Dr. Hiranmayee Bagwe, the owner of the online store Bagaway has a simple philosophy –
“Happy moments are precious. And if I can make people feel happy even if for a very short amount of time, why should I not? That is how I want to give back to the community.”
And Bagaway does just that. The miniature life-like products on this online store are cute, colourful, quirky and most importantly – they will definitely make you smile.
Here are some important things we learned from the journey of Hiranmayee- A doctor by profession and a miniature artist by heart.
Nothing can beat practice
Every small business owner doesn’t magically have the best selling product or a winning idea for a business. The same was for Hiranmayee. It took some time for Bagaway to become the lovable small business it is today.
Hiranmayee started her creative journey with watercolours, paints, etc. In 2016, she discover polymer clay and was fascinated with it.
And then she embarked on (something that is advisable for every entrepreneur) an intensive research journey. She saw Youtube tutorials and other creators consistently. As she says “I love Googling”, and that’s how she slowly but steadily developed such an intricate skill.
She didn’t become perfect in a day, far from it! Her initial days were full of mishaps, trials and errors.
“If I had to create an indentation on one side, the other side was full of my fingerprints! I started it, and then I left it too. There were so many trials and errors. So many gaps in learning this art form. But what kept me going was the constant encouragement from my friends.” – Dr. Hiranmyee Bagwe
From familiarizing herself with the different types of polymer clay available in the Indian market to moderating the pressure her fingers were putting on it, it was an upward learning curve.
Finally, after rigorous practice and polishing her art – in 2019, she decided her creations could now be seen as products. And she launched Bagaway!
A pro tip: Friends will always love your products. Get experts and strangers to evaluate your creations. Embrace all constructive criticism.
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Hiranmayee then started selling on Instagram and soon transitioned to her own free online store. And now, she is looking forward to a future where instead of being a full-time doctor she can focus more of her time and heart on her creations and making people happy with her art.
Look for hope even in the darkest times
Hiranmayee is a Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapist. She works as a full-time assistant professor, as well as a doctor working with rehabilitating patients in the ICU.
She talks to patients who are suffering, worried family members and stressed doctors. But even after being surrounded by so much uncertainty, Hiranmayee has a knack for looking at the brighter things in life.
Especially during the pandemic, when Bagaway had to be pushed to a corner because of the rising cases, Hiranmayee tells us how in the ICU it sometimes became the norm for doctors and nurses to comply with the requests made by patients.
Requests ranged from playing their favourite music to discussing stories – anything that could cut the gloomy environment.
This was when the idea of spreading happiness was further reinforced for Hiranmayee.
And as the pandemic receded, her will and desire to make more such cute little things just grew!
Related read: How to sell products online: Your complete guide (2022)
A small business owner thrives on encouragement and community
Bagaway has a separate page section called anatomy. A beautiful blend of her profession and hobby, there are miniature organs on display.
The story behind it? Hiranmayee wanted to gift something to their senior doctors – and what’s better than giving them a keychain that shows off their speciality! A knee joint for an orthopaedic doctor. Genius right?
Since even before Hiranmayee started her online store on Instamojo, she has always had unwavering support from her friends and colleagues. They recognized her artistic capabilities and encouraged her to pursue them. In fact, her friend even keeps suggesting objects for Hiranmayee to replicate.
The initial love and encouragement that she got is the reason she has been able to continue following her passion and even made a thriving online business with it. Today she gets up to 20 orders in a normal week and more than 40 orders during festivals or gifting seasons.
Anyone can start their own business
A doctor and professor by day and a miniature artist by night – Hiranmayee is proof that you don’t need a formal degree to have a business you love!
When Hiranmayee is not rehabilitating patients, she is taking in orders for keychains, fridge magnets and charms. It takes her about 20-30 minutes to mould each figurine before they are baked. The more colours or details a product has, the longer Hiranmayee has to spend time perfecting it.
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It would be foolish to say the transition was easy. Hiranmayee also had her fair share of challenges. As someone from the medical field, she had NO idea how to sell art online.
Where should she go for bulk raw materials? Where is she supposed to source keychains from? How does pricing work? How do you choose suppliers! <Insert panic voice>
We understand many small business owners who have similar fears. This is why we have a FREE eBook that helps you set up your own online independent business easily! Check it out here.
It took her time (and a lot of taking advice and trials) but today she is confident about her business! And since her online store is on Instamojo, she doesn’t have to worry about manually managing her inventory or shipping.
5 minutes is all it takes to create an online store. It’s simple, it’s easy and most importantly – it’s completely yours.