Hetal Majithia, Founder of Flea080 – An Inspiration to all Women Entrepreneurs.

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Please provide a brief overview about Flea080.

Flea080 Flea Market has been operating on a monthly basis, gathering supporters, volunteers, and a league of loyal vendors and shoppers. It is awesome to see students and young people participate in large numbers and contributing to the local economy, and not just as consumers. There are many women entrepreneurs who bring unique and creative products. The rotating vendor schedule offer a unique shopping experience, and brings variety to the Flea080 flea markets each time.

What inspired you to build Flea080?

Pop ups are the latest trend that’s catching up. You can find amazing handcrafted products, gifts and art that are not available at the regular malls or stand alone stores in the city. The most unique hand crafted products made by designers, artists and hobbyists will make you stand out and you are sure to fall in love with these products. I had visited few such pop up markets at Goa and Bangalore and was so fascinated by the products available there. These products are handcrafted and very unique. Mostly in limited edition. I was so much inspired to be part of the vibes these popup markets had.

What were the challenges you faced in your journey till now?

Initially the challenge was to find suitable venues for these types of popup stalls. I met with malls in Bangalore and tried to convince them to provide space on rent where I could invite the stalls. They were not sure about it as they didn’t want their anchor tenants (mostly the big brands) or the existing shops to object. After few trial and errors, things started falling in place. Malls were finally looking for unique stalls to add variety to their retail offering. I started working with each mall of Bangalore and Mumbai. It felt very rewarding when the new entrepreneurs including me and my stall owners started making money on regular basis now. But scaling up is now a challenge for me and the hand crafters too. As these products are handmade, they are not in bulk. Venues too have limited space so we can’t add too many stalls.

Did you come across any initial mindset challenges? How did you overcome them?

Like I mentioned above, the primary challenge was to convince the mall owners to give space at reasonable or lower rents. Adding to that we had the challenges of marketing the events, handling the stall vendor in case the get discouraged by lower sales and still motivating them to continue. Also the bargaining mindset caused heart break to the stall vendors. We needed people to understand the effort put into the making of the unique products.

What is your life mantra?

Stay Hungry, stay Foolish. Be a learner all your  life.

What do you think are the three qualities an individual must have, to achieve success?

Perseverance ( obviously it has patience)

Vision and clarity of what you plan to achieve

Relationship building and networking ( PR and marketing)

Which online tools do you use the most? Would you like to recommend them?

Social media blogs, Facebook ads and WhatsApp groups to stay connected to my stall vendors

Any one habit you think makes you more productive.

Take each day as it comes, go with the flow, be flexible and not get affected or bothered much by failure or losses. I just follow to do list of the day and rest falls in place mostly.

Any one habit you wish to change in yourself.

I go in hybernation at times and my work day starts late. I wish to change both the habits. I know I can be more productive if I do.

What is your roadmap for next 3 years?

My plan for next 3 years is to create an experience place – a permanent one, which is a culmination of art, craft, creativity, shopping of unique products under one roof. It requires lot of investment and efforts. So I am in the process of building a team and funds for the project. The same pop up bazaars that I conduct now would be more long term. Thereby, giving the stall vendors  a regular business and the customers an experience that’s different from the regular mall outing. The place will be in an outdoor open area with art corners, workshops, shopping, food trucks, entertainment etc.

If given a chance to start your career again, what would you do differently?

Frankly I have no such regrets. I am happy the way I have built my brand till now single handedly juggling with home, kids, work and all the ups and downs of a business.

What is the inspirational quote that relates to your journey so far?

Dream Big, start small. But most of all START.

And second one I love the most is

Doing good is never wasted.

What are your top three getaway destinations ?

Goa, Singapore and Parent’s place at Mumbai

Tell us more about your family ?

A caring and motivating husband ( software engineer)

Two kids. Daughter Anoushka who is 14 and son Aryaman who is 9

Parents and siblings ( two sis) who give unconditional love and support.

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