Little Ms Designer- Redesign to Redefine

Your surroundings influence your thoughts, hence making it vital to have a space which is magnificent to look at, and gives positive vibes. Little or ample, everyone deserves a place they look forward to each day when they wake up. Little Ms Designer embellishes your space by giving it a makeover it deserves. Be it a corporate structure, or your home, they know the best fit.

Spaces aren’t limited, neither are their ideas. Be it a café, a studio, a residence, or a simple undefined space, they always have something exclusive to offer. Their locale does not restrict them from spreading their wings in other cities and making spaces beautiful with their ideas. Based at Mumbai, Maharashtra, they have catered to clients in other part of India too, with a further vision of expanding nationally and internationally. They take on all the responsibilities of their project, from an initial stage and stay by your side till the end, even after the work is completed, unlike some of the other firms. They believe in client’s satisfaction more than anything, which is why their work is always completed on time, and with accuracy.

Apart from designing, Ms. Tanvi Sekhsaria has also launched a furniture line to go with your interior. Ranging from a quirky coffee table to a decent study table, she has created some out of the box looking furniture models.

Being born and brought up in a family with its own business across the globe, its difficult to follow your passion, and start from the scratch rather than being a part of something big and significant. But with her peer’s support, and a will to establish something on her own, Ms. Tanvi has achieved this position. Lets get an idea of her struggle days, her projects and her vision in her exclusive interview with Inventiva.

1. What is the source of inspiration behind the name of your venture?
We had shortlisted a lot of names, and after a lot of pondering, finally decided Little Ms. Designer was the most apt name. The irony of this name is that it contradicts the word ”little” as we design with “big” hearts. As I am petite in structure, I usually am being associated with being called “little”. So starting this firm is a great opportunity for me to prove the world that size doesn’t matter, talent does. I could little in size, but that doesn’t contribute to any limitation in broadness the of my work and ideas

2. Who all are your target audience/clients?
Our audience ranges from teenagers to grandparents as one never loses the passion to do up their space and give it a new look. Besides the residence spaces, business owners are great clients as we help to revamp their office and showroom spaces. We look forward to interacting with restaurant/cafe owners to play with some quirkiness to our designs. Our clients are not limited only to Mumbai as we cater to clients locally and are targeting to cater internationally too in the future.

3. Your current operations are located in which regions and Where are you based at (city, state, country)?
We currently operate from Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. However we do not restrict our designs only to our city. We have carried forward projects in other cities like Jaipur, Lonavala, Aurangabad, Delhi etc

4. What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
LMD is an interior designing firm, which designs all commercial and residential spaces .It looks into every detail from it’s initial stage to its end. It plans the layout, designing to the final execution of the space. It is very important that the client is happy with the end result. We design each space with a great amount of passion and interest.
We design exclusive furniture products like sude finished dining chairs, glass and wood finished bar cabinets, mirror and teak wood finished console tables, tent shaped beds, quirky coffee and executive tables, swivel armchairs, show cabinets ,trunk- looking chest of drawers etc

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5. Would you like to Share the idea or story behind the foundation of Little Ms. Designer?
Interiors. Designing is a beautiful line of work. It’s creativity and experimentation levels are never ending. There are so many young entrepreneurs, working on different platforms. Seeing other young designers motivated me and I wanted to show the world my designs and nothing would bring me more joy than the joy I would get in designing beautiful spaces. After getting my degree, I wanted to start my own interior designing firm so I drew steps to achieve it. I made sure I had enough work experience to excel in what I wanted to do. Working in a firm gives you a satisfaction to a certain level. But nothing beats the feeling of starting one’s own firm, doing what one loves.

6. Do you face any rivalry and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
In this generation, practically every field has to face challenges from their competitors. It is important to stand out and be unique. I firmly believe that my strong principles and work ethics have helped me succeed in all walks of life. My team and I always stress on enduring perfection. While executing projects, we ensure the clients demands are fulfilled aesthetically. No compromises are made in terms of quality and design. We respect the client’s budget and work on a flexible timeline as much I’m of the opinion that sans teamwork, effective coordination and communication no project can be executed. Clients being happy with our work and recommending us to others is a sign of success.

