Our Social Mum of the week is the inspiring Niyati who is a member of our Social Mums London Facebook Group. She tells us why her Mother was her biggest inspiration for starting her business and why she loves our daily #SocialShare posts.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
Hi! I’m Niyati. I have been happily married to my husband Nihar for 10 years. For 9 of those years we have lived in London, and being a city girl (previously I lived in Mumbai and Philadelphia), I absolutely love it here. We have a 5-year-old son and a little girl on the way, due this June. I worked in marketing for 15 years before I decided to start my own business. I love and have degrees in what I call the ‘people sciences’ – anthropology, pyschology, marketing and journalism – and these interests have formed the basis of my business.
What is your business?
My business is called Star & Bloom – it is a platform that features makers from around the world who do not have the time, knowledge and/or experience to market for themselves, nor do they have access to a UK audience. I have chosen these makers because I love their creations and their stories – from a grandmother in Mumbai who crochets beaded flapper purses, to the two mums who design hand block printed children’s clothing and accessories, or from North Indian craftspeople who have learned the skill of scarf-making over generations to the London mum from Russia who shares her love of making tassel earrings with her twin daughters. Every maker has a unique story – I want the world to know what it is and in the process promote their creations.
What inspired you to start your business?
My mother, who is not only an artist herself but a savvy businesswoman. Watching my mother run successful, creative businesses when I was growing up, it was only natural that I would have the desire to do something similar. In addition, as for many mums in business, I was looking for something that would allow me more flexibility but where I could continue to learn new skills and challenge myself.
What social media platforms do you use and why?
I use Facebook and Instagram. Facebook is great for sharing your business on relevant groups or finding like-minded pages (e.g. Social Mums London, Mums in Business, Etsy Sellers). I have found that the support from these groups/pages is invaluable. Instagram has been great for promoting my business due to its visual aspect – most of the traffic to my Etsy page comes from Instagram. In addition, I use it for research and once again, to find like-minded individuals.
What do you find most challenging about marketing your business on social media?
The thing that I find most challenging is also something I enjoy the most – understanding how to use each platform to it’s best advantage. How do I use each individual platform to generate an audience while maintaining a consistent brand image/message? Furthermore, my products are very tactile – think cashmere scarves, beaded purses – and it’s sometimes hard to get the quality and beauty of these products across via images.
I believe the solution to this is the same, whether online or offline – developing a brand with a genuine voice, with the goal of building relationships rather than just making sales.
What is the best social media tip you have picked up for your business?
Test and learn! Online, offline, digital or direct – I don’t believe you can get very far without doing your research and testing & learning. Then use what you have learned to consistently engage with your audience.
What have you found most useful about being part of a Social Mums Facebook Group?
Finding and learning from amazing women who are doing brilliant things with their business. I keep thinking that there is so much creativity out there and the Social Mums Facebook Group does a brilliant job of bringing these women together. I also think the daily Social Share posts are extremely helpful, not only for sharing posts but in inspiring me to post daily.