Hi Neha! Thank you so much for agreeing to let us interview you. We would love to know what was the inspiration behind Reading Owl Creations?
I was smitten by the idea of owning a book sleeve. I couldn’t get the ones I saw all over my social media because most of them were from creators abroad and international shipping is crazy. It was then that I asked my mom to try and make one for me. It turned out really good, if not the best. Even though my desire for a book sleeve was fulfilled(I also bought multiples through various makers in India), I knew this experiment could lead to something else.
How did the collaboration with your mother start?
I have always been a fan of my mom’s creativity. I remember her making these nice travel bags and makeup bags when I was young. With time, she used to get little time to do what she loved. As I and my siblings grew older and moved to different cities, she was left with a lot of time on her hands. So when our book sleeve experiment turned out nicely, one thing led to another, and here we are today.
So…why the name Reading Owl Creations though?
Hehe..this question always gets me. It just came to be because of my bookstagram handle ‘The Reading Owl’. My husband gave me this name because I can spend hours reading late into the night. So when we started the shop and were brainstorming shop names, it kind of was suggested and got stuck because everyone in the fam seemed to like it.
What has been your favourite product to have invented by far?
Book jackets/covers. We all know how we love ourselves a hardcover but it’s very difficult to keep their dust jackets from getting torn or damaged somehow. I personally keep those jackets aside while reading or carrying that book. That is where our dust jackets can keep those beautiful corners of your hardcovers from getting bent. And they care for your books WHILE you’re reading them.
What’s the one product in your shop that does well despite you and your mom thinking it might not have worked?
Earphone pouches. When we first made that little wonder, we were not sure if it would work. I mean, yeah we all have trouble with those tangled cables, and getting them pulled by accident is a disaster, but still we were skeptical. I guess we were wrong because people love that little pouch, especially in patterns matching their book sleeves.
InstaMojo or Etsy. Which has been more fun to be on?
Etsy. Instamojo is great to start with and it has added a lot of tools for small businesses over the last year but it does not provide as many features as Etsy. Moreover, Etsy as a community is also very inclusive and supportive. They hold sellers meet and shop optimization sessions. Also, through Etsy, it is easier to reach a wider audience and to be noticed by international customers.
If there was a dream author whose words you want to inscribe on a product — what’s the quote and what’s the product?
I love Harry Potter…so much so that I conduct a read-along called #owlpotterreadalong every year to connect with fellow potterheads. I love this quote by Dumbledore “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light” I think it would look amazing on a lamp shade.
We know the Lockdown has affected small businesses a lot. How are you guys dealing with it?
The business is indeed impacted but people have been super supportive and patient. We have also taken this time to work on some long pending ideas. Breaks are always a good time to learn something new. 🙂
Finally, what does the future hold for Reading Owl Creations?
We are working on multiple new fabric product ideas from stationary holders to wallets. Basically, more products for non-readers. I also experimented with creating my own reading journal and sticker making this year. So perhaps something on those lines too but it’s just an idea that I would love to spend more time on.