Just a few months ago, we reached out to Harmini Asokumar, the founder of Deeper Than Fashion to talk about her entrepreneurship journey that’s inspired by her love for fashion. Deeper Than Fashion is a local online startup that sells handmade accessories and dreamcatchers that are, according to her Facebook page, “mermaid-approved & 100% rainbow magic”—and with accessories that look like that (image below), I for one am certainly not disputing it!
Harmini has been busy since that last interview, and now she has started a new line of homemade goodies called Deeper Than Beauty. She’s also made the decision of quitting her day job to be a full-time entrepreneur and pursue her passion.
Quitting For Love
Personally, I was surprised to know that Harmini quit her job to concentrate on her own business because I had honestly thought she was already doing that full-time!
Harmini shared with Vulcan Post that she was a Communications Executive doing online marketing for a company. Before that, she tried her hands at being a fashion and home products buyer, content writing as well as being a fashion and lifestyle writer. And all the while, she consistently ran her own online business for the rest of her time other than her 9am-6pm office hours.
So since all this has been working out well for her all these years, earning a full-time salary and additional income on the side, why rock the boat?
“I disliked the lack of flexibility and how my creativity was constantly put on hold. This was the main reason I decided to leave as I was tired of bottling up all my ideas because I never had the time to make it happen. To me, creativity and art is a flow, and when you stop it, the ‘mood’ just isn’t right to restart it again. I also disliked having to deal with things like office politics and drama, you know, all those unnecessarily stressful things,” she recounted.
Harmini shared that despite only working in her previous job for 3 years, ever since she started Deeper Than Fashion 5 years ago, she’s always had the longing to run it full-time instead of a conventional job.
Winds Of Change
When asked how she finally knew it was ‘time’, she said, “Mostly because I was tired, cranky and not my usual zen self. I knew it was time to call it quits before I drained myself (and my creativity) so I left my job for passion, and I can’t wait to see the outcome!”
Her courage and faith was thanks to motivation from her boyfriend, friends and family. She said most people didn’t even know she was working a 9-6 job (your truly, included) as she was always so focused on her own brand. “If I could put that extra time into my brand, imagine the things I could achieve!” she exclaimed.
Harmini also knew that she had to convince her parents that this was a right move, “I was assured because I knew my brand had reached a stage where I had financial stability just by doing what I love. It may not be a lot of money but at least I’d be happy doing what I truly love.”
Leaving a stable job and consistent monthly income is no easy step, but Harmini seems to be handling it well and is extremely excited about the future. Tomorrow (10th of July, 2015) is her final day and one might think that she should be getting cold feet but that’s not the case at all. “I’m so glad I took the leap because I already see such huge improvements in the way my life is,” she gushed.
Harmini hopes that this change in her life will bring positive changes in her sleeping and eating habits, and how she manages her time. “Also I’ll finally have time to exercise instead of only sitting down in front of the laptop!” she told the author of this article—who coincidentally only has time to sit down in front of her own laptop.
“Being my own boss also means I’m my own slave, so this will be pretty challenging. Having run my business while I worked full-time left me with very little ‘me’ time. I just need to find a balance between work and play that isn’t conventional,” she said.
“My biggest fear is that I won’t be able to keep up with my high expectations. I know that the cash flow also won’t be consistent but that isn’t really something I worry about. I believe if you work hard enough, you’ll make it happen.”
The Dawn Of Deeper Than Beauty
Other than Deeper Than Fashion, Harmini has extended her business to another brand called Deeper Than Beauty, a line of homemade organic and animal-cruelty free beauty products that she personally has tried, tested, and believes in. She is also looking to import some makeup tools and beauty products.
“As someone who is really into fashion and beauty, it just seemed like the perfect direction to head toward in terms of business. I’ve been making organic scrubs, soaps and lipbalms. I just thought it was time to start selling them as I’ve gotten several requests,” Harmini explained.
Clearly Harmini has a vision for what she wants for her business, but for now, she is going with the flow. “I never like thinking about the future and stressing out. I take it a day at a time, but push forward to improve myself and my business on a daily basis. My long term plan is to be happy, ” she told Vulcan Post.
It is still too early to tell, but Harmini has already gotten a good start with her positive and determined attitude. As for aspiring entrepreneurs who have doubts and uncertainty in themselves, Harmini advised, “Find something that is uniquely yours and built it from there. Never compromise in quality and never undervalue your craft. You’ll know when you are ready to take that leap, and when you do, it is so fulfilling.”
It’s safe to say that Harmini, the dreamcatcher maker, is off on her way to making her dreams into a reality.