A woman led startup with support from her loved ones- Mummyko Macrame

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“When you are passionate, the sky is your limit” is what the journey of Mrs. Rinu Shakya the co-founder of Mummyko_Macrame aka Ka: embodies. Mummyko_Macrame is all about Rinu’s passion and love for handmade crafts made of cords of cotton twine, support from her husband and their two daughters.
Blincventures.com got to talk to Ms. Ritu Shakya, co-founder of Mummyko_Macrame who took us down the lane of the journey of this family-run startup.
Read on to know what Mummyko_Macrame is all about.  

1. How did the concept of “Mummyko_Macrame” ideate?
My mother has always been passionate about making these beautiful hammocks, macramé wall decor, earrings  and pot hangers. She spent most of her time creating these as a hobby. Some two years back, my father initiated on creating a page for these products noticing this craftsmanship.
Recently in December, I executed the idea initiated by my father and started an Instagram page “Mummyko_Macrame ”. However, I wasn’t sure of how the Nepalese market would perceive our products because Nepalese often hesitate to spend on decorative items. As there was nothing to lose, I gave it a shot and since then there has been no turning back. That’s how Mummyko_Macrame ideated; it is basically the result of my mother’s passion, confidence, and my father’s support.  

2. How was it like when you made your first sales and how did your mother react to it?
We had few people inquiring about the price, size, and quality of the product, which very well depicted that there was a market, and people were interested in our product; even that was intriguing for me. When we got our very first order, it was extremely surreal and exciting. I still remember that the order was placed around 10 pm and as soon as I saw the message, I ran to my mother saying we had our first client who wanted to buy our product. My mother initially thought I was joking, but after having explained everything, she was more than excited and completed the product so ordered in just 2 days. 

3. Where do you get the raw materials from?
Because we are at the starting phase of the business, we have a minimal cost of production. Currently, our products are made only from cords made of cotton twine which my mother buys from wholesalers at the Assan market. 

4. What are the major challenges of running this business?
I am a business student, so I am somewhat aware of the challenges that the startups face which has helped me stay prepared. But, there is one major challenge of setting the price. For a startup like ours, who offer customized products, it is often difficult to estimate the price. Many people inbox us with the designs they want and immediately ask us to quote the price which is natural and obvious. But because we are new to this, we sometimes are not able to estimate the exact cost of production that justifies the effort we put in it. This sometimes led to us not being able to meet even the breakeven point. 

5. Is your business model limited to B2C or do you also sell to other businesses?
The majority of our products are being sold to the customers via our Instagram page but we have also provided some of our products to the SAARC Chamber of Craft Village. We are also inquiring with other local shops for business to business sales. But as of now, we are selling directly to the customers.   

6. What is the future plan for the business?
The immediate priority would be to get our venture registered which has been halted due to the lockdown. Once our venture is legally established, we will be participating in exhibitions and expos. Next, we are planning to build a website for our products so that we can reach more people. These are the things we have in our pipeline.  

7. What are the different products offered by Mummyko_Macrame and are they all produced by your mother or do you have other people making them?
Currently, we have macramé earrings, wall hangers, pot hangers, bags, purse, home decors, hammock, but since we customize the products, we offer everything that can be made from cords made of cotton twine. Talking about the production, as of now, my mother is the only one making the products. And during huge orders, our relatives and my mother’s friends help us. We do not have any employees as such currently. However, in the future, once we are well established we would love to bring more women and showcase the skills that they have.  

8. How have you been maintaining a balance between your studies and your work as a founder?
Luckily, things are going well for me. Currently, I am on exam preparation leave so whenever I have free time, I work on Mummyko_Macrame, checking Instagram, posting pictures, and interacting with the customers. So, I don’t have a fixed schedule, my studies are still my top priority but I have also not been neglecting the startup. It is like using Instagram during free time but now in a more productive way. Also, if the situation favors, I have plans of making the business big and contributing full time to Mummyko_Macrame after my graduation. 

9. Any unique customer experience you’d like to share?
Every customer experience we have had to date is unique. But the very first order is always close to my heart and we have been able to maintain a good relationship with the customer. She constantly keeps in touch with us appreciating the products. Actually, she is from Biratnagar, so she has requested to teach her to make these products when she visits Kathmandu. So, that love and appreciation that she has showered us and our products is something I will always cherish.  

10. How has your entrepreneurial journey been so far?
It has been full of surprises. I had never thought that the products made by my mother as her passion will be loved and valued by people.  The fact that a number of organizations including blincventures.com actually found out about us and believed that we have scope is unreal. Also, this journey has been an eye-opener for us as every time my mother makes something, I am amazed by the level of creativity, curiosity, and skills she possesses. So, this journey has been an adventurous ride with self-discovery. 

11. Is there anything you’d like to share with our readers?
I would like to tell you that women have a lot of capacity to be economically empowered.
With this startup, I have seen my mother and her friends/ relatives being financially independent. Also, they are more into contributing rather than competing with their male counterparts in terms of finances which I consider is a great thing for society.  

Check out and order their amazing macrame at mummyko_macram e 

Transcribed by Sujana Joshi
Interviewed and Edited by Trishna Shakya 

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