7. How do you identify your co-founder? Would you like to tell us something about them?
Tanvi Sekhsaria is the sole founder of Little Ms. Designer.

8. What is your idea of team formulation? What type of qualities do you search for in your team?
Teamwork is very important for a business to be successful. I firmly believe that my strong principles and work ethics have helped me succeed in all walks of life. My team and I always stress on enduring perfection. I’m of the opinion that without teamwork, effective coordination and communication no project can be executed. I look for various qualities in my team while hiring them such as leadership, co-ordination skills, technical knowledge and well versed with updated softwares.

9. What are your growth or expansion plans for the next 2 or 5 years?
Being a start up firm, the first 5 years are a challenge. Hence it is very important to set realistic yet challenging goals. We have completed around 2 years, completing around 20 projects. From freelancing, we now have a small office with a few employees. Along with interior designing, I am looking forward to upscale my recently launched customized and exclusive furniture line. In the next few years, I would like to increase my reach and scope of work. I will be working on my social media and digital marketing strategies to enhance my reach. I look forward to expand my office with hiring more employees, with the success of gaining more clients locally and nationally.

10. Where do you see yourself 10 years down the line?
In 10 years, I will set a few strategies and plans to ensure I have a larger office with some collaborations outside of Mumbai as well. Expanding my furniture line, I will be supplying my exclusive furniture to supreme furniture stores. I am interested in designing some restaurants and offices internationally, across the globe as well. Assuming my work speaks for me, I would be keenly interested in being invited for international conference and exhibitions. Getting featured in reknowned magazines will reassure us that we are excelling in our design and execution work.

11. What are your short term goals?
Being an entrepreneur, it is very important to set goals and find strategic ways to conquer them. I have already discussed my ambitious long term goals with you. But thinking of my short term goals, I am looking to work on my branding and reach to public. Working on my social media pages like Instagram, LinkedIn etc will help build brand imaging. Joining business networking groups to expand contacts is a must. I will be participating in campaigns and events to increase networking.

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12. Have you risen any funding yet? Are you looking for the same?
No, I haven’t as yet. No, I am not looking any funding currently.

13. Please share your incubation days struggle issues while setting up this venture, and how did you resolve them?
Fortunately, I don’t have any major struggles on daily basis. But one always learns with experience. I have learnt to be more cautious about precisions and timelines. I’m prepared for last minute problems and I know how to resolve it immediately.

14. What was or has been the most challenging part of your journey? How do you overcome the same
Terrace in Lonavala, as it was one of our first projects out of Bombay. Accessibility to labourers and the timing of the project was not suitable because it was in the month of July during monsoon. The timeline was prolonged as it was an outdoor project. Nonetheless, we accepted this project as a challenge and completed it. The project turned out to be above the standards set by the client.

15. What is your idea of stress management?
If your business is doing well, there is a high demand and excessive work load, which inturn leads to stress. However, it is important to stay calm and focused at harsh times to gain maximum. The best way for stress management is time management. Managing and planning your day schedule systematically and in advance is very advantageous. Segregating task to the right people and prioritising your work is a big boon. Without optimal stress and time management, running a business successfully is close to impossible.

16. What do you do to escape the work life in your leisure time?
A typical weekday begins early in the morning where I get ready for work, chart my day at office with client and my team, visit sites and spend a lot of time in execution, sourcing and assembling sites. Over the weekend, when my schedule isn’t very packed I spend time with the family at home, catch up with friends for drinks and dinner and watch some shows.
Besides this, I love travelling and exploring new places.

17. Where would you like to escape to for a holiday?
The best holiday destination would be Europe. It has beautiful scenic and natural landcapes, along with interesting architecture and buildings. They have cute decorated cafes and restaurants along the way. The culture and food is something I would be looking forward to encountering. Milan is one of the best capital. Visiting the Milan Furniture Exhibition was a great experience and I would love to visit similar exhibitions as well.

