In the midst of classes, involvement, networking, internship and job searches, maintaining a social life, and trying to find time to rest and relax, WIB’s Vice President of Programming manages to find time to run her own small business as well. Swesha Arora is a junior studying Industrial and Systems Engineering, who turned her lifelong craftiness into a jewelry business, Anoesis Jewelry, during the COVID pandemic. I chatted with Swesha to discuss the creation, evolution, and future of her small business.
“For as long as I can remember, I was always mesmerized by my mom’s Indian jewelry, and it was the biggest influence on me wanting a jewelry brand of my own one day,” says Swesha. Inspired by her mom’s jewelry as well as her dad’s entrepreneurial accomplishments, Swesha started creating unique pieces and advertised them on Instagram as a high school student. As her business began to grow, so did her vision for what her business and marketing strategies would look like.
Swesha expressed that “…the goal of [her] brand is to encourage people to express their individuality, which is something [she] has believed in ever since [she] was young,” so, in 2021, Anoesis Jewelry became SweshaA, the creator’s name sake. An Etsy shop branded with the values of classy, handmade, and unique, SweshaA features pieces inspired by Indian culture with a modern twist. The shop has had over 1,300 sales since opening a little over two years ago.
So, how did Swesha increase her sales and following base during that time? She honed in on her business’s core values. She created a marketing plan that worked best for her, though doing so is easier said than done. For Swesha, “creating a social media marketing technique” was challenging and “require[d] trial and error, which took place over the course of several years and is always changing.” Since her jewelry business is online-based, utilizing Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest to advertise her products, she was able to seamlessly direct consumers to her Etsy homepage. Swesha expressed, through her experience, she has learned that “any business can be successful if you [can] express to a customer which of their problems you can solve and how useful your product or service is to them. Skills such as persuasion, empathy, and communication will take you a long way.” Examples of how she implements this is shown through embracing individuality through her brand name, SweshaA, and through providing the option for custom orders for customers. Swesha has also valued the opinions of a diverse group of people when it comes to major changes to branding or new collections. Turning to friends and family has helped her stay grounded and up to date on her consumerbase.
When asked if she knows many fellow female business owners, Swesha expressed that she knows more students who want to create one than those that have one. Though the life of a college student is full of commitments and distractions, a small business can be another supplement to a resume or a way to fulfill a passion, such as Swesha with her jewelry. Etsy shops, Instagram pages, and resale sites are accessible, affordable platforms to easily sell products. Additionally, Columbus has a rich network of small businesses that can be utilized for advice, guidance, or simply inspiration. Swesha personally turned to Instagram creators and resources to aid her in running her business.
Even though she may not have fellow students to relate to, the community within WIB has made her feel “encouraged to keep chasing [her] dreams and that others can relate to [her] and understand [her] drive.” With over 1300 orders that ship in three to five days, organization, exemplified through “having two desks in [her] bedroom and two planners to separate school and work,” and prioritizing self care, Swesha has been able to balance school and work. A piece of advice she wants to leave to those who want to start their own business is to “learn as much as you can about selling your specific type of product.” With the utilization of online resources, courses, Ohio State’s network, and a passion for business, Swesha is a prime example of what can come of hard-work, dedication, and a clear vision for what you want out of your time at Ohio State and beyond.