How This Dharwad Girl Built A Successful Furniture Business With Just Rs 60,000 Amidst The Lockdown

Sutrishna Ghosh
·4-min read
Shefali Pandey
Shefali Pandey

Gloria Steinem once said, “Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”

The idea of GoBoho took off as one such whimsical dream. Shefali Pandey, the woman behind the decor and alternative furniture business, was always passionate about the various aesthetics of home décor. In fact, her own place – a rental apartment in Bengaluru that she and her husband call home – is a product of this creativity. Infused with a bohemian theme and generous helping of vibrant colours, pastel shades, earthy tones, and greenery, the place is a cozy and a comfortable haven. It’s a home with a vibe, a personal identity, and more importantly, with stories which Shefali has duly documented on her Instagram page, goboho.decor.

“GoBoho started as a way to document my everchanging home,” says the entrepreneur, who hails from Dharwad, a town located in north western Karnataka.

“My family and friends insisted I start sharing how we had turned around a simple rental home into our own little paradise without spending too much. Finally, after procrastinating for over three years, I decided to take the plunge and started my account on Instagram,” she tells MAKERS India.

The page was an instant hit. In a sea of makeup tutorials and fashion resource pieces, Shefali’s content served a pleasant break, as a great resource for her followers who wanted to renovate their living space without burning a hole in their pocket or introducing drastic changes. These are, after all, urban dwellers who – like Shefali – had to live by the rules of rental homes: no drilling, no changing of layouts, etc.

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And Shefali, who comes from a business family dabbling in furniture, knew exactly how to appeal to this customer base. She started with designing and customizing her own furniture. Soon inquiries began pouring in, and before long, Shefali had gone from a curator of ideas to a business owner dealing in quirky, innovative, and versatile furniture.

“That’s when GoBoho moved from being just a décor blog to a furniture manufacturing business,” she recollects.

Versatile furniture for rental-friendly needs

Over time, GoBoho has grown into a full-fledged business. It’s offerings, overseen by Shefali and her husband Varun, can be broadly classified into furniture and décor consultation.

“In furniture, we have a range of readymade seating, storage solutions, planter stands, tables and more. Each week we add a new design or variant to our range. For décor consultation, we currently take up projects in Bangalore and help our clients turn their houses into homes,” she says. This includes curating, customising, and providing quirky, new age furniture at an affordable price.

“We’re also working on our own range of soft furnishings like cushion covers and rugs in the coming months to give our clients a whole ‘package’ instead of them having to source each product separately,” shares Shefali.

The idea is to cater to all demands of home décor under one roof. The founders also want to ensure that their décor pieces are pocket-friendly, rental-friendly, reflective of their fun and eclectic taste, and more importantly, versatile in form and design.

Our furniture can take up many roles, while not taking up much space, shares Shefali.

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Building a business in times of COVID-19

In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic and the resultant lockdown, the furniture and home decor sector has assumed a newfound importance. More and more home-bound people are now looking at alternate methods to transform their living spaces to meet home-office requirements. And these developments have given a boost to the businesses operating in this market.

“Lockdown has been a blessing in disguise for us,” says Shefali. “The last three months have been our best months to-date. It has got to do with how people are looking to decorate their homes and make it functional, while being rental friendly and on a budget. We fit this requirement perfectly.”

And the result is evident in the way GoBoho, a business that was started with just Rs 60,000, has taken off. In the last quarter alone, the startup has shipped out more than 1000 products, registering a 30 percent MoM growth in order volume. “This month we expect to see a 50 percent growth since we're now shipping pan India,” adds the entrepreneur.

If her projections are to be believed, it is only a matter of time before they scale-up, adding more options to their décor and furniture portfolio, and realising their dream of having their very own studio. “That’s the immediate next step,” quips Shefali, sharing a slice of her dreams.

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(Edited by Athira Nair)

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