18. Whom do you consider your idol/role model or biggest motivator and why?
Kapil Gupta from Serie Architects. He has always been an inspiration to me. I love how he magically uses forms and shapes to transform spaces. Lighting is always on point. One of the famlus spaces designed by him, “The Blue Frog” has been one of m favourites. He has played with different levels and colours. The restaurant looks fantastic in all aspects.

19. What makes entrepreneurs different from service class professionals?
Entrepreneurs and service class professionals have very different work ethics. Being an entrepreneur, comes a lot of responsibility. An entrepreneur is responsible for all the success as well as the mishappenings that occurr in the firm. An entrepreneur has to be decisive and prompt at making important decisions. A service class professional concentrates on completing the task dedicated to him. He doesn’t have work goals outside his scope of work. An entrepreneur has to ensure his employees and customers are content, as well as make sure the business is running profits, along withensuring there is no delay in the work and timelines promised.

20. Which part of your life would you like to rewrite if given a chance to restart with your career today?
My business plan was a well thought 5 year plan. I am very happy with how things have turned out. But if there is one thing I could change, I would have worked more on my social media and advertingfrom an early stage. I would be greedy, if I say I’m expecting more in such a short span of time.

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21. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
Being an entrepreneur is a challenge as it requires a lot of time and hard work. As work timings increase drastically, time dedicated to family and social life decreases. Priorities play a very important role. Official timing for office are 10am to 7pm, but with the excessive load of work, working late nights and early mornings is common. However I do not regret missing out on the family functions, as work is my priority and completing my goals to be successful brings me satisfaction.

22. Is there anything, you’d like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
Every new journey that you begin will go through ups and downs. Always be prepared for the good and bad things. Just when you think you are doing great, unexpectedly the situation might turn against you. Negative situations shouldn’t discourage you or make you loose hope. Infact, let failures encourage you to work harder and make sure you achieve what you aimed for. No dream is big enough if it doesn’t scare you. So keep dreaming and accomplishing. Also, always remember perseverance is the key to success!

23. Tell us something about your education & family background.
Tanvi Sekhsaria is the founder of Little Ms. Designer. She has studied in- JB Petit High Scool, followed by studying Commerce In HR College, BA in jai hind and a diploma course in Compufield and Rachana sansad in Mumbai. My family is into trading of raw cotton across the world. However, being of a creative nature, I decided to do something completely different from my family business. My family was supportive and encouraged me to take up entrepreneurship Even though they would have expected me to continue working in the family line or work in a corporate office, they understood my goals and pursued me to achieve it. My mother guided me to invest in marketing and pr a few years later, to make sure I achieved the most of it.

24. What is your USP or biggest strength that makes you stand apart from your competitors?
My design philosophy focuses on minimalistic, contemporary and modern designs. I strongly abide to the principle of fair pricing and fair service. The projects designed by Little Ms Designer represent environments of refined colour palettes, attention to detailing that are tailored to suit the client’s desire.

25. Why do you think start-ups are so vulnerable to the external business environment? What according to you are the threats to their stability?
Millions of young entrepreneurs are initiating start ups, which makes it more difficult and challenging to stay in the market. External business set ups are usually an expansion to an already existing business, where as a start up is new form of business, which has to work to gain trust and brand imaging. A large percentage of start ups dismiss their business in the first 5 years due to various threats such as lack of funding and infrastructure, low incomes, excessive expenditures, lack of visibility, overpowering strength of already established firms etc.

26. Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success
I believe, I have gained commercial experience while establishing my firm Little Ms. Designer (LMS). My design firm has successfully executed more than 20 projects in a short span of 2 years. LMS has been appreciated for their minimalistic design aesthetics and efficiency. LMS is one of the very few firms in the city that stresses on ‘after service’. Team LMS encompasses of site supervisors, designers and a dedicated team of contracts. Under my guidance, Little Ms.Designer’s team has designed the popular eatery ‘Pop-Up Hut Cafe’, followed by ‘Zegdo Boutique’, ‘The Pilates Studio’ amongst many others.

27. Please share your contact details’ as follows:

Tanvi Sekhsaria
Little Ms. Designer
Babulnath road,Mumbai
[email protected]

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