Ms. Rasmita Karki embarked on this goal to revive and utilize the already forgotten sewing skills of her mother Ms. Sushila Kumari Thapa. Together, this mother-daughter duo brainstormed ideas to do something from home during the first lockdowns in 2020. As a current MBA student, Ms. Karki always wanted to do something on her own; while her mother Ms. Thapa, a retired teacher, wished to do something new and become productive. This ultimately started the venture “The Thread by Sush” that best amalgamates effective home-based production and utilization of personal skills.
A couple of weeks back we connected with Ms. Karki who answered all of our questions about their entrepreneurial journey and upcoming visions for this venture.
Read our conversation to find out more about this business.
Tell me about your motivation to start your own enterprise?
I always had the desire to do something on my own. Like most Nepali parents, my family also envisioned me getting a job rather than taking the risk of doing business. However, I was determined to convince them to start my own business.
Lockdown brought an opportunity for me to brainstorm ideas. I would credit TikTok for suggesting several videos of different entrepreneurs and enterprises. It was fascinating to see people creating videos of their work, sales, and stories of their success. I was immensely motivated that I could also be doing something similar.
What is the inspiration behind the name of your company?
There are two parts to our name, “The thread” in our name comes from the fact that our products are mainly sewn out of thread. In addition, since my mother plays a significant role in producing all these products, we have used “Sush” in honor of her name.
What are the products that you currently offer?
Initially, we started this journey with the main focus on scrunchies. We have now diversified our portfolio and added other products such as hairbands and masks.
Can you tell me more about the company?
When we started around eight months back, it was just a trial phase to understand the market response. Then, we registered our venture officially and started larger production of products. Right now, it is all our family members, who are working to support this venture. My mother is the one who makes all the products. My main role is to research about designs and styles that we can launch. In the long run, we plan to add more people with sewing skills to create more employment and produce more products to reach wider audiences.
Is there any other social impact that you have targeted through this venture?
As we are just building our foundation as a startup, we are not in that position to support another cause. However, we have plans to contribute to animal welfare. We have thought about contributing some share of the profit to different animal shelters.
How has the market response been since the launch?
Like every entrepreneur, we did have doubts at the beginning regarding consumer’s perception of our products. However, we have been fortunate to find people, who are interested in our products and have stayed loyal to our brand. There has been a consistent growth in market demand.
What are the main challenges in starting this venture especially during the pandemic?
The main challenge was definitely the sales. During the pandemic, we couldn’t sell as much as targeted. There was also a high risk of delivering from one house to another. Despite the challenges, it was during the pandemic and lockdowns that we were able to utilize our free time to establish this venture. So, some good happened due to this situation.
Where can customers find your products?
What are your future plans for this enterprise?
In terms of products, we will be launching a new range of scrunchies earrings and scrunchies ruffle hairbands. Additionally, we also plan to sell our products in bulk at wholesale rates to reach larger audiences.
How has this entrepreneurial journey been so far for you?
Many people start on this path to become an entrepreneur based on motivation derived by witnessing the success of other entrepreneurs. However, what we fail to realize is it surely does not happen overnight. In this short time, we have come to understand that dedication, persistence, and hard work are crucial to achieving that success. It is not easy; however, if you work hard enough, it will pay off.
Is there any additional suggestion you would like to give to any emerging social entrepreneurs?
During the pandemic, I have witnessed numerous people planning to start new ventures and utilize their interests. I strongly believe that it requires time and patience to turn your ideas into reality. Despite being courageous and taking the first step towards the goal, you need to constantly work toward it as you learn more about the challenges and hurdles. Hence, the key to success is to keep trying and not giving up.
Do you want to up your fashion game by adding new colors and styles? Check out the products by The Thread by Sush, which can instantly change your look!
Interviewed & Article by Shreeya Bhattarai