When thoughts walk down the lanes of memory, we wish if we could relive those moments, once again. We wish for a sneak peek into that colorful day when your child took her first step, or your loved one returned after a long break. We preserve those moments, just to remind ourselves on one of the bad days that there is always something to look forward to, there is always dawn waiting for the corners of your lips to go up to a perfect smile.
The objects that someone gives you for a birthday carry a lot more value than something lifeless on the showcase. The gifts are a collection of memoranda that you are loved and remembered by many. It reinforces the bond between hearts and here is a mompreneur making that perfect gift to show your love to the ones that matter. Her products offer you the most creative and innovative gifting ideas, etching a part of you in those gifts.
In conversation with Jisha Philip from The Treasure Trunk, on her tales of gifting happiness and joy to her customers. Her product lets you hide a clip of audio, of an old memory, and keepsakes to truly treasure that moment in the trunk of sweet memories, not letting it get lost in the ocean of ramblings.
Tell us the story behind starting ‘The Treasure Trunk’.
The story of The Treasure Trunk grows back to when an excited soon-to-be mommy started discovering her hidden creative side, one at a time with her first painted canvas or as she hand embroidered her expecting baby’s first outfit. With every creative exploration, very quickly, family and friends wanted their own pieces created.
To her surprise, the then hobby turned to a small mommy business initiative of creating unique and personalized pieces of art. Before long, her love for everything handmade, personalized, and treasured keepsakes grew. She added to her trunk with love, unique and curated gift collections that she knew people would treasure and smile at often.
Give us a quick tour of the products that you deliver.
Our trunk offers an exclusive collection of unique and personalized gift products. We try to bring in a bit of fun into each product yet make it a sentimental experience that come from the heart and really mean something to the receiver.
Ranging from personalized prints such as our best selling sound wave QR code frames (A frame with hidden audio or video message that literally speaks to the heart ) to Star Map Keepsakes (A print that shows the stars above as seen from any location and moment in time) to our custom photo night light (Turning your photos to a magical custom lamp) and many more. Our trunk has the perfect gifts to surprise the person who already has everything.
How do you reach out to your customers? Are the orders taken on a weekly or monthly basis?
We connect with our potential clients currently through our social media handles. Collaborations and promotions with social media influencers and celebrities help our gift ideas to reach likeminded audience.
Most of our products are customized and made to order. We have implemented a turnaround time of 20 workdays. Though we do take up rush orders it comes with a minimal fee. Considering that our space is a mom-run business and that the designing or digital work is done fully by me without any assistance. Depending on the time required to fulfill a request, we revise and announce the turnaround time (increase or reduce) in advance to avoid any disappointments and for a timely delivery.
You are juggling between motherhood and business. How do you manage them both and ensure the equilibrium between work and home?
Having decided to be a stay at home mother and trying your hand at business has meant a fair amount of sleepless nights and emotional break downs. Majority of the works are done once the little one along with the entire house is put to bed.
Being a mompreneur, comes with a unique set of challenges and limitations. For instance, the treasure trunk initially started by taking up commissioned works for personalized embroidery hoop arts. Though passionate about handmade, with time, we realized that embroidery and handcrafting is a slow art. Time management being one of the challenges as a mompreneur, we had to find a way to work around being a mom and ensuring faster product outcomes for the business to be profitable.
With course of time, we shifted our niche to custom pintables and personalized gifts which involved more of digital works. This transition has been greatly accepted by the audience and also bought some sort of peace to as I manage this business and my home.
However, we are yet to master the art by finding the perfect balance between juggling diapers and our laptops.
Tell us what goes behind a customized gift, right from the initial approach by the customer to the product delivery.
We take all our orders through our social media handle. It displays all the available gift products for our customers to choose from. However, if it still leaves them confused, we are happy to suggest something based on their occasion or requirements. We also take up new client design or customization if possible, as we like to take up a challenge.
Once the client provides the required details, the order has to be confirmed on payment. A draft will be submitted for review to client before the final printing or processing of the gift product. The shipment is scheduled based on the clients preferred delivery date.
Have you noticed any trends in the items that are ordered? Tell us about your most sought-after products and the reason why you think it enjoys a special place.
Gone are the days, when gifting was about walking to a store and choosing the most expensive or random eye catching gift. A lot of thought goes behind finding that perfect gift with a special touch, these days. When gifted with anything personalized, the recipient not only is pleased by the chosen product but also will highly appreciate the thought that went into choosing to personalize it. And the personalization adds more value to the gift than a plain product.
We have brought in a fun way of personalizing each and every gift product. However, our Sound wave frames with a code that has a hidden audio/video message is our best sellers. It’s probably because of how fancy and surprising it would be for the recipient to find a unique twist to an otherwise normal photo frame.
Moreover, this would remain a keepsake that they could treasure a lifetime. I have had new parents embed hidden messages for their child to listen to when they grow up. It would remain a keepsake for them.
Do you have a particular gift item that you made that is very close to your heart? If yes, tell us the story behind it.
Every time a new added product is added to the trunk, it becomes the current favorite. A lot of thought goes into choosing what is to be made available on the platform. Apart from deciding on a gift idea, it gets even more difficult to bring the idea to life.
We have been blessed that all our products have been well received so far. Ultimately, it’s the client videos that show reactions of joy and tears on receiving our gifts and the assured feeling it brings that our treasures have found a forever home, which fills our heart with joy.
Could you brief us about your support system, which helps you ensure that the product is curated beautifully?
I would call this venture a one-person army . Be it of a social media manager, marketing specialist, content creator, and digital designer and so on.
However, I have the greatest support system without which none of this would be possible.
I have a personal computer expert, technical advisor, financial manager and stress buster. My life partner, who assists me right from finding the right supplier to finding solutions to almost all the challenges I face.
As I stay abroad and away with family, my mother helps coordinate the processing of all my gift products back in India. She helps coordinate and ensure the digital works that are brought to life are of top notch quality and helps ensure that it’s well received by the client. That’s why I would like to consider, when shopping at the treasure trunk not only do you get personalized gift products but also a personalized shopping experience.
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned over the years with your venture?
Starting a venture and running one will face you with many challenges. It’s only when you manage to face and tackle it effectively that makes you a successful business.
Tell us about your future plans for the treasure trunk and your other ventures outside of it.
With the treasure trunk being well received, we are hoping to bring in helping hands. This I am hoping would help me pursue my professional career that I had set aside for managing and running the trunk.
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