Handmade dreams achieve national success
On a warm Friday afternoon in Tumkur, a twenty-one-year-old Akshay can be seen pacing through the nearby street assisting courier pick-up executives. He is the young founder of Daedal Crafters, an online store set up on Amazon to sell unique products like handmade dreamcatchers, synthetic flower garlands, wall clocks and light-weight wooden lanterns.
The journey of Daedal Crafters however, has a shared history. In the early nineties, Akshay’s mother handcrafted a number of synthetic flower garlands, popularly known as ‘Nakali Hoovina Hara’ in Kannada. These flower garlands are used across the country at temples for various religious ceremonies and other community events. A decade ago, synthetic flower garlands could only be purchased locally. Akshay’s mother would string them by hand and sell them by the number earning only enough to buy raw materials for the next batch.
In 2015, Daedal Crafters was launched on Amazon to sell a unique handmade product. When Akshay’s friend, Navyashree gifted him a handmade dreamcatcher, impressed by how it looked, he wondered if more people had access to such unique products and if he could sell them. As he looked up the internet for ideas, Akshay came across the possibility of setting up an online business on Amazon. He requested Navyashree to make a few more dreamcatchers and took Daedal Crafters live on Amazon with just 11 products. He fondly recalls, “I had heard of Amazon’s transparent payment policies and it was a well-established international brand. It just felt right that I start with something that people trust and doesn’t involve risk.’’
Within the first two weeks of going live, Daedal Crafters had sold out all it’s 11 products. The next month Akshay doubled the number of products added on Amazon and witnessed a similar response. His products went out of stock sooner than he could list new ones. This motivated him to add some of his mother’s products, the different varieties of Nakali Hoovina Hara, along with the new batch of dreamcatchers. As the sales grew by 100% month on month, over the next two years, he listed all his mother’s products on Amazon and helped her grow her business by opening a market for her online. Hoovina Haras were now being sold across the country, across all seasons.
As Akshay takes a break from the daily routine of packing the orders and replying to customer queries, he excitedly fidgets with the new photoshoot equipment he bought on Amazon. He says, “With this self-help photoshoot tool, I do not have to depend on a photographer to create catalogues, it is very simple to use’.
Daedal Crafters now earns in lakhs as compared to the few thousands in 2015, witnessing a 5000% rise in growth from the day it was first launched. A brand that once only sold dreamcatchers and synthetic flower garlands, now also sells wall clocks and wooden lanterns. Navyashree, who continues to design dreamcatchers for Akshay, also designs these decorative items out of interest and makes the clocks and lanterns from intricately cut plywood, using a laser cutting machine. He says, ’We started form nothing. No money for investment of any kind. But, over the past two years we have earned enough to invest in a laser cutting machine and Navya always wanted to design clocks and lanterns, so we thought it would be a good investment. Now, our laser cut products are a huge hit.’’
As Akshay plans to travel abroad for higher studies he is confident that he can manage Daedal Crafters remotely from a different location. He says,’’Amazon has a great support channel. You can contact Seller Support and get all your queries resolved’’.
Akshay Yalmuri: Daedal Crafters