Her Home Décor Merges Traditional Designs With Contemporary Twists


Sushmitha Pidatala has always had a passion for design, but it took years to take the courage to quit his day-to-day work and take the plunge to pursue his creative passion full-time.Today, her passion is her business, Arjuna, online lifestyle and her home A decorative boutique focused on South Asian design. Pidatala is proud to create an affordable option that closes the market gap by exhibiting modern and elegant works of artisans from around the world. Today, Potomac, Maryland-based entrepreneurs are focused on growth. From learning new skill sets to successfully navigating pandemic transport to letting go of being a perfectionist.

Pida Taraof Story, as told Story Exchange Over 1,000 Story Projects:

What made you start your business?

By establishing this company, I made the biggest leap in my professional life. And since I can no longer ignore that gnawing inner desire, spoil my creative juice for modern global consumers like me, beautifully (and functional!) Of the home. It has increasingly encouraged me to accept my passion for making ornaments and accessories. I’ve always been mission-driven, and for me Arjuna was the means of my mission to blend classic South Asian aesthetics with contemporary design and bring this hybrid to the mainstream market. Arjuna’s success is an amazing achievement as it fills the market gap and at the same time employs the handicrafts and craftsmanship of countless Indian craftsmen whose artistry has finally gained the appropriate exposure.

How do you define success?

For me, success has two sides. In other words, you’ll reach a place you’re happy with, but you’ll never be happy. That is, reaching a life professional or personal plane that touches the passion and somehow does a meaningful job working to elevate others. I was lucky to be able to climb this mountaintop. This is the same as satisfaction. And that satisfaction is the impetus for doing more. To create, to produce, to strengthen. That endless drive is what I mean when I say I’m dissatisfied. It’s about avoiding complacency.

Tell us about your greatest success so far

Technically, one of my greatest successes was to create Lotus Masala Salva, one of Arjuna’s sleeper hits. It has become our globally recognized marquee item. A true brand ambassador work.

The designs, patterns and specs were all my collective ideas. I have adopted that holistic vision and made it possible by working directly with South Asia-based manufacturers that employ underprivileged craftsmen and workers to directly carry out the uplifting mission of the Arjuna platform. did.

Lotus Masala Ba has been sought after by customers from all over the world and from all disciplines. And this topic was created organically with little or no formal marketing activity. For those with no sales, retail or marketing background or training, we are proud to bring to market a successful original new product that fills the market gap and sets the ideal standard for Arjuna’s spirit. .. South Asian aesthetics for mainstream modern consumers.

What is your biggest challenge and how did you solve it?

My biggest challenge was to absorb new knowledge quickly and practically. Global retail is an enthusiastic, fast-paced, whimsical market. So, like many entrepreneurs, I couldn’t afford the time. Being able to immerse yourself in a new subject and slowly learn its nuances and complexity. Instead, I had to improve my skills fast. And in an accessible and efficient way. And it can be measured. A perfect example is the need to learn the ropes of global logistics (in a pandemic world where rules and regulations are constantly changing). I am actively overcoming these challenges by learning to let go of being a perfectionist and accepting practical knowledge to do my job properly and properly. I study in trenches, negotiate directly with counterparties, consider precedent contracts, and talk to brokers. It can be messy. And there are a lot of problems (for me) along the way, but in the end, in most cases it gets stronger and more often to actually check the box for the day and move on to the next task in front of you. Steps are approaching.

Have you ever experienced a significant personal situation that influenced your business decisions?

Moving to another country for personal reasons has most certainly influenced the way I do my daily work. Being in a new jurisdiction has allowed me to open up new markets, harness more familiar resources and readjust business behavior. For example, navigating time zones has become a more thoughtful exercise. My company’s marketing activities have to cast a wider net and become wider.

What are your biggest tips for other startup entrepreneurs?

My biggest hint to others who have begun their journey is to be fundamentally open to the idea that from the very beginning, the growth of a company depends on the idea of ​​forming the right team. Fostering the mindset of this team is very important as it forces you to constantly reassess yourself and your skill set. Therefore, it encourages you to outsource what you can’t handle. This idea is the exact opposite of the view that you must be a perfectionist, one who masters each domain and ultimately controls every move in your business’s growth. Not only is the latter unrealistic and time consuming, it is also very stressful and ultimately results in anything like a shop. Seek advice, be vulnerable, and openly acknowledge knowledge gaps — all of this pleases you to others who may be the subject matter expert (SME) your company needs. Let me. At the very least, