Making Everyone Play Everyday- The Story of Misha Gurnanee and Sky Goodies

Making Everyone Play Everyday- The Story of Misha Gurnanee and Sky Goodies

Misha Gurnanee resigned from her job on 25th Birthday in 2006 and promised herself to do high-quality work ethically. Being a part of the corporate world, she experienced mediocre work, and politics in all her roles. She started up with her husband Amit and for the last 3 years, the couple has been doing what they love to do..designing and creating paper products by the name Sky Goodies.

I realised that it was far more difficult to build a company than to do a job, but I wanted to be true to myself and my work..starting up seemed the right thing to do!

Sky Goodies is a brand of paper products that evoke simple joys in an increasingly complex world. The ‘Make Happy’ do-it-yourself papercraft range is for anyone above 6 years, and make useful giftable objects. Amit and Misha wanted to manufacture unique products ever since they can remember, but due to financial constraints, they started out with a design and technology services firm in 2006. Over the next 7 years, they built the company, hand-picked and trained a small team, and worked on very serious and large corporate and advertising projects to gain financial independence and launch a line of their own products. So in September 2013, they took a much-needed break and started Sky Goodies.

While this business was doing well and growing dramatically, in our hearts we yearned to do something that created real value for people and was fun for us, too.

“Fortunately for us, our parents were, and always have been, most supportive, and never questioned our business decisions at any point. They celebrated our successes, and are very proud of Amit and me. In fact, when the going gets tough, my parents encourage us,” says Gurnanee happily. “Whatever the rest of the world said to us, we didn’t really bother about, since we knew we had chosen this path, and no matter how tough, the freedom and joys it gave, were enough compensation for the stability of a job,” adds the womenpreneur.

There were financial troubles while building up Sky Design. The couple kept their own lifestyle curtailed and simple through the years. “The recession of 2008 did impact our business, but we managed to keep our team without laying off anyone, and got through that phase,” says Misha. Through many other challenges, like a burglary at the office, balancing work, with a baby in tow, the couple never stopped working on their dream.

Ever since our kid was 2 months old, we made space in office and our work lives for her, and ultimately those phases pass.

The mother of a 7-year-old, Misha ensures creating value for customers who use their products. “We get letters and reviews from customers all over the world describing how our products make them smile, make their tasks lighter, and help them connect with their children, and friends,” she says with a smile. They conduct workshops for underprivileged and differently-abled children, making them smile and enjoy.

They have an amazing collection of Gift Boxes, doodle planners and one of a kind match box notebooks. With have simple slot mechanisms, and whimsical designs, they make amazing gifting items. Designed with love, in Mumbai, India, SkyGoodies ships all over the world.

When a customer walks into our shop or stall, I can see tense expressions change into impromptu smiles, and a childlike wonder in adults; this, for me, is very motivating.

Misha and Amit have been working together from the beginning. “Although that does sometimes strain our personal relationship, the journey together has been super fun and fulfilling,” says Gurnanee. She believes that family support, especially from the men in the family is absolutely essential.

While being a working mother is a challenging task, but with the support of family, Misha can balance work and child care. The entrepreneur believes that she has not sacrificed a lot in her desires of starting up, but she does miss travelling and trekking at times. “I am correcting this now, pressures of work, school and finance can take over a mom and entrepreneur sometimes,” she says.

A woman who has achieved her own dreams and gained experience in business would be able to impart the confidence and ability to do so, in her children.

Once SkyGoodies started manufacturing and selling physical kits and products, they realised that manufacturing International quality products in India was not easy. “The sad truth is that the Indian ‘Chalta hai’ attitude is deplorable and prevents quality work,” says the founder. they went the extra mile to experiment with materials and processes and came up with the best products. Another hurdle was to manage taxes and accounts related to Indian Company Laws. “The business environment for startups is quite tough in India, and instead of focusing on the core business, one is forced to navigate complex taxation laws and procedures, and invest time and money to adhere to these compliances. But hopefully the new schemes by Mr. Modi should help in this area,” she adds.

Make peace mentally with the tradeoffs that will come once you startup, and find time for yourself as well, to be healthy in mind.

Through the journey, Misha has become more patient and calm. “I am sure there’s still a long way to go, but I have cultivated the ability to look at the larger picture and let the small negatives go. I have also learnt to multi-task like a pro!” she says with confidence. Being a mother and living as a nuclear family, one is constantly forced to make choices between child and office, or work and husband. But Misha has realized that accepting these tradeoffs is part of the journey. She advises women entrepreneurs to start a business only after evaluating and researching every aspect of the business thoroughly.

Feministaa wishes Misha and Amit best in making people smile with their work.

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