I spent the last ten years of my life in healthcare. Large corporations and startups, across various roles in product, marketing, and consulting. I started my own health tech company and I even wrote a book.
The work was exciting. Healthcare was evolving – big data and analytics were on the rise, AI and machine learning were all the rage, and I was at the forefront of it all.
But earlier this year, I gave it all up. Honestly, I didn’t have a choice.
It all started in 2017. During the week, I geeked out on tech. On the weekends, I drew. I’d been an artist my whole life, but something about being in my 600- square foot cottage in Silicon Valley was uniquely inspiring. The greeting card puns just started flowing:
“You’ve got the whis-key to my heart”
“I Yam thankful for you “
Playful, fun, whimsical. People liked them.
I went door-to-door to stationery shops, cafes, and bookstores around the Bay Area. Over the course of a few months, I was selling my cards at nearly a dozen locations. But over time, I realized that something was missing.
In spite of the increasing popularity of craft stationery and paper goods, diversity and inclusion were seriously lacking from the space.
As a first-generation Indian American, greeting cards that related to my South Asian roots simply didn’t exist. A relatable Mother’s Day card that captured a special bond with my mom, or a fun Diwali card for my Indian friends, was nearly impossible to find.
So I decided to make a few. And incredibly, the demand exceeded my expectations. In fact it was overwhelming. Both South Asians and non-South Asians wanted them. They quickly became my top-selling cards and were selling out everywhere.
It shouldn’t have been that surprising though. South Asians are one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the US. In 2015 there were roughly 5 million South Asian Americans, and this number is expected to double by 2060. More than that, South Asian cultural influence in the West is expanding, and people of all backgrounds are spending more on South Asian products. Think chai, turmeric, or yoga.
The numbers made it very clear that my “side hustle” couldn’t be just that any longer. I couldn’t meet the demand for this market without focusing on it exclusively.
That’s why a couple of months ago, I launched Pyarful – a craft paper goods brand that celebrates the everyday joys of South Asian culture. Our hand-drawn greeting cards and prints are a playful ode to our multicultural upbringing, and small glimpses of experiences that so many of us South Asian-Americans share. Built on the values of celebration, connection, and craftsmanship, the brand illustrates South Asian culture in a fun and light-hearted way.
The outpour of excitement and support for Pyarful from the South Asian community and beyond has been incredible, and the order volume in just weeks of launching is well beyond what I had anticipated. My cards are a hit because not only are they beautiful, witty, and sophisticated, but because each card tells a story – of a food, a holiday, a ritual, or a tradition. They go deeper than surface-level and are beyond trends and millennial jargon. Instead, they make a bold visual statement of a relatable cultural reference. They evoke good feelings and nostalgia, and remind so many of us of why South Asian culture is so fun.
This journey has been special for a number of reasons, but particularly special has been connecting with the South Asian community, including women entrepreneurs and creatives. Celebrities like Melanie Chandra are supporting my work, and organizations like Brown Girl Magazine are highlighting my story. I feel part of a movement in the South Asian arts space.
With our consumer market rapidly growing, I’m now beginning to launch our wholesale business. I’m building partnerships with brick and mortar shops and cafes as well as e-commerce platforms like Amazon.
As I build out my B2B business and expand my consumer channels, I’m looking for retailers interested in selling Pyarful’s products, media opportunities to get my story out, and partners to expand our reach to consumers.
If any of these sound like you or if you have other ideas for collaboration, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
I’m excited to be making gift-giving more personal and relevant for South Asian communities and I hope you’ll join me on this journey to #spreadthepyar!
Follow Krisa Tailor’s Journey : https://www.pyarful.com/