In 2020, Varanasi-native Abhinav Yadav was disappointed as he couldn’t visit Europe for his Master’s degree due to the COVID-19-induced travel restrictions.
To distract himself, he started an Instagram page called ‘Create Your Taste’. Up here, he shared home decor ideas, gardening videos and simple do-it-yourself (DIY) tips. People loved his content and within a month, Abhinav got a fan following of 10,000.
“I was always a plant parent and my Instagram page was an extension of that passion. Also, with the lockdown being imposed, I did not have anything better to do with my time and energy,” he said.
During the festive season, he began collaborating with local women artisans and shot videos of making macrame, hoops and mandalas. Bamboo baskets, cane planters and jute mats were some other items crafted by them. These were sold through the page too. He received orders even during off-season and requests for setting up a physical store.
By borrowing Rs 5 lakh from his parents in August 2021, Abhinav started a store in Varanasi. But the toughest part was to get the village women, whose families doesn’t want them working, to get into the field with him.
Abhinav is now able to help 50 artisans to earn a decent income from their skills.
The products are available on the same brand name over Amazon, Flipkart, Meesho and Instagram. They receive a revenue of Rs 2 lakh per month.
“We started by selling bamboo-based products and eventually included terracotta, jute and recycled cloth-based products as well,” said the entrepreneur. He is all set to expand his customer base and his product inventory too.