Suraiya Hossain Tuly
The story of embroidery is the story of the world. Embroidery has existed, in some form, in every population across the globe. Whether it is displayed on clothing, home goods, or as artwork, it is a timeless craft that is an integral part of our material culture. Nowadays, crafting and embroidery are considered old trends, but some people are bringing this trend into this modern era. Among them, Ms. Suraiya Hossain Tuly is one of them who established Tulysporsho, intending to break the bias and inspire women. Let’s read her story:
The InCAP: Ms. Suraiya Hossain Tuly, which identity do you love to give yourself first?
Suraiya Hossain Tuly: Every person’s first identity should be s/he is a great human being. Then I would love to introduce myself as a Bangladeshi entrepreneur of a venture called Tulysporsho, whose dream is to bring a glimpse of Bangladeshi needlework and Bengali talent to the world.
What factors have influenced you to grow up as an entrepreneur at such a young age?
Since my childhood, I have dreamed of doing something myself. However, the unstable condition of the women around and the societal bullies reminded me that if you want to live with dignity, there is no alternative to standing on your own feet. But I could not come to any decision about how to reach my destination.
I never liked running behind the bus to the office every morning, being answerable to my superiors, and returning to the nest after a long tiring day. Therefore, my reluctance to work, desire to do something by myself and a strong inclination toward craft shook my head and started to realize my dream of becoming an entrepreneur without waiting any longer.
You’re also a student at the University of Dhaka. How do you balance your study and work? And, what’s your thought about establishing a business at a very early age, when s/he is a student?
Initially, it was quite a struggle to adapt to the university’s new environment, handle the pressure of studies and manage the business. Then one day, I found the things I was spending my time on that I shouldn’t have been spending it on. So, I have organized it into a routine. Without any agonizes, I always carry accessories like a needle, thread, fabric, etc., in my bag. Whenever I get time, whether during class gap period or hanging out with friends, I spend the time with needles and yarn.
However, according to our societal perspective, if one wants to earn while studying, the first thing s/he is advised to do is manage tuition. But I think running a business yourself is much better than being tutored. Business management makes it efficient to make the right decisions by observing the surrounding situation. In addition, avoiding disappointment in the job market and earning dignity is very effective. However, I respect each person’s decision.
We want to know the story of starting Tulysporsho.
I am a fun-loving person. I have loved yarn work, crafts, jewelry, and souvenirs since childhood. Although my mother taught sewing when I was studying in the sixth standard, I never thought I would do my business in sewing. However, I was introduced to the social network in class 10. While watching videos of a YouTube channel called Five Minute Crafts, some videos of jewelry making came up; I wanted to start making earrings for myself.
But due to the shortage of materials and sharing my desire with my mother, I feared I would get any support or not! So following this, I started to break old earrings, recreate new earrings from the paper combination, and show them to my friends and teachers. They appreciate it a lot. Seeing that, my interest gained.
On November 3, 2019, on the advice of a teacher, I opened a Facebook page for an experiment, uploaded a picture of my jewelry, and saw the response. Even then, my friends and teachers praised me for this small effort.
When the outbreak of COVID-19 started in March, I had predicted that the lockdown would last longer in our country. So thinking about how to spend my free time during the lockdown, on March 15, 2020, I went out with 1000 BDT to buy dye, yarn, and fabric. I lost 500 BDT on the way; hence, I bought a few things with the remaining 500 BDT. So the journey basically started from here.
In the pandemic, when everyone was following trends, cooking and uploading pictures, and spending time on Facebook, I used to sew day and night. Then, I got a good response after posting pictures in different groups. After that, I didn’t have time to look back. Now I have become so addicted to the love of Tulysporsho customers. Currently, I have employed two people for Tulysporsho.
Ms. Tuly, what is your dream concerning Tulysporsho?
I dream that one day I will have a brand shop called Tulysporsho. Then, everyone will know me through Tulysporsho as a woman entrepreneur.
What kind of challenges are you facing regarding operating your online business?
The first challenge in online business is to win customers’ trust in fear of cheating hundreds of fraud pages I have managed. I’m also a bit into product photography. I think product photography needs to be attractive to be successful online. I always prefer a natural environment for product photography which is quite challenging to find in a mechanized city like Dhaka.
So to get a perfect photo, I often go to different parks around me in the morning and afternoon and wander around the campus, which is quite challenging sometimes. Moreover, as a unique product, many people copy the creation, which I have to manage quickly. Along with collecting materials, waiting in long queues of couriers is also a challenge that has to be dealt with constantly.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be entrepreneurs but get scared?
There will be risks in business. Profit and loss adjustment is business. No one starts a business with complete preparation. Learn from business failure to become a successful businessperson. Therefore, in my opinion, one should not be afraid and plan the business with proper dedication and start working.
Ms. Tuly, what do you think about economic freedom for women’s emancipation?
In today’s society, women face many obstacles in many ways. Therefore, I think in today’s context, women should come forward in earning even to live with dignity. In this way, a woman does not have to depend on others to enjoy her hobbies, and also, in times of crisis, she can stand as a shield for the family.
Being A Singer
Prayer For The Human Civilization:
Let there be peace in the world. Let every man know about his inner creativity and use it for good.
The InCAP: Thanks!
Suraiya Hossain Tuly: Anytime! Best wishes to The InCAP!
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