An Interview with Durga Devi, Chithoo Jewels

Can you give a small intro about yourself?

I am an engineering graduate and a budding online retailer. I make and sell my own handmade jewelries online. Brand name is "Chithoo Jewels".  My name is S. Durga Devi. I am a music lover. I am a very confident and a brave girl. :)

How did you get into this profession? What is YOUR story?

Mine is a very simple story. Just like any engineering graduate I was searching for a job. Later I thought to become my own boss, instead of searching for one to work with. LOL!  

How long have you been running this business successfully?

I started this business last year in the month of April. I am going to celebrate the anniversary of my business soon.

And am proud of it. :)

Can a woman who is interested in doing ANY business enter into this business of selling jewelries?

Yes, if she has perseverance and determination.

Which woman business person has influenced you? How did they change the way you run your business? Have you met them in person?

To be frank am not influenced by anybody.

Would you like to share your words of wisdom to an aspiring business woman?

My important tip is to have your own pricing and creativity. Do not compare with others and if a customer does it drop that order. You can negotiate with customers but should not compromise on the price of your products. Don't feel bad when the market goes down. If you have creativity and innovation your market never goes down. Keep thinking of new designs and you will eventually end up being a successful business owner. I am still learning the tricks of the trade. :)

When I was jobless many people, including my parents and siblings taunted me, insulted me by saying,"You are useless". I always wanted to prove them wrong. If you are an Indian girl from a middle class family, you would know how others treat you when you don't find a job after the completion of your studies. Even now, they are not happy with my little business. Because this is not an IT or a government job. But I love doing what I am doing now. I am confident that some day, very soon, I will reach new heights. And that is the day they all would regret. 

What is the best and worst decisions you have ever made in your professional journey?

Best decision is to never compare with others. Am yet to make any worst decisions.

Can you share two of your funny customer experiences?

I spend a lot of time and energy on creating a new design. Its quite natural that I expect appreciation from my customers for the new design. But when I send the new design to the customer all I get is "NICE" :)

So, I would think,"Ahh! This is not so attractive. I have to improve my creativity." When I share the same product in my FB Business Page, I get more comments like "Excellent, beautiful!". LOL!
What is the best part of being a woman business owner?

I am financially independent now, though am yet to become a millionaire. I would be one soon. I battle it all alone in my business, right from buying stock to delivering the products to customers. I am proud of myself.

What are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur, in your opinion?

Patience, Honesty and Optimism

Chithoo Jewels
11 Ambal Nagar,
Chennai 600064

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