This week’s ‘Featured Entrepreneur’ is a group of 4 guys, who started a skateboard collective around India. We talked with Abhishek, who’s one of the founders of ‘Holystoked’. What started with 4 guys now has grown to about 100 skaters, nationally. They want to use skating to promote expression and creativity within the youth, especially those living in poverty.
DREAM:IN: Hey Abhishek, thank you for spending some time with us today to talk about your collective ‘HolyStoked’. Can you tell us about the HolyStoked collective?
Abhishek: Holystoked collective was started by 5 skaters in 2011 with the goal of finding solutions to common problems facing skateboarders like where to find good skate equipment and places to skate. From there, 4 of us registered a company for the purpose of selling good skateboards and building skate spots around India. Since then, we have started our own brand, make t-shirts, and do a bunch of events every year.
DREAM:IN: How did you guys get started? How did the idea come about?
Abhishek: Originally the idea was to start a magazine about different urban cultures popping up around India with skateboarding as the main focus. Somewhere along that, we decided that the scene is not big enough for a magazine so we need to make the scene first. With hardly any skaters in India, we have been working toward spreading the culture and joy of skateboarding all over the country.
DREAM:IN: What’s your role at HolyStoked?
Abhishek: Well, recently, we have divided our labour. I’m currently campaigning for building skateparks and raising funds along with physically building parks. Som, another founder of Holystoked, is spearheading the skate classes and workshops at schools and skateparks.
DREAM:IN: How many people are currently in the collective?
Abhishek: The collective has grown close to, maybe, 100 people all over India with most of them here in Bangalore.
DREAM:IN: You guys sell some really cool items, I really love the map of India t-shirt. How does the design process work for your skateboards, t-shirts, shoes, etc…?
Abhishek: Well so far, designing has been chaotic with no real ideas and people randomly on our crew come up with designs which they would like to see on a t-shirt. Since last month, we have been working with professional designers and artists to make our first board graphics and all new t-shirts.
DREAM:IN: Who does the manufacturing of skateboards and parts?
Abhishek: Unfortunately, we haven’t reached the point where producing boards in India is financially viable. We need at least 5000 skaters to support the scene. Until then, we are importing boards from U.S.A , Europe and now China, where we are getting our own brand boards made.
DREAM:IN: How do you guys market your products?
Abhishek: Marketing is done mostly online through social media but we are heavily involved with skate and surf events in India. Additionally, we also do our own events in Bangalore, such as competitions and skate meets, where we invite skaters from all over the country on days like “Go Skate Day” to come to Bangalore and make some noise here. Also building skateparks is the best marketing there is!!
DREAM:IN: Do you guys have any events coming up for ‘HolyStoked’?
Abhishek: Starting this month, we are starting a worldwide fundraiser to raise funds for building 3 parks spread out over 2 months. The building will start late December in Kovalam, Goa and Kasol. Other than that, there is also another park we are going to start building in Panna, with the help of Skate Aid from Germany.
DREAM:IN: How would you like to see ‘HolyStoked’ grow? Where would you want to see ‘HolyStoked’ in the next 5 years?
Abhishek: Honestly, I hope that ‘Holystoked’ becomes a catch phrase for skateboarding in India. It is a beautiful thing and we shouldn’t lose sight of our goal, which is to build a skatepark in every major city as well as the smaller ones, where it will have the greatest impact. Maybe one day we can be big enough to support the scene and sponsor skaters. Also, another long term dream of ours is to have a skate school along the lines of Bryggerrietes School in Sweden.
DREAM:IN: Do you see skateboarding in the future of India? How can skateboarding positively shape and influence the youth?
Abhishek: Skateboarding is going to be huge in India. We have a large percentage of the population who are young and are running out of things to do. With stiff competition in school, college and work, they will need to find an outlet for their creativity and energy. With most of the people in India living in poverty, the kids have way bigger problems than boredom. From my experience, in the past years, skateboarding gives these kids an opportunity to get out and meet new people, have new experiences and share their stories with each other. Skateboarding doesn’t solve complex problems, but gives skaters something do where they can forget about everything that is bothering them and allows for their creativity to come out.
DREAM:IN: Who are some of your biggest influences, favorite skaters?
Abhishek: Biggest inspirations would be the crew of 2er (zweier skate club) in Hanover, Germany. They are some of my best friends and biggest inspirations for what we do with skateboarding. As for favorite skaters, I love Chris Haslam, Mike V and Ritchie Jackson; they are all super creative with their skateboarding.
DREAM:IN: I’m from coast-side Los Angeles, and I live about 10 minutes from Santa Monic/Venice Beach area, which is home to skateboarding legends, Z-Boys, which the movie “Lords of Dogtown” was made about. Has that crew influenced you at all? Can you relate to their style?
Abhishek: Yeah, I seen the movie, as well as the documentary. You are lucky to live close to some legendary spots. It is an amazing story, and of course, everyone worldwide will thank those guys for starting it all. It is just difficult to relate to since the Z-Boys were from totally different backgrounds than from the original ‘Holystoked’ crew. For example, I graduated law school and worked for two years as an artist in an animation studio.
DREAM:IN: Where are some of your places to skateboard, here in India?
Abhishek: Some concrete bowls and ramps around India are in Goa, Bangalore, Pune, Pondicherry, and Hampi. Delhi also has some great street spots as well as a basement with wooden ramps.
DREAM:IN: If people want to check out and buy some of HolyStoked’s merchandise & products, or if someone wants to buy their first ‘HolyStoked’ skateboard, how can they do it?
Abhishek: You can get it www.holystoked.com or you could come down to the park in Bangalore.
DREAM:IN: Lastly, do you have any tips for other young entrepreneurs out there? Any advice to keep them rolling?
Abhishek: My tip would be to make sure you are doing what you love, there is no point starting something you don’t believe in. Stay patient when it comes to making money, and take joy in just doing what you are doing. Also entrepreneurs face immense stresses so you have to find something that helps you unwind. Nothing better for that than skateboarding :)
DREAM:IN: Thanks for the telling us about the collective, will check you guys out at the skatepark soon!
Ashwin Chandra, and his two partners, Nikhil Behl & Haripriya Raja, started Brekkie, which is this amazing business of delivering breakfasts to your doorstep or work place. First of all, it’s very convenient, the food tastes great, and it’s healthy. Ashwin, and the Brekkie team, was nice enough to take some time off from their really busy mornings, to tell us about starting the business, some of the challenges they overcame, and the joy of cooking.
Ashwin: Our daily breakfast routine is something that the three of us have been complaining about for quite a while. I guess the first time we had a “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” conversation was way back last year. Everyone thinks they’re a ‘Richard Branson’ after their third Friday evening beer. It remained just a conversation until this summer. We heard a lot more people echo our frustration with what’s available in Bangalore and thought, “Screw it, let’s go for it!”. We started experimenting with different ideas at home, happened to find both a place and a cook a month later and before you knew it Brekkie was up and running! It’s been about two weeks now.
DREAM:IN: Did you have any challenges when first starting out?
Ashwin: Most definitely, nothing is smooth sailing. Honestly though, we’ve so far been lucky enough that a lot of our setbacks have been blessings in disguise. For example, we almost got an awesome place in Koramangala to use as our kitchen, it didn’t work out in the last minute due to the landlord having a change of heart – ended up finding a place ten times better in Indiranagar.
DREAM:IN: Do you have a favorite chef, or a chef, that really inspires you?
Ashwin: There’s no one real favorite. It’s nice to have something different every day. Hint hint, nudge nudge. ;)
DREAM:IN: What is it about cooking, that you enjoy so much?
Haripriya: At the risk of sounding overly deep and philosophical – it’s really liberating. It’s fun to try out new stuff and just see how it comes out. Granted, there is a logic behind cooking – there’s some things that you just don’t do, but overall there’s a lot of freedom to experiment. Plus, the eating part isn’t something to complain about either.
DREAM:IN: What time, do you start in the morning? When does the breakfast start cooking?
Nikhil: Glad you asked, because this is quite possibly our greatest achievement to date. The three of us combined have probably seen 5am a half a dozen times in our lives. That was pre-Brekkie. Now we’re up and out of the house by 4:45, and in the kitchen prepping by 5:15. The first batch get’s done by around 7:15, and we keep cooking till 10:30.
Ashwin: Depends on the definition of “Good”. We’re having a really great time doing it, but time will tell how economically successful this venture is going to be. The early signs look positive though.
DREAM:IN: What was the most enjoyable highlight, since starting Brekkie?
Haripriya: It’s hard to pick out one stand out moment, but what really sticks in our mind is the conversations we have with people that we serve. It’s great to see people take a second or two out of their busy mornings to chit chat about random stuff with us!
Haripriya: We’re constantly on the look out for new things to do, the kitchen is always in experiment mode. Right now we’d like to really make a name for ourselves as THE breakfast people in Bangalore – that’s where the focus lies. A greater variety of international breakfast dishes is definitely on the cards though.
DREAM:IN: If our readers want to give Brekkie a try, what’s the best way to get a hold of you, and order some breakfast?
Nikhil: Give us a buzz on 9008504094, drop us a line on whatsapp, shoot us a message via our facebook page (facebook.com/BrekkieBlr) or tweet at @BrekkieBlr. Isn’t technology great? :)
ARISE ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAM
OCTOBER 18 & 19, 2014
PRICE: 1500/BOTH DAYS
This weeks ‘Featured Entrepreneur’ is Shirali who comes from Ahmedabad, India. She has a deep passion for fashion and styling, which inspired her to start her own business, ‘Dhaaga Saarang’.
DREAM:IN: So can you tell us about your company, Dhaaga Saarang?
Shirali: ‘Dhaaga Saarang’, which means ‘yarn dyeing’, is a name that I have taken forward from my final project at NIFT, Gandhinagar. Since my project went really well, I decided to continue with the name even though it does not have a direct connection to what I do. Under this label, I work as a professional shopper and stylist, here by helping people with their wardrobe, occasional wear, party wear etc. I do not make clothes. I shop for people, with the budget given to me by them, and charge on commission basis.
DREAM:IN: What was the main motivating factor to start your own stylist company? When did you know, “yes! this is what i want to do!”?
Shirali: It’s quite a funny story actually. I went to Mumbai to celebrate my best friends’ birthday, and right when we were out shopping, partying, all though out the day, people kept complimenting me on either my dress or bag. And just then, my friend went, “Dude, I think you’ll just have to start shopping for me now.” And there it was. I knew it. I knew this is what I wanted to do. And well here I am.
DREAM:IN: Can you tell us what is it about fashion & styling that you love so much?
Shirali: Everyone is allowed to have his or her own sense of style. We aren’t here to judge, but well let’s face it, some people do need help. Not to sound derogatory, but I love to help people who are ready to accept it. There’s so much fashion out there in the world, which is beyond our imagination. I would be glad to help people with the little knowledge I have and serve them to bring a smile on their face when someone compliments them!
DREAM:IN: How would you describe your style?
Shirali: I have my days. I love to experiment with style. Sometimes I go high street while some days I’m classy and chic. But I’m mostly comfortable in anything casual.
DREAM:IN: What are some of your biggest inspirations, and who are some of your favorite designers?
Shirali: My mother is my fashion idol. Sabyasachi Mukheerji was and still is, my biggest inspiration when it comes to Indian-wear. When I was young, I used to see my mother adorn his designs and they always fascinated me. Yes, he is extremely commercialized now, but I still love him for his work. And when it comes to western wear, biggest brands to street shops, all come under my list of inspirations.
DREAM:IN: So how did you start your company? What was the beginning of this venture like?
Shirali: I just decided one day that this is what I wanted to do. It started with designing my logo first, planning on how to go about a website, asking a few friends to model for me, creating a website, and eventually a facebook page. It’s been a year since I started, but still feels as new as ever. Everyday is a new challenge. I wouldn’t say I had to go through a struggle or anything, but yes gaining business is not an easy job.
DREAM:IN: Did you have any obstacles when first starting? If so, how did you overcome them?
Shirali: Glad enough for me, I did not. My concept about a Professional Shopper and Stylist was extremely new for Ahmedabad. I got such a surprisingly wonderful and positive response when I first started off because I was the first one in Ahmedabad to come up with this business plan. Some people still do not understand how it works. But it’s great to see people getting surprised. It’s not like telling someone, “I am a doctor.” And they ask, “Oh, what’s that?” *laughs*
DREAM:IN: Currently, how many employees do you have working for you?
Shirali: Physically – I, me, myself. Mentally – Me and my parents.
DREAM:IN: What’s your future plans for Dhaaga Saarang? How would you like to see it grow in the upcoming years?
Shirali: I would want to be known as a pioneer for this business, in Ahmedabad only of course. I do not have plans to expand to other cities as of now. There is nothing more satisfying than serving your hometown.
DREAM:IN: What would you say has been the most enjoyable experience since starting ‘Dhaaga Saarang’? Was there any event you styled for which was extraordinarily memorable for you?
Shirali: Every single second since I have started has been so eventful, just because I am doing this all by myself. Each high, each low, is making this into a journey I am learning so much from.
DREAM:IN: Do you like being your own entrepreneur, running your own business? Do you think it was a good decision?Shirali: YES! Anything is better than busting you butt off for someone who is not even remotely related to you. Working for myself is the best decision I could have ever taken! Yes, it does not give me job security, but the experience it gives me is way beyond any salary I could ever get.
DREAM:IN: If people want to use your services or get a hold of you, what’s the best way to reach out?
– FB Page: Dhaaga Saarang,
DREAM:IN: Lastly, we want to ask everyone we interview, do you have any suggestions or tips for other budding entrepreneurs out there who may want to start their own venture?
Shirali: Don’t be scared. The moment you think this is what you want to do, take time to work on it and do it with all your heart. You know you’ll do wonders.
DREAM:IN: Awesome, thank you for all the great answers, we wish you the best with Dhaaga Saarang!
Harshit Srivastava, from Lucknow but now residing in New Delhi, has joined us for our second segment of ‘Featured Entrepreneur’. He’s a designer at Diva’ni, but has a special love for theater, and turned that love into a venture, which helps raise funds for a charity here in Bangalore. Let’s learn more about Harshit’s venture ‘Poetry in Motion':
DREAM:IN: Hi Harshit, thank you for your time with us. First off, I know you’re a designer at Diva’ni. Give us a little about your background, and how you ended up there?
Harshit: Hi, Thank you Team Dream:in, this is really overwhelming. Born and brought up in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, I always had the creative instincts and wanted to pursue my dreams as my profession. After class 12th NIFT Bangalore, I got a lifetime opportunity to study in SWISS TEXTILE COLLEGE, Switzerland and then there was no looking back. During my academic period, I did internships in Pondicherry, Auroville, & Himachal Pradesh, and finally graduated in June 2014 as a gold medalist. I received a call from my dream company, Diva’ni and after, a dream interview at the yash raj studios. I am a part India’s first cinema inspired brand by yrf and kbsh.
DREAM:IN: I know you also have a deep passion for theater. Why do you love theater so much?
Harshit: Blame it on the dramatic movies or the love for performing arts. As a kid, I danced my heart out to all the possible audiences I could get, including my family, relatives and friends. I was in class 1 when I acted for the first time on stage, I was dam nervous, and my principal told me, “Go ahead, I can see a star in making”. I just went and performed and the claps never ended. I knew I was born to do this! With time, things matured and it was not just about dancing or acting now. It was more about finding one’s inner self, theater gave me the platform to do so. I started writing and directing too. The fact that theater still has that charm, which it used to have years ago, and yet it never grows old, makes me fall in love with theater again and again!
DREAM:IN: That’s great! So because of your passion, you started ‘Poetry in Motion’ which raises money for an orphanage here in Bangalore. Can you tell us about ‘Poetry in Motion’ and how it started?
Harshit: Once you are in a professional college, you hardly get time for yourself. College festivals and culturals are the only relief. I realized that the only time I made friends and actually loved my college life was during the rehearsals for these events. I thought, “what if such rehearsals never end!”. I wanted a group of people that meets everyday and do whatever they loved. I just sent my friends one single message and everybody was on board as if everyone was just waiting for that message! Within a week it became our dream and we named it ‘Poetry in Motion aka. POTION!’. A dance and drama company that was made to do larger than life musicals, we aimed at showing live movies on stage. The costumes, the sets, pre and post productions, trailer release, publicity events, and more, ‘Potion’ wanted to change the way theater was looked at and we succeeded in the same!
DREAM:IN: Would you like to give any details about the orphanage in Bangalore, or how can they can help them out as well?
Harshit: We, as a group, personally believed that performing arts brought us together but we needed a cause to stay together! Ashanilaya, an orphanage in Ejipura, Bangalore, became our motivation to work harder ! As the proceeds of our plays went to Ashanilaya, the girls at Ashanilaya became our family, and with the help of ‘Potion’, we not only did our best to support them but also gave them a chance to perform in front of thousands of people! ‘Potion’ made it a habit of celebrating festivals at Ashanilaya and conduct workshops with them. All they need is some love and if you have enough to share , the doors of Ashanilaya are always open for you! We would want more and more of youngsters to come forward and make their lives worth living. It is not about a single orphanage but giving back to the society at large!
DREAM:IN: About how many shows have you put on since starting ‘Poetry in Motion’?
Harshit: Potion debuted with its larger than life, Bollywood musical called, “Dastaan-e-laila Majnu”, followed by 4 street play performances, one silent theatrical performance, and “I Object(in post production)”.
DREAM:IN: What are some of the musicals and plays that your drama company has put on?
Harshit: ‘Dastan-E-Laila Majnu’, the flag bearer musical has been a dream come true for all of us! From the extravagant costumes to mesmerizing sets, it was a bollywood movie shown live on stage in one take! Potion also releases a theatrical teaser of every play and ‘Dastan-E-Laila Majnu’ and ‘I Object’’s trailers itself project the potential and the vision of the stories! Potion went on to perform award winning plays and became a defending champion at a national level college festival.
DREAM:IN: What’s the response from the students who act in the plays?
Harshit: Potion was never a place where people were forced to be a part of the team. The ones who loved came in and did what they always wanted to. For example, the ones who loved doing make up formed the, ‘make and styling department’, the ones who loved designing made the costumes and so on. All the team members just waited to meet and have fun on the practices. It was more of a family get together during the rehearsals and all of them actually felt bored when we didn’t have the practices!
DREAM:IN: Do you have any upcoming shows?
Harshit: Yes, we have a show in pipe line, but due to the team members moving to different parts of the country for jobs, we don’t know when we’ll perform it! But yes very soon, we’ll be back and the world will know that ‘potion’ was just on a break!!!
DREAM:IN:Where would you like to see ‘Poetry in Motion’ in 5-10 years?
Harshit: Potion is our baby. In coming 5 years I would want it to be India’s biggest dance and drama company, doing musicals all over the country, and helping as many people as we can! In coming 10 years we dream to go big and take theater next to bollywood, becoming the youngest production house!
DREAM:IN: If anyone wants to get involved with your organization, how can they reach out to you?
Harshit: They just need to send us a message on our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/poetryinmotionentertainment?ref=hl
We have ‘Potion’ representatives in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Bhopal.
DREAM:IN: Lastly, we ask every entrepreneur in every interview, do you have any tips or suggestions for budding entrepreneurs that may help them out on their venture?
Harshit: Well, I might be too young to give tips, but yes, would love to suggest people that all they need to do is dream, and not just dream, but also believe in themselves. Go out and just start the journey without thinking about the end, without thinking about the obstacles, all will be taken care off! Just keep going, and one day you’ll look back and realize why even you ever cared! Stay calm, stay focused and do what you are born to do!
Thank you team Dream:in, it was nice connecting with you guys.
This is going to be a new series that we’re doing. We interview and feature local, national, and international entrepreneurs, budding & already successful, to feature to our DREAM:IN Community. Our intention with these interviews is to inspire you on your path to entrepreneurship, or maybe even inspire you to become an entrepreneur.
So for our first interview, we’re interviewing Sanat Singh, from Lucknow, but now residing here in Bangalore. He’s a budding entrepreneur, with a passion for photography. Let’s find out about his venture:
DREAM:IN: Sanat, thank you for speaking with us today.
Sanat: It’s my pleasure talking to you & also for the opportunity.
D:I: So first, please tell us a little about your company, what do you do?
Sanat: Very few in this world can claim they love what they do. But hey! I, Sanat, am one of them!. Having studied photography and film design from Manipal University, throughout the years I have captured special moments for hundreds of families, soon to be brides, mums to be, babies of all ages. Before I started capturing memories on my own, I have worked with an Animation studio as a CG Lighting artist for International films for Paramount pictures and children television shows for CBeebies. Later moved to US-based photography studio and then started the venture in 2012, “Sanat Photography”, I am a proud member of our team at Camories, where each one of us is passionate about what we do.
CAMORIES…We, at Camories, don’t define photography as the act of focusing on an object through a lens of the camera and clicking a few buttons. Every single shoot is an experience for us. We don’t capture the existence, we capture the feelings, giving a chance to repeatedly live what you love.
New Born Baby Photography: We have a collabration with Manipal & Fortis Hospitals for the New Born Baby Shoots on a day-to-day basis.
D:I: What inspired you to do this, and start this venture?
Sanat: It all started with me, photographing my little niece few years ago in the hospital which eventually made my business step up today.
D:I: How did the process go of starting the company? How did you get established?
Sanat: For a couple of years, I had worked as a freelancer and later approached few hospitals with the concept of photography to advertise their brand, which luckily helped us to brand for baby photography in the hospitals and also to approach few new clients .
D:I: Do you enjoy being an entrepreneur, being your own boss? Do you believe it’s worth all the effort?
Sanat: Certainly it’s worth all the effort, working for your self is like getting the best out of you with no restrictions.
D:I: When did you first know that photography was your passion? How did you find that spark?
Was fascinated seeing my cousins photography skills and started following other lead photographers. I started to photograph with a point-and-shoot camera, initially, and developed my skills in this art. I later started to freelance, related to travel, and later took up as a course to pursue it better.
D:I: We want to ask in every interview, do you have any tips for other entrepreneurs, that are just starting out?
Sanat: Dream in, take a chance to experiment, and be real!
D:I: How can people get a hold of you if they want your services or to contact you?
Sanat: You can get in touch with us through the following sources:
Our website will soon go online where the photography session can be booked.
D:I: Alright. Thank you so much for your time, and all the best to camories!
Sanat:Thanks & Regards
Be sure to check out some of his amazing photographs below.
Many people around the world have discovered the ancient technique to improve mainly your oral health, but your overall health in general. Oil Pulling is an ancient ayurvedic technique that’s been around for thousands of years. It has tremendous oral benefits, which include: anti-fungal, anti-bacterial properties, freshens breath, prevents cavities and gingivitis, strengthen the gums, and whitens your teeth. There are also other reported health benefits, not related to oral health, including reduced insomnia, pain relief, detoxification of your body, and some people even claim it is a hangover relief (interested now?). It’s also completely harmless, and 100% natural.
If this interests you, and want to give it a try, this is how you do it:
- You should practice this in the morning as soon as you wake up, before you’ve eaten or had any fluids.
- Get 2 tablespoons of Coconut Oil(You can also use other oils such as sesame, sunflower, and olive oil. You should only use high quality oil however).
- Swish around the oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. You can start off with 10-15 minutes(or as long as you can handle), and then lead up to 20 minutes if you want/can. Don’t gargle in your throat, however, this is only for your mouth.
- Make sure that you do not swallow any of the oil as it will contain all of the bacteria and toxins that it collected from your mouth.
- After, spit out the oil. It is recommended that you don’t spit it out in a sink or a toilet because there’s a chance it might clog up the pipes, so the best option is to spit it out in a trashcan.
- Lastly, rinse out your mouth with warm water to remove all excess oil.
- For those who want to take this seriously, it is recommended that you do this 4 to 5 times a week.
You can find Tumhara’s Virgin Coconut Oil at Big Bazaar stores and Food Hall at 1MG Road.