And after a month's silence BusinessLounge is back with its very first article of the Uniprenuers series where we bring a summary snapshot of interesting business ventures by students of Sri Lanka from both government and private sector universities. Here we go 1 on 1 with Shehani Martinus the creative head behind the personalised gifts venture Hand MAD by Shey
1) What is your mission?
We are committed to provide unique customized and quality products to our customers.
2) What does Hand Mad by Shey offer to it’s customers?
Paper crafts, handmade greeting cards, explosion boxes, scrap books, albums and handmade gifts. Recently I also started doing handmade decorations for events such as birthday parties, weddings and homecomings.
3) Tell us about your future plans.
My plan is to expand by hiring creative individuals to work with me because currently I am having a high demand for my crafts. I am very much interested in fashion designing and I am looking forward to step on to that side as well.
4) What are the challenges that you are faced with?
The main challenge I have is time. Time is very much limited to me because I am an undergraduate at University of Kelaniya and a marketing student at SLIM mean while doing my internship at Ceylon Tobacco.
5) How did it feel when your first client came up to you?
I waited about 3 months to get the first order and I was so happy once receiving it. He was one of my sister’s friend so I asked him to price my product because at that time I didn’t know how much it was sold for at the market.
6) How did it all start?
I had a strong will to be independent and do something of my own. I had so many options in my mind ranging from fashion designing to athletics having done it in school and in my university. It was puzzling to choose one. Then in my second year at university I wanted to find some pocket money to pay my exam fees and for myself.
This is when I started thinking that I must take advantage of my creative skills and finally came up with Hand Mad by Shey.
7) Was there a moment when you thought that you couldn’t take a step further?
Yes that was during exam times when I’ve got to focus on my exams and take orders at the same time.
8) Anyone who you would like to thank to?
A big thank you goes out to my parents, brother, sister and also to my uni friends for sharing my posts and recommending me to other people because my main sales driver is my Facebook page. (Visit - https://www.facebook.com/HandMADbyShey)