mentor when it comes to all the designing knowledge. A brand that the co-founders look up to is ‘Chumbak’.
“My favourite product to design is coasters and that of my partner’s is posters as they reflect our respective personalities through the art”. The launch of their venture was at the Swig flea market and their first flea market was all about friends and family coming to have a look. However, gradually the customers increased in number as the word went out.
This small venture is for sure turning out to be a huge success in pune. They’ve been getting a lot of requests from college students and newly-joined office goers (their target audience) to showcase their products at fests and events.
For their business, Riya and her partner want to get into textile designing and production of clothes in the next five years. “We want to take our brand to a stand-alone level where people can buy all the fun and quirky things that they desire – right from posters to clothes, shoes and bags. Products that reflect the customers’ personalities is what we’re looking at and aiming for.”
Having patience and belief in yourself is what Riya advises all the young, budding entrepreneurs like herself. “You’ve just got to hang in there; everything’s going to fall in place eventually. No matter what people say, never lose your ideas and your courage. Always take constructive criticism into consideration, make those improvements in your products, in your brand and let the rest be.”
Failure is much more inspiring than winning. – Priyanka More