During a casual chat at breakfast earlier this year, Sanjana Bhuwalka & Aanchal Rathee came across a problem they both were facing that how difficult it is to find the right combination for statement jewelry in India. After some brainstorming the duo decided to make this happen themselves, thus, Cult Curators was born.
Today, with their entrepreneurial initiative, Sanjana & Aanchal have introduced a whole new line of designer jewelry & accessories in the Indian market. Now, in its 4th month of operation, Cult Curators has begun to receive a decent traction. The website promises customers obsessed with statement jewelry a unique line of contemporary, bold, and eclectic jewelry & accessories from across the world.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Cult Curators is an online platform (www.cultcurators.com) showcasing global jewelry designers. We have jewelry and designers that have never been seen before in India.Cult Curators you will find unique approaches to design, new materials used in jewelry and overall. You end up purchasing products that are eclectic and unique and of impeccable quality. We are a fully integrated website that allows customers to place an order online, let them choose their preferred method of payment, and take care of delivery as well.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
One morning over breakfast (8th Jan, 2016), my dear friend (a pregnant-second-time, free-spirited, independent, personal branding consultant, dividing her time between Singapore & Mumbai) and, I (a stay at home, book and TV obsessed, fashion loving, organic, mom to a special needs child and an equally strong sibling) chatted casually about how dissatisfied we were by the accessory scene in India. It seemed that neither of us was able to find the correct combination of contemporary, bold, eclectic jewelry, which was also elegant and well finished. Cult Curators was thus born, with a vision to offer fashion jewelry with fun and finesse. We foresee a destination for beautiful contemporary jewelry design and a library of some of the most renowned jewelry artists in the world.
What is your life mantra?
Life Mantra’s tend to change and evolve as we grow and experience different situations in life. What remains constant is to be humane. Kindness and compassion and a deep bond with nature are qualities we both value the most.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
The biggest challenge we’ve faced thus far is to manage a startup, family & kids at the same time.
How did you overcome those challenges?
We haven’t arrived at the space where we are thinking bigger than our shoes. We have young children and run a business we are passionate about. Like they say “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
We will grow as per what we can sustain and right now we are learning to balance work and family. Compromising children in their formative years to grow a business radically is not something either of us are keen on.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
We are a small size startup and completely self-funded at the moment.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
Balance. We restore and rejuvenate ourselves by spending time with our families and spending time with ourselves. We read, we play sports, we take long walks and ensure that we reboot now and then. Handling a start-up is wearing too many caps at one time. We believe strongly that balance is the answer to consistent, sustained growth.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
1) Passion – you have to love what you do.
2) Commitment – If you decide to do something, you should do it whole-heartedly. Play the game of give and take well.
3) Practicality – Cognitive thinking is a Scientific Art. Learning to think and implement independent of feelings and biases is important. Sensibility is important.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
Social Media is a life-line for small brands like us. So yes, we use Facebook and Instagram extensively to promote our brand. We maintain our online store on Shopify, it’s a great and easy platform.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
We don’t procrastinate. We never put-off till tomorrow what we can get done today.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
Aanchal & Sanjana – Both of us would like to be able to be more patient. We are aware that when we’ve managed to be patient the outcome is always healthier and more holistic.
Answer in less than 50 words
- One tip to success: Sanjana: Perservance. To stay focused, and pursue solutions to obstacles relentlessly, one will always reap the benefits of this.
Aanchal: Keep doing what you really like without thinking about success.
- One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Sanjana: Making assumptions. It’s based on being judgemental….nothing good ever comes from that.
Aanchal: NONE ! There are no mistakes in life, only experiences. Learning comes from that.
- One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Sanjana: There is no substitute for hard work.
Aanchal: Go with your gut feeling.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
We hope to be able to build an exclusive platform in India with a library of new and renowned Artists and Designers from all over the world. We would like to be the first name to pop into a person’s mind when they think of accessories with fun and finesse.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
Aanchal & Sanjana – Nothing at all
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Aanchal: Santorini, London, Himalayas
Sanjana: Paris, London, Himalayas
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
Aanchal – The weak take revenge, the strong forgive, the intelligent ignore.
Sanjana – In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you. – Buddha