Name: Ami Sata
Location: Bangalore, India
Industry: Consumer Goods
Reason for starting? When I visited Sweden, I experienced the most sumptuous sheets. While trying to find the same quality in big box retailers in India, I was left disappointed. Firstly, I could not find any organic sheets at the retail level. All conventional cotton sheets were marked with inflated thread counts and felt like sandpaper. To add to this 100% cotton marked on the packaging did nothing to talk about the fibre quality or the chemicals that went into it. Upon researching I realized that conventional cotton is full of pesticides and other potential carcinogens like formaldehyde. Digging further, I was shocked to learn that the average life of the cotton farmer was 35 years because of the use of pesticides and the purchase of GMO patented seeds. This further cemented my idea that organic (free of any toxins from farm to fabric) was the way forward. This was brought to life with a range of bed sheets, quilts and comforters that combined a Scandinavian aesthetic with block prints.
How do you define success? Being true to yourself while working towards your goals is a facet of success. To me it also means making an impact for the greater good.
Biggest success: No one can fathom what starting a business feels like. Because your struggles, situations, challenges are yours alone. There are no go-to books or ideas that can be completely tailored to your situation. Starting Amouve is my biggest success to date. Having been a one-woman army, there were times when the going got too tough. However, grit, like I always say, is an entrepreneur’s biggest ally. I’ve had rejections from manufacturers for lower MOQs, challenges with setting up the website and counting value for every penny spent on marketing. Once you do overcome those, you feel enlightened and wise. That’s what success is.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? Marketing to a market that is in a phase of metamorphosis towards newer concepts. India is a nascent market when it comes to organic textiles and, hence, trying to address people and create awareness remains the biggest challenge. Swatch introduction, influencers, a “bedding university” section explaining what the process is, and combining offline and online through participation in organic markets and events where the consumer engages herself through the brand have been some ways to address the challenge.
Who is your most important role model? I do not have a particular person. Every entrepreneur who dreamt for herself and created what she desired is a role model for me. Each one of us is faced with different situations and our ability to conquer them is what makes us all role models.
Edited by The Story Exchange