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THE SJSU MA DIARIES

  • Anika Puri

Starting A Small Business


My business journey started as a little 8-year-old. You may be thinking it started with a lemonade stand. It did not. After a trip to India, I came back with a bunch of henna. With that, I practiced and slowly taught myself the skill and art of henna. After I became decent, I started doing it for my friends. Once I got better, I started charging for it. By ten years old, I figured out how much I should charge based on the size of the design and also how much energy and time it took me to do the design.


To this day, I still do henna and have made a business from it. My business journey began to grow in college. I couldn’t have school and have a job my first year, so I decided to pick up skills that I could charge people for in the dorms. These skills were eyebrow threading, hair braiding, and acrylic nails. It was an investment of both time and money, but the people I met and became friends with through this experience made it all worthwhile.


Since Covid, I have not been able to do any of my past freelancing, so I decided to start creating stuff I could sell. It began with painting and an Instagram store. This developed as I discovered more things to add. I love thrifting and have a lot of thrifted clothes that I have barely worn. Rather than throwing them or letting them sit in my closet unworn, I turned this into a thrift box on my Etsy store. I also picked up Resin art and necklaces! It started with something small that I didn’t know how to handle a successful business with almost 30 orders and $800+ in revenue.


From far away, all these little projects may seem hectic and unorganized. It might seem as though I didn’t know what I was doing or know how to handle myself; It is quite the opposite. As strange as it is, when I am put on the spot or suddenly start something, I can figure it out as I go and it usually ends up being some of my best work. I’ve also discovered that you might have hundreds of odd skills that may not align in any way, but by finding the fine line connecting all my skills, business, I was able to find my career.


There is a theory called Ikigai, which is a balance of your passion, mission, profession, and vocation. After discovering this, I live my life with Ikigai, constantly finding a balance between what I love, what the world needs, what I need to survive, and what I’m good at.