More than a dozen digital exhibitions and Facebook dwell gross sales have been organised via the net initiative
It is a flea market with a distinction. Not solely is it on-line however it’s meant just for women entrepreneurs. An thought born out of necessity, the recognition of the flea market amongst buyers and sellers has enthused entrepreneur and flea market organiser Mamtha Pillai.
Mamtha, who owns Meraki Home Garden, a distinct segment outlet in Thiruvananthapuram, coping with crops and planters, like many others, suffered a setback on account of the pandemic and lockdown.
“All of us with small businesses suffered a blow because of the restrictions imposed to curb the pandemic. Many of us used to participate in sales, big and small, in Thiruvananthapuram and elsewhere. When all that got cancelled, some of us had no clue what to do with stocks, especially those with perishables like food,” says Mamtha.
She knew that her crops could possibly be stored apart on the market at one other time however that was not the case with everybody one else. So, Mamtha got here up with the concept of a web based flea market on their devoted Facebook web page, Trivandrum Flea Market – An all-Women Initiative’, to assist women entrepreneurs market their merchandise. “Although Instagram could have been a better platform for such sales, I realised that for many first-time social media users, especially senior citizens, Facebook would be an easier platform,” she says.
The first one was performed in July 2020 and the Facebook Live flea market turned out to be an enormous hit amongst distributors and buyers. That boosted their confidence. More than 12 such digital exhibitions have been performed and Facebook dwell gross sales are organised incessantly.
“We managed to sell a wide range of products, such as pickles, snacks, cakes, desserts, clothes, handicrafts, home linen, art works, jewellery and so on. That convinced us that this was the way forward during these troubled times. Vendors come from different places in India and they have all found customers,” says Mamtha.
Finally, on March 14, they organised their first bodily exhibition and sale in a heritage house, House of Roses, in Thiruvananthapuram, which had been renovated by its proprietor, Cindu Vijay, an architect residing in Kozhikode. Twenty distributors participated within the exhibition and sale. As with their digital sale, this too turned out to achieve success and helped Cindu showcase her house amongst potential purchasers.
Kasthuri Rajasegaran, a home-cook who specialises in Sri Lankan delicacies and eggless truffles, was one among the many distributors on the sale. She says she was fairly dissatisfied with the response to her Instagram account that begun in October 2020. “I participated in the Vishu event on March 14 and since then I have been flooded with orders. It has been a great encouragement because I am completely new to the city and have no friends or relatives here. The flea market has given me a strong helping hand,” she says.
With the surge in COVID numbers, the distributors have reverted to gross sales via Facebook Live classes and on-line exhibitions.
To coincide with Mother’s Day, ‘Celebrating Mom’, a digital sale will happen on May 7, 8 and 9. “Even after the pandemic is tamed and live exhibitions become popular again, we plan to continue with online events. It has broad-based our vendors and given customers more choices,” says Mamtha.
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