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Pooja Moirangthem – Founder | Makon Home

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Interviewed by The Success Today – A Digital Webzine

About the founder:
My name is Pooja Moirangthem and I am the founder of Makon Home.
An entrepreneur, decor blogger & product stylist. I have been on this decor blogging journey for the past few years, where I got the chance to explore my passion and creative side. You feel good when your platform also becomes a medium to enlighten people about your home state and talk about your roots, culture, food, tradition, etc. Being from Manipur, I always wanted to introduce our art & crafts to a wider niche segment through my blogging platform.

So during the pandemic when the entire world was brought to a stand still and everyone was fighting their own battle including myself, I started planning my business plan about how to turn my passion into a full-fledged profession. COVID-19 pandemic created a surge in demand for home decor products as people spent more time at home and sought to create comfortable and inspiring living spaces. With people spending more time indoors, there was an increased desire for unique, handmade items that added character and warmth to their homes. Many people also began to appreciate the value of supporting small businesses and artisans who were struggling due to the pandemic.

Starting a handicraft home decor brand during the pandemic allowed entrepreneurs like us to capitalize on this increased demand for unique and personalized home decor products. That’s how I started my journey into building Makon Home, responsible for creating sustainable and eco-friendly products that represent our state and other North Eastern parts of India. We relied completely on Instagram and other social media platforms for our business and in a very short period of time due to our hard work and consistency we were successful in creating a full-fledged online brand.

About the brand & the Initiative behind the brand.
Makon, meaning “Nest” in our local language, truly represents our vision and brand. Birds are known to weave their nests with such love, passion and skills, similarly, we at Makon believe in weaving a memory. Today’s world is all about responsible living and our lifestyle speaks a lot about how we are, being conscious about our environment is the need of the hour for a greener and cleaner earth. So by saying no to plastics and yes to all-natural products, also keeping our rich northeast culture & tradition in mind, we started an ethically run earth-conscious brand, responsible for creating sustainable home furnishing and decor products for all the beautiful homes.

The initiative behind Makon Home is to create a business that celebrates traditional crafts, helps the environment by promoting the use of natural materials and encourages eco-friendly practices. To preserve the age-old skills, culture and handicrafts of our state, to uplift the social economic condition of women & artisans by providing them with employment opportunities, fair wages, safe working conditions and empowering them to become financially independent. And most importantly to offer unique & meaningful products to our customers that will enhance their homes and lives. In the line of working towards a conscious living, empowering the local women and the rural artisans, Makon home has been bringing traditional handicrafts, furniture & home decor products with contemporary styling for all the modern & traditional homes spreading across Pan India.

How are you and your service helping society?
We play an important role in promoting social, environmental, and cultural sustainability while also providing economic opportunities for artisans and supporting local communities.

Empowering Artisans: We work with artisans from rural areas or economically disadvantaged backgrounds, providing them with opportunities to showcase their skills and earn a livelihood. By supporting these artisans, the brand helps to preserve traditional crafts and techniques that may otherwise be lost.

Promoting Sustainability: We use eco-friendly materials and production methods. By promoting sustainability, we help to reduce the environmental impact of the home decor industry.

Empowering Women: We play a significant role in uplifting the social economic condition of women by providing them with employment opportunities, fair wages and working conditions, skill development, preserving traditional crafts, gender equality and empowering them to become financially independent.

Supporting Local Communities: We source our materials locally and work with local artisans and craftspeople, which helps to support the local economy and create jobs in the community.

Preserving Cultural Heritage: We specialise in traditional crafts that are passed down through generations. By promoting and preserving these crafts, the brand helps to keep alive cultural heritage and traditions that may otherwise be lost.

Encouraging Creative Expression: We offer unique and creative products that encourage customers to express their personal style and creativity in their homes. This can have a positive impact on individual well-being and self-expression.

What are your Objectives & Vision?

Creating high-quality, one-of-a-kind products that are aesthetically pleasing and functional.

Using sustainable materials and processes to create products that are environmentally friendly.

Celebrating cultural heritage by incorporating traditional techniques, preserving age-old crafts and designs into our products.

Uplifting the social economic condition of women weavers & artisans by providing them with employment opportunities, fair wages and working conditions, skill development and empowering them to become financially independent.

Promoting gender equality by providing women with equal opportunities for employment, training, and entrepreneurship.

Building a loyal customer base that values the brand’s commitment to quality, sustainability, and cultural heritage.

Establishing a reputation for excellence in the home decor industry and becoming a recognized leader in the field.

What is the USP of your work?
The USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of our brand are:

Handmade: The products are handmade by skilled artisans, making each piece unique and one-of-a-kind.

Sustainability: The brand uses eco-friendly materials and production methods, ensuring that our products have a minimal impact on the environment.

Cultural heritage: The brand showcases the traditional handicraft techniques of our North East states by preserving and promoting our cultural heritage.

Authenticity: The brand offers authentic, artisanal products that are not mass-produced or readily available in mainstream stores.

Customization: The brand offers customized products, allowing customers to personalize their home decor and create a unique look.

Quality: The brand offers high-quality, durable products that are designed to last, even with regular use.

Social impact: The brand supports the livelihoods of local artisans and communities by providing them with a platform to showcase their age-old traditional crafts.

What are your achievements in this industry?

Recognition: The brand has received recognition from industry experts, publications, and customers for its unique and high-quality products.

Market presence: The brand has established a strong presence in the market, with a loyal customer base and a wide distribution network.

Growth: The brand has experienced consistent growth in sales and revenue, indicating the popularity of its products and the effectiveness of its marketing strategy.

Innovation: The brand has introduced innovative designs and techniques in its products, setting it apart from competitors and attracting customers looking for something new and unique.

Social impact: The brand has made a positive social impact by supporting the livelihoods of local artisans and communities, promoting sustainability, and giving back to society through various initiatives.

Customer satisfaction: The brand has a high level of customer satisfaction, with customers consistently praising its products for their quality, uniqueness, and authenticity.

Brand loyalty: The brand has built a strong brand identity and customer loyalty, with customers returning to the brand for its unique products and values.

Running a handicraft home decor brand can be challenging, especially if you’re just starting out.
Production: Handicraft products are made by hand, and the production process can be time-consuming and expensive. We need to find skilled artisans who can create high-quality products on a consistent basis. Moreover, the raw materials for creating handicrafts can be difficult to source in large quantities.
Design: In the home decor market, there are a lot of competitors, and we have to stand out by creating unique designs. Moreover, trends in home decor change quickly, so we need to be able to stay on top of them to remain relevant.
Marketing: Marketing is expensive, and as a small business, we don’t have a large budget. We have to find creative ways to reach our target audiences, such as social media marketing or influencer collaborations. We also have to participate in trade shows and events to showcase our products.
Distribution: We have to find ways to distribute our products to customers. Which is very challenging, especially if we want to start selling internationally. Shipping costs within the country are also very high, and customs regulations are very complicated.
Pricing: Handicraft products are expensive to produce, which means we need to charge higher prices to make a profit. However, customers may not be willing to pay high prices for home decor items, so we have to find a balance between pricing and profitability.

You have achieved so much in life, any specific advice you’d like to share with our readers to grow in life?

Stay true to your brand values: Identify what makes your brand unique and stick to those values. This will help you stand out in a crowded market and attract customers who appreciate your vision.

Invest in quality: Handicraft products are known for their quality and durability. Ensure that you use high-quality materials and production methods to create products that will last and satisfy your customers.

Build relationships: Building strong relationships with your customers, suppliers, and artisans is crucial. It will help you create a loyal customer base, ensure the timely delivery of products, and maintain a reliable supply chain.

Focus on customer experience: Customer experience is critical in the home decor industry. Ensure that your customers have a positive experience, from browsing your products to making a purchase and receiving the products.

Embrace digital marketing: In today’s world, digital marketing is essential to reach a wider audience. Utilize social media, email marketing, and other digital channels to connect with your target audience and showcase your products.

Learn from your mistakes: As an entrepreneur, you will make mistakes. The key is to learn from them and use them as opportunities to improve your products and processes.

Be patient: Success doesn’t come overnight. Building a successful brand takes time, effort, and patience. Stay committed to your vision and be willing to put in the hard work required to achieve your goals.

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