14 January, 2019
We see in the news every other day about how India in climbing in the ratings of ease of doing business. The newspapers are buzzing about stories of young entrepreneurs, the dreamers, who have an idea and managed it to sell it to investors and made it big. A few stories are there of failures as well. In fact, with the advent of the Internet and online retail or e-mail, anyone can become a seller, and the whole world is the buyer. The success story of Flipkart, which is now taken over by Walmart, and the fantastic run of Amazon in India, and many other e-tailers like Myntra-Jabong, Snapdeal and more are driving more youngsters to this line.
So, is entrepreneurship only for youngsters or can senior citizens too, try a hand at this? We had earlier written an article about the possibilities and today we bring you the success story as well. This should undoubtedly inspire you to believe that it is indeed possible and that age is never a bar for dreaming or going after them.
Turning entrepreneur at 89!
Latika Chakrabarty is all of 89 and has an online business which goes by the name Latika’s Bags. Originally from Assam, she has traveled across the country, and this gave her good exposure to various cultures. She collected many varieties of beautiful sarees, kurtas, and other clothing, as she had a keen interest in sewing always. She has a unique skill of recycling old things to new and thus started creating bags out of old sarees and clothes, collected from across the country. She believes that she is giving a new life to these old things and also turning it into a utility.
She designs wonderful bags or potlis, and brings out her talent using her 64-year-old sewing machine, which her husband had gifted her. Thus, every creation of hers is unique and with it comes to you some story or heritage that was associated with that piece of cloth, which could be from any part of India. These bags are lovely decorated pouches with handstrings that are highly appealing and are a fashion statement of sorts. And the best part is that she has done all this at 89 when most people would think that it is time to put your feet up and rest and just while the time away till death comes.
She started off by making these potlis for her daughter in law, and then started gifting these to friends and family and slowly her bags started getting noticed. She was obviously gifted, and her grandson created a website for her and also started using social media to market her bags. Soon, it bloomed into a family business and her son, handles the business part, while she continues to be the creative contributor, whereas her daughter in law has also started making bags along with her.
She loves what she is doing, and that is what keeps her going, rather than the money or business aspect of it. She works when she gets ideas for new bags, not as per any deadlines, so to speak, as per inputs provided in an article about her. Her success is perhaps because of this aspect, that she is doing what she loves, and has been able to turn it into a business, rather than the other way round.
So, what’s your plan?
Looking at Latika’s success story and incredible example, it is time for each of us to figure out if we are using our age as an excuse. It is time to continue doing what we love, and even if we do not want to convert it into a business, perhaps, if we do, it may help many others. And what is more, any craft, done out of love, and passion, will tell a story and strike a chord with people. And if we can say goodbye to excuses and hello to life and dare to stride on the rarely trodden paths like these, perhaps, we become an inspiration to many others.
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