"Look, Ma! Our Barehands is featured in the papers!" Indeed, our reaction exactly when we saw our artisan and Our Barehands in the papers.
Our Barehands went live in May 2019, and to be featured in the papers a month or so after our entrance to the market was a big encouragement to us. This is an honest reflection of our journey thus far.
1. STARTING A BUSINESS, IN REAL TIME
We started Our Barehands with what we had in our hands. Before we took the plunge, there were two perspectives we were confronted with. One, we do not have much experience and it'll be great to have this amount of savings, be in this position, at this age before we are qualified to start. Two, this is what we have right now so let's try and learn along the way. Upon reflecting, we are thankful that the three of us decided on option two.
Yes, perhaps after we have climbed the corporate ladder, worked a decade, accumulated a good amount of savings and made a decent name for ourselves, we would be in the best position to start. We've all been down that road before - at least in our minds. What we have learnt, however, is that life doesn't always take you to places nor experiences you wish for. The road we're on could be a bumpy, curved or a completely straight one, but who knows?
Reality can sometimes be a hard pill to swallow, but that is one thing every human being can't opt out of. What we have in our hands is perspective. Therefore whenever people ask us how did we start Barehands, we are always inclined to give this simple answer: we saw a need, we looked at what we had and came up with a plan to meet that need - all done in real time.
2. GROWING A BUSINESS, TAKES A VILLAGE
It has only been five months since we started, but one precious lesson we've learnt is that growing a business is and will never be a one-man-show. Just as the African proverb goes "it takes a village to raise a child", similarly, it takes a village to grow a business. Every success and failure is the result of a thought, decision and execution of the team behind.
Be it seen or unseen, every person has a role to play.
At Our Barehands, we would cease to exist if not for our customers, artisan partners, designers, storytellers, partner vendors, administrators and the list goes on. Growing the business together with our network of partners is and will always be our key priority.
3. SUSTAINING A BUSINESS, TAKES PATIENCE AND GRIT
'It is easier to start something and not have to finish it' - that's the familiar rhetoric we've heard in our growing up years. Being nascent in the world of entrepreneurship, it is always tempting to bask in the honeymoon of a new business and forget the stresses of actually running a business. When we return to reality, more often than not, we find ourselves rushing to meet certain milestones but only to find ourselves burnt out.
If there's one word we've learnt in the past few months, it is pace. Living in a fast-paced and highly result-oriented city like ours, the pressure of needing to keep up can sometimes take a toll on us. However, we are constantly reminded that growing a business from scratch is akin to raising a child - you will never know when the next turn will be, but what we know is that it takes a recipe of patience and grit to see through the ups and downs for its eventual maturity and success.
Read the trio's article feature here.