This week, let’s meet the immensely talented Misbah Mansuri from ThePerfectGift and HandmadeGardensPune in Meet The Founder and know more about her work.
1) Tell us about your brand.
We. Me and Maryam my – daughter and partner in crime own two brands. One is HandmadeGardensPune, which is around 7 years old, and ThePerfectGift which is more than 6 years old.
Handmade gardens, as the name suggests is all about the plants and getting zen back into our lives. The current world we live in doesn’t give us the desired scope of gardening as it did to our parents and grandparents, whose houses had lawns and places to garden. In today’s world when we strive for green and want things indoors, HandmadeGardensPune does the trick for you.
Talking about ThePerfectGift, it is gifting your loved ones, something really personal. Every occasion, every meeting with your dear ones has to be special and ThePerfectGift, helps you design and gift the unseen dreams your heart knows!
2) Tell us about the founder(s).
We don’t have founders, everyone who liked our work and encouraged us to venture into this business are our founders.
The first creation was a miniature garden for a simple family function, it was never a business plan then. The way family and friends liked it, across various events in the family and among friends, was an encouragement for us to start this venture.
ThePerfectGift evolved a few months after Handmade GardensPune.
My daughter Maryam and I are running the show, helping each other, in designing your dreams, into something that makes a memorable gift.
3) What is the purview of your current products/services?
HandmadeGardensPune– Miniature gardens, Terrariums, DIYs, Workshops .
ThePerfectGift– Quirky Home Decor, Home Utility Products, Personalised gifts, Workshops.
4) Who is your target audience?
Anyone and everyone who wants to shower their love to their dear ones are our target audience. There is an evolution in people’s thoughts, which has moved them from sharing and re-sharing unwanted gifts to making personalized heart-warming gifts. In short, people have moved on from buying gifts from the Gift shops in their lanes, to actually thinking about what a person likes and what could make them feel special. The price range also suits everyone’s pockets. Hence I believe, everyone is our target audience.
5) What is the main USP that differentiates you from your competitors?
My definition of competition is ‘Growing Together. Competition brings the best out of the other. Eg, Messi and Ronaldo, Federer and Nadal, Tendulkar and Glen McGrath. It is completion that motivates everyone to improve and competitors always admire each other.
I have been taking workshops for various craft houses/ studios in and around Pune. I have also learned from them. I don’t have a specific USP but to be precise it’s working on the gifts according to the mood of the event and the personality of the person. My work is custom and that’s my USP.
6) Tell us about some of your success stories or testimonials.
I have always been a person who loves working. For me, my work is my identity, even if it’s washing utensils😀
The story of how this business came into existence, is a success story in itself. Initially, I used to make gifts, for family and close friends, it was never for money or revenue. What everyone liked was, everything I made had the minutest of details covered and was never incomplete. Then with the encouragement of my family and friends, we had an exhibition of my produces in our society parking. The response was so overwhelming, that there was only one way it had to head, that’s today.
Social media and marketing were rare and it was word of mouth that did the job for us. It was everyone’s trust and belief too, that helped us reach here.
The second story is about an acquaintance who wanted to meet the family of his best friend, who died in his late 30s to a cardiac arrest. Thoughts were emotional, but going to his place after a couple of months, post the demise and that too empty-handed didn’t seem right for him.
We discussed the entire likes and dislikes of his friend and then we made a gift. My acquaintance had tears in his eyes. All he said was if his friend had to be described, it’s this gift perfectly. He visited the family and gave it to them, they all loved it with tears and now that gift is right next to the photograph of the deceased.
7) What are some of the challenges you faced in your business or in the current scenario?
Challenges are like mountains and mountains are meant to be climbed, ain’t they? Understanding everyone’s requirements, meeting them, and delivering to their happiness has become an everyday affair for me.
However, in these times, with the lockdown in place sourcing, raw materials have become a challenge. I can’t get work done from my carpenter, his workshop is shut due to lockdown. The urge for gifting is always there.
I have a plan B, and a plan C, and maybe a plan D too, isn’t that how life works?
I have always looked for perfection, I have always made my way through all tough times in life. “I am stronger every day” is my mantra towards facing these challenges and I have Maryam to motivate me, I see no challenges.
All I see are opportunities, to do things differently.
8) Any message to the audience.
‘It’s not what you gift but how much love you put into gifting it’.
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