Fascinated by young social media influencers based in America and UK, a teenage girl from Srinagar has come up with the idea of starting her lip gloss venture, the first of its kind in Kashmir.
Samar Bakshi, a 17-year-old, studying in 11th standard, started her business venture with the name PinkBabyGirl on March 7, 2020 and became one of the youngest entrepreneurs in the Valley.
“I was fascinated with some social media influencers based in America and UK and I used to love seeing them being independent at such a young age of 15, 16, and 17. I always had a thought of starting my own business at a young age,” Samar says.
Regarding the uniqueness about her venture, Samar says she offers customized glosses where people can choose their own lip gloss shade, and much more.
“Customers can choose the container in which they want the glosses. No one ever has done that before. We even launched lip jams, lip syrups and lip juices that no one in India has ever done.We made our own formula to make lip jams made by real berry juice extracts, and have our identity products too that no one else knows about,” she said with confidence.
Samar decided to become an entrepreneur because she thought it to be the best profession one can have.
“This is the most innovative profession a person can think of. What’s better than being your own boss & working for yourself. Rather than working for others in 9 to 5 jobs, I always had a dream of starting something on my own,” she said.
Once the idea of starting a lip gloss venture stuck her mind, she started to work on research part including how to make this item, how to get the raw material, and how to get the perfect shine? She ended up importing the material from China for coming up with the best product in the market.
“I am the first person to start lip gloss manufacturing business in Kashmir. It was very difficult to cope with the present situation, but as e- commerce is growing day by day it was easier for me to start an online business, so I opened my Instagram page named pinkbabygirl. It went well and at the beginning I had to struggle for the audience and sales but I kept working hard,” she said.
While narrating the story behind the idea, she said, “When I was in 10th class, boards exams were approaching and I had no motivation to develop my business idea in such a way, but then one day I realised that it’s better to start today rather than saying I will do it after my exams. I decided to start working on the physical aspects of my business, eventually our CBSE boards got cancelled and we didn't have to appear for exams, I was happy that I made a decision at the right time.”
She said, no one supported her at that time as everyone thought she was too young to start a venture.
Samar believes that one has to work very hard in order to start any venture. “I used to wake up till 4 am while thinking about the new ideas and how to attract people towards my product and how would i increase my sales.”
Despite her busy schedule, Samar is able to balance her studies and work life. “You should never give up on your dreams no matter how hard it gets. Despite being a student, i always want that my dream business reach to a level that I have imagined of.”
Currently she is selling her products online because due to the prevailing Covid situation it would be very difficult for her to do something offline. “As all the small businesses were growing 10 times more online I decided to keep my business online only.”
She also said, “she is taking offline classes of students who want to learn how to make lip glosses, lip balms, tints, lipsticks, eyelash serums, I take the courses online and offline too.”
While talking about the challenges Samar says “I have faced a lot of challenges because this is something no one knows about, it's new for the society.”
She says,“I am sure a lot of people know what lip glosses are, but how to make handmade glosses and customized gloss is a very new concept in Kashmir.”
Samar Says that she got mixed response after starting her venture. “A lot of people love my business and support it whereas some people are against it and always demotivate me to shut it down, but of course I've been loved more than hate and that is what keeps me going always”.
In the past, Samar has also appeared in a Bollywood movie 'highway' before she started her business journey. “I was in 5th standard when I worked in the movie as a child role of Alia Bhat named 'Veera'. I got into it because I wanted to give it a try I was fascinated with Alia Bhat and Randeep Hudda and I always wanted to meet them so when i had the opportunity, I said yes. Although I've been shortlisted for a lot of movies and had many offers but I always wanted to do the business. I just tried acting once.”
In her message to the youth, she said, “I would like to tell them that instead of approaching your dreams tomorrow, do it today. Work hard and no matter how hard it is, nothing is impossible. Where there is a will, there is a way.”