All of us know someone within our inner circle who owns a home-run business. It might be your cousin who bakes great cakes, your friend who teaches crafts to youngsters on weekends, or perhaps, your mother who has been running a garments and clothing business from the living room of your house. More often than not, these home-run businesses are run by women. A large proportion of these women are home-makers, single mothers or retired individuals who want to make good use of their free time. With no dedicated portal for these entrepreneurs to showcase their products, it has often been hard for them to reach their desired customer base.
A Marketplace With A Difference
Like it is with many Indian families, two friends, Swayam Bagla and Srivardhan Jalan, had seen themselves growing up in the midst of home businesses run by their family members before they developed into full-fledged retail boutiques. Therefore, to tap this untapped marketplace, Swayam, a business degree holder from ICFAI Business School and Srivardhan, a computer science graduate from Indiana’s Purdue University launched MyLemonadeShop, a marketplace that would help connect sellers of home-made products & services with prospective buyers. An idea close to their heart, they decided to disrupt this sector by creating a website where customers can discover not only everyday products but also unique personalized items, being developed by these women entrepreneurs. Customers can also rate and review these products.
Celebrating The Power Of Women Entrepreneurs
Calling their selling partners “Auntypreneurs”, MyLemonadeShop has been making a difference to the lives of many women by developing an online space dedicated to their industry. With a diverse range of product categories – fashion, food, personalized items and home & living, to name a few – there’s something for everyone to love. By creating such a marketplace, they are also providing a method for those business owners who do not have the time, resource or skills to maintain an online presence for their businesses.
Swayam says, “We are targeting women aged between 20-50 years looking for unique products being sold by these home-run businesses. Be it for everyday use or for a special event, everyone has an affinity for unique products not readily available at the marketplace.” And he’s right! The products made on a smaller scale have always been more personalized and of higher quality.
Impact Of MyLemonadeShop
One ‘auntypreneur’ says, “not many people have the capability of doing this: running the house along with running a business from home.” while another speaks of the joy she’s received by using her quilling skills to good use. She says, “After my husband’s death, I had a lot of free time. So, instead of wasting my time, I used my skills to teach around 20 girls from underprivileged backgrounds how to quill beautifully and now we have a full-fledged business with them as my employees.”
Swayam and Srivardhan are pleased with the progress their baby is making. The feedback they have been receiving from sellers, buyers and those touched by their efforts have kept them motivated and more importantly, committed to the cause.
The Road Ahead
Starting off as a bootstrapped effort, they have recently released their beta version of their website and will add full-functionality to their product soon. Swayam says, “we are now actively looking for angel investment to take their venture forward.” For now, their revenue streams have been commissions of online sales as well as sale of banner advertisement spots on their website.
Swayam says, “We have some big plans in our near-future. We hope to announce developments very soon and I promise it’ll be a biggie!”