Today we’d like to introduce you to Akasha Greff.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am 23 years old and I love traveling, learning about people and creating meaningful spaces. In college, I studied cultural anthropology and applied psychology where I discovered a new way of looking at the world…one where we are all interconnected as one human family. When I was a sophomore in college, I began importing Turkish towels and realized that “things” could actually allow us to feel connected to people and give us insight into their cultures.
As a little girl, I grew up with a single mom who taught me to see beauty in simple things. She would pickup furniture from the side of the road and manage to turn it into something beautiful. As a teenager, I remember locking myself in my room for hours and completely rearranging my furniture to create a fresh new space using what I already had. Moving around often, I always treasured a few things that allowed me to create my own little sanctuary wherever life took me.
After college, I took a trip back to Bali and began planning a way I could combine the things that are important to me in life, into a dream job. In a society where we are constantly replacing “things” I wanted to help my customers carefully select meaningful, one-of-a-kind pieces for their home that are made with love and meant to be passed down for generations.
Sandy Chique features a curated collection of bohemian-inspired homewares and vintage rugs, handmade by artisans around the globe. We go straight to the makers to bring one-of-a-kind, affordable homewares that are rich in culture. The products in our shop are crafted using generational knowledge that has been perfected over the years.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I would not say it was a smooth road by any means and there are still days where I am overwhelmed with questions and riddled with uncertainty but I think that’s all part of the process. I think turning an idea into a business is the ultimate risk because the only person you are betting on is yourself. Every failure and every success is based entirely on you. What started out as a passion project slowly took shape over time with tons of googling how to do things. I started out importing Turkish towels to sell at local markets and now I import textiles and home decor from many different countries around the world, including Bali, Turkey, Thailand, and Morocco.
Since I am the type of person that learns best by doing, I just started going for it one day, knowing I was sure to make mistakes along the way! It took a while to evolve my business to where it is today and I still find myself googling how to do things and comparing notes with other business owners. There are some days where I really feel confident I know what I’m doing and other days, I feel like I have no idea! I think the biggest lesson I have learned so far is not to get discouraged along the way. Failures are an opportunity for growth and there are always things to be improved.
Building a cohesive social media presence and an online storefront without any experience have been two of my biggest challenges but I think I have come a long way from where I began. That being said, there is always room for improvements!
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Sandy Chique specializes in one-of-a-kind, home decor that is made with love and meant to last. We work directly with small artisans in Thailand, Turkey, Bali and Morocco to bring our customers special pieces for their home. We have a curated collection of vintage Turkish rugs as well as an assortment of pillow covers and Moroccan floor poufs. We also offer custom rug sourcing to fit your design style and accommodate your space. As a company, I am most proud of our commitment to offering handmade home decor at accessible prices while helping to support small artisans and preserving craft traditions around the globe.
What were you like growing up?
Growing up I was always coming up with business ideas and I have always been pretty crafty. From lemonade stands to eBay sales, I always had something up my sleeve. When I was 15, I started my first real business designing sports bra swim tops that I had manufactured in Pakistan. I will never forget how nervous I was to Western Union money I had saved from my eBay sales to send to Pakistan for a product I had drawn out on a piece of printer paper. Sure enough, a few weeks later an interesting package showed up on the doorstep of our apartment. From that point forward, I had a pretty good idea about what my future might entail and I knew for certain this wasn’t going to be my last business venture. At 15, I proved to myself that I could take an idea and turn it into a business one step at a time. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know where to start or that I didn’t know what I was doing, the important thing was to get going on it right away! A woman once told me, “If you don’t do it, someone else will” and to this day I hear these words in my head every once in a while.
- Website: sandychique.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @sandychique.us
Iliana Coronado Photography