How many of us wonder how to launch a stationery business, and actually get around to doing it? More specifically, how many stationery businesses are launched by psychology graduates? If that seems like an unsolvable riddle, meet the answer to that riddle: Mansi Bhattad, a 21-year-old graduate of Psychology and owner of Pastels & Hues. As she shares her entrepreneurial journey with HerMoneyTalks, be prepared to believe that life is a journey of unexpected miracles.

Mansi is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in clinical psychology. Hailing from a family of entrepreneurs, she never imagined starting and running her own business as that idea never interested her. However, one eventful midnight, a thought struck her and 3 months later she had established her venture ‘Pastels & Hues’.

From a stationary geek to a stationery entrepreneur, Mansi shares her exhilarating journey of kick-starting her startup and her vibrant experiences as a young entrepreneur.

Opening the first page of her entrepreneurial journey

Mansi belongs to a family of entrepreneurs, a joint family of 16 people, where every single person is involved in business. During her childhood, she realized she never wanted to become an entrepreneur like her other family members, much less know how to launch a stationery business.

One random night, a thought struck my head. I asked one of my cousins if she could handle the designing part. We went ahead and laid the foundation of our startup. That’s how it began!

But during the lockdown, most of her family members started taking courses on automation, marketing of business, etc. Inevitably, she was dragged into those courses. The rationale was that they would all help her someday. “Somehow, I never believed in that,” laughs Mansi.

Setting up her startup was a random decision. “One random night, a thought struck my head. I asked one of my cousins if she could handle the designing part. We went ahead and laid the foundation of our startup. That’s how it began!”

Erasing challenges, sharpening herself

Most entrepreneurs, when confronted with the mindboggling struggles after starting up, quit or lose focus. Belying her young age, Mansi was made of sterner stuff. She chose not to quit. “Initially, the confidence was nil when I thought of establishing my startup. It went completely haywire and I didn’t know where to begin or what to do,” exclaims the livewire entrepreneur.

That night was a struggle as I had two options: either give up on my venture or go it alone.

“In the beginning, I had a partner who was supposed to handle half of the venture. A week into it, she decided to call it to quits due to her other commitments, and that night was a struggle as I had two options: either give up on my venture or go it alone.” In Mansi’s mind, the question ‘how to launch a stationery business’ quickly morphed to ‘should I launch a stationery business’.

Going forward with the venture meant handling designing, marketing, finance and everything alone, by herself. Though she hailed from an entrepreneurial background, Mansi had zero experience in all these fields. Undaunted, Mansi pushed forward, learning everything from scratch, understanding things, and establishing her start-up.

Learning the abacus before using the calculator

A small act of kindness can have a great impact on someone’s life. In the world of entrepreneurship, not many come forward to lend a helping hand. Mansi was lucky enough to have that one person who helped her as she was trying to figure out how to launch a stationery business in the initial few days. “This act of women helping other women to grow, learn, and figure everything out was great in itself,” adds Mansi.

Since I was studying in boarding school from 9th grade, I was handling my own money. I had to make a plan and manage my pocket money. That small financial management experience came in handy.

Nevertheless, Mansi had to go through a lot of financial struggle. Being a 21-year-old who had just graduated, she did not know fieldwork and how finance worked. She was unable to understand or judge quotations. To understand and create her budget was her greatest challenge initially.

“What helped me understand them better was money management. Since I was studying in boarding school from 9th grade, I was handling my own money. I had to make a plan and manage my pocket money. That small financial management experience came in handy when I was learning to handle my venture’s finances later,” confides the astute businesswoman.

Money Management hacks for aspiring women entrepreneurs

A self-taught doer, Mansi believes that women need to be independent and make their own decisions. She believes it is not necessary for women to depend completely on others and are capable of making their own financial decisions.

She has 3 money hacks for all aspiring startup founders:

(1) Talk to as many people as you can before you make an investment

(2) Define your budget well, in a segmented manner

(3) Set a financial goal for yourself and keep it defined

Mansi, who started with zero knowledge about business, is proud of herself for what she has achieved. She believes there is much more to learn in this journey of entrepreneurship. She has automated her business and dreams of expanding her venture soon.