Stree Shakthi focusses on a entrepreneur’s journey who spreads joy by making Golu dolls affordable.
Golu, Bommalu Golu, Bomme Habba (decorated display of dolls and figurines) as they are called in different parts of the India , is an integral part of the Navaratri celebrations. For millions living outside India , celebrating Golu is synonymous to reliving a part of their childhood and ushers in a sense of happiness and cheer. Today’s blog features Sangeetha Puligella , Owner of Navami USA- a woman run business serving the residents of North America to easily procure Golu. Read ahead to know about the fabulous journey of Navami and how they have brought joy to many homes in the form of vibrant Golu Bommai.
- Please tell us more about how Navami was formed. What is the motivation behind this specific business.
Navami was formed out of necessity and a passion to serve the community. When I started to keep Golu, I could not find anyone locally selling Golu dolls, this lead my family back in India to send me Golu dolls via courier just like hundreds of folks in North America do. But sadly, by the time I received them they were damaged and I was heart broken. This made me start looking for solutions , as I realized, there must be others in the same situation as me and wanting beautiful Golu bommai. Surely enough, there were plenty others and we received over whelming response from people.
2. How would you describe the growth of your business over years and could you give us more insights on your journey?
We at Navami truly believe we are very blessed to have embarked on this journey. We are not a family of entrepreneurs. On the contrary , we are a family of public servants wherein for generations we have family members in public sector and Army serving the country. We consider ourselves fortunate to have been chosen by God, to make thousands of families happy by providing Golu Bommais at affordable prices and excellent quality. For the first 6 years we consistently grew only thru word of mouth, based on the good work we were doing. Last two years our growth has been exponential thanks to Social Media and its reach. This has made us truly happy because this is a great opportunity to server a very large community. The journey has not been easy. There is hours and hours of hard work that goes in to ensuring dolls reach their permanent homes safely.
3. Please share some fond memories or favourite things about Bomma Golu.
Golu has always been my favourite festival of the year as a child. Amma used to give the very important job of setting up zoo and park to me and my older sister. Our planning , preparation, arguments and discussion would begin atleast a week before as we would want to out do what we did the previous year, every year. The best part would be to incorporate and highlight one experience from that specific year in to our presentation. For ex., if we went on a vacation, we would have to create a scene showcasing that vacation. This was always the most fun to do. And then of-course us visiting other golus and our friends and family visiting ours, sharing stories , singing songs everything would make wonderful memories.
5. How do you balance your work , family and business. Has social media been a strong platform for your growth.
I am blessed beyond measure. My husband and kids are super supportive, my sister’s family lives within few miles of us and above all , my parents come here every year and stay for the festivities. We all work on this single goal of reaching out to thousands of families very selflessly. We focus on our respective jobs during the business hours. But starting 5 PM , we tirelessly work at times until 3 am. So for about 3 months until Navaratri ends, we work about 18-19 hours a day. My family helps me balance work, helps me take breaks to spend time with my children and helps me in the backroom operations. Without them, there is no way we could have shipped so many dolls. This year especially, I did not pack any dolls, it is all my sister, BIL and parents. That helped me focus on sales, marketing and customer service. And yes, social media helped us reach to a wide customer base.
6. Fun fact question – your favourite Golu bommai set and your most treasured feedback ?
This is a very hard question. I am so passionate about golu bommai that each time I open a box I get very excited ! But one set that comes to the top of my mind is the Pradosham set that we introduced in 2022. One of the prettiest sets ever! I could not get over it’s beauty!
Navami is known of the beauty of the dolls and for striking the right balabnce between price and quality. But my most treasured feedback is when people tell me that my love and passion for golu dolls is infectious. They can see it, hear it and feel it even on a chat message 😊
7. Ideas of expansion , moving forward. Would you be adding more products in the future ?
Yes, we are working on adding more products. Slowly but surely. Indian culture and legacy is important to us. Idea is to not make a quick buck out of a customer as much as to give them a beautiful experience and everlasting memories. We do not want to be an average store with pooja décor. Instead, we want to be a store that establishes a legacy and educates the world about the beauty of Indian culture .
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