Who isn't in the need of some pastels, food shaped accessories, and all-around cuteness? I'm a fan of those things at all times, but especially now. Thank goodness for makers like Faheema Chaudhury, who are contributing to a bit of brightness we all need.
Through her shop Unicorn Crafts, Faheema is producing art, accessories, and clothing that are the epitome of fun. Take one look at her site and you'll see be greeted with pink tones and Disney-related goodness. Even otherwise dark themes (like spooky or Halloween accessories) are made cute.
Faheema is a veteran of conventions and art shows, and I've had the pleasure of meeting her in person at a couple of them. I can safely say that she fully embodies her brand - bright, friendly, and incredibly sweet. These times are already incredibly tough for small businesses, and, as you'll see below, Faheema is no stranger to that. However, it's a true testament to type of shop she runs and the community she's created that her customers have stepped up to help. Unicorn Crafts is the type of shop you want to root for, and I know you'll love learning more about it and Faheema herself.
Q: Let’s start from the beginning. Can you tell me a little bit about the process of starting your business? What made you want to do this and how did you turn your idea into a reality?
A: Whenever I get asked this question I always have to preface by saying that this is a sad story that transitions to a happy one.
In 2010, I had just given a leave of absence from my job at an art studio in the Bay Area to help take care of my Mum, who was battling cancer. She passed away a few months into me being home and I quit my art studio job and moved back to LA. Not really knowing what I wanted to do, I turned to art to help with the healing process and that’s how I found Shrinky Dinks. I started making jewelry with it and opened up an Etsy shop. After making a few months of sales, I decided to apply for my first in-person sales event, Unique LA. I did so well at that show and even got my first wholesale order. That was the moment that I knew I could turn this into a business.
Q: What was your first piece to take off or find enough success that you were encouraged to do more?
A: Definitely my Shrinky Dink Unicorn and Narwhal earrings.
Q: What were your friends and family’s reactions to you starting this as a career or a business? Were you nervous to share it?
A: My dad didn’t 100% get it at first but I brought him to one of my shows and showed him my setup and he saw me getting orders and wholesale orders and felt a little better about it. I don’t think he’ll ever really understand a non-traditional creative career because he’s from another generation. My Sister and friends always supported me. They told their friends about me, recommended me to shows and even bought products from me. I wasn’t nervous but definitely excited to share my new designs and products.
Q: Is this your full-time job? If so, how long did it take you to transition into full-time?
A: Yes, this is my full-time job. I jumped in head first and have never looked back.<