IT’S ALL ABOUT MAKING YOUR FEARS LOOK SMALLER, AND DREAMS A LITTLE BIGGER
THE NERD IN MY CLASS WAS ME:
The studious one in the class was me. My anything and everything would start from books and end in books. So all I ever wanted to become was a doctor. In high school, I was diagnosed with Epilepsy and started getting multiple strokes. Now I was an extremely sick teenager.
So from that time till college got over, I was a constantly sick person who now had trouble doing everyday work. My visit to the hospitals was frequent. I was also threatened to be fired from my internship because I kept missing work. While writing my board exams, I got a stroke and couldn’t finish my paper. I was devastated. I wanted to rewrite my exams but my parents thought it would waste an entire academic year for me. So I gave the NEET exams. I did score but all the colleges I got into were outside of where I currently reside.
THE DROP YEAR WAS ACTUALLY MY RISE YEAR:
My parents were a little reluctant in sending me out of the state given my health conditions. I had lost all hopes of becoming a doctor. I took a year drop to clear my baffled head, and get a vision or direction on what I wanted to achieve next. My health condition is the topmost priority in whatever I choose because that was my biggest hindrance in achieving something.
In that drop year, my mother came across an advertisement on designing. My mom pushed me to join a coaching institute because all this while she knew how good I was at art. That’s where I started drawing for myself and realized, art is more than just drawing biology diagrams. I was so into it, I never realized how happy something can make me. I dropped the idea of MBBS altogether and now wanted to pursue my career in design.
THE ONLY THING I WAS SURE ABOUT WAS TINOSAUR
When I entered this field, I was clueless. I didn’t know which field was made for me, what field has what benefits. So I picked interior designing, but during my foundation course I changed my mind and now I wanted to pursue graphic designing. Yes, I have been a confused kid. But hey, it’s better to change than sticking to wrong decisions.
This is where the existence of Tinosaur took place. The only thing I have been adamant about it. When I told my parents about this idea, I had their blessing but not their money. Everything I have put into this brand is mine and my business partner, Varun’s. We started Tinosaur with all the savings we had from internships and petty jobs. We took more jobs to invest and expand our business.
TO BE HONEST, I WAS SCARED
I was a bit scared before starting my brand. I knew a lot of people would come at me for not choosing the corporate placement I was offered from college. You know; I graduated with a gold medal in my class. But at that time, all I had was an amazing support system and a more amazing business partner. I can say, I am blessed.
THE DOWNFALL TEACHES US MORE THAN MARKS EVER WILL:
But in every business, there comes a time when you just want to give up. For us, it was this Covid. We were out of business for 4 months, paying people out of our own pockets. Being a startup, it’s not easy to survive without any source of income for even a few months.
It’s already situated that we have a lot of competition with bigger existing brands as well as the new companies emerging every day in this field. The only thing that keeps me going is my designs and the faith in ourselves. Being a consumer, we never even think about how severely businesses get affected by economical changes. But being a business owner, I was at the receiving end and the stress here is unimaginable.
ENTREPRENEUR AND A WOMAN, TOO STRONG TO HANDLE:
Being a brand owner and a woman is probably the worst combination in India. People here still do not have in them to take orders from a female. No matter how good we are at our work, they would only take a man in authority. Even while working with my printers, I instruct them with details. They would still call back my business partner, to confirm the instructions. Lucky, my business partner is a bigger feminist than I am. He doesn’t tolerate any sort of disrespect towards me.
WE MADE IT HAPPEN, WE WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN:
I am in such a happy place right now, with the response I get for my brand, my support system is something we all need in our lives. And I am a very proud brand owner. I used to be hard on myself when things didn’t go the way I wanted them to be but the gradual growth made me learn a lot of things.
It’s all about climbing a ladder here, with my business partner, Varun, my Tino-Fam, especially Karan and Nuzra who stuck with us through our toughest times, my parents, my friends, my family, and my dog, Plutus of course. I don’t think we are ready to look back now. We want to see what the top of the world looks like from here. We are set to make Tinosaur reach a place where people would keep reminders for our sale day.
MY MESSAGE TO THE NEWBIES:
Just Keep swimming .. not at the pace which the society decides for you but at the pace you want to. You got this.
Instagram Handle of Rini Unni.
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