Women Enpowerment: Garima Agarwal
Little star of the family deserves the best and Garima Agarwal delivers just that. Combining the personality with design, Garima’s Peek-a-boo Patterns creates furnishings from cozy little baby cribs, playful beds, bean bag furniture with loads of fun and fantasy.
Let us see what she has to share with NaariSakhi
1. Hello Garima, we are so glad to have you with us at NaariSakhi let’s start with getting to know you. Please tell us about yourself
Garima: I am born and brought up in Kolkata. I have always had a flair and strong inclination for anything creative. Even as child aesthetics mattered to me the most be it clothing, art work, table décor, interiors etc after my B. Com degree and diploma in fashion designing I was married to my husband, a garment exporter and settled in Chennai.
Even though I had a fashion degree I never got attracted to opportunities from my husband’s business and craved something of my own. A very devoted mother of two, I spent all my time with my kids. It’s then when I discovered an area which was very niche – furnishings for kids. Soon brought out my passion for creativity and kids through peekaboo patterns.
2. Your association with peek-a-boo? How did it begin, how long and how has it been so far?
Garima: Peekaboo began from the vacant basement of my residence in a very small way. With a will to create and design. My daughter being very small and my son needing me every other minute kept my expansion at bay and I deliberately grew my business at my own pace ….enjoying motherhood and entrepreneurship at the same time.
Peekaboo patterns was conceptualised in November and I started work on the 1st of February 2006.Initially it was not a great struggle as work was very small and growing. So the first year was more of learning, experimenting and understanding. The second year was a practise for juggling between work and kids and setting goals. Only by the third year business has grown multiple times its size and become really very addictive.
3. Who are the people who are instrumental in your success?
Garima: Instrumental in my success would be my team. The embroidery girls whom I trained initially from NGOs. Of course now I can boast of a large dynamic set of staff. But nothing is achievable without a constant family support, which is from my husband who gives me that space and freedom to follow my dreams, my kids who are my inspiration and my mother in law who without complaining manages the house and looks after my children in my absence.
4. Did lady luck smile on you almost immediately or you had to struggle for it?
Garima: I have been rather lucky with my family support. Even though the elders might object for late hours (which is almost rare) or travelling. I take it positively because I know that has helped me set my priorities in life correctly.My first priority is family, second would be health and work.As for any financial support I have only believed in no favours and started with personal savings.
5. Your views on matrimony and motherhood? How did they affect your personal and professional life?
Garima: Men and women cannot be equal because they are genetically meant to be different. However much the world might change and talk about women being superior or equal I believe that the umbilical cord of a baby is naturally attached to the mother. A baby needs the mother and that’s the truth of life.Hence a working mother has to juggle between work and home and if the priorities are set before starting anything, the struggle is minimised. I totally understand that my children need me and I don’t let work come in the way even if it means a slow growth. Still after all of this there are days when I go on these guilt trips of not sparing quantitative time with my children and vice versa.
6. What are your future plans for your business?
Garima: Peekaboo patterns should be the first name that appears in the thought form while planning a kid’s room not only in Chennai but all over India. This year we have tied up with two stores, one in Bombay and the other in Sri Lanka, we hope to finalise Bangalore within a month’s time.
Before end of 2009 we target tying up with stores in Jaipur, Coimbatore, Kolkata and Hyderabad
7. What advice would you like to give to the women reading this?
Garima: I sincerely feel that a woman is a genius or a super human who can multitask and juggle work home and kids much better than men. Neglecting either would be disgracing the most amazing creation of god.
Babies need their moms, their smell, their touch, their voice. I agree we need to realise our dreams too but those dreams that do not reflect a complete woman are shallow meaningless and incomplete.
For more information you can visit http://www.peekaboopatterns.com/
————————————————–Interviewed by Laxmi Khalap Bhatt, Editor, www.naarisakhi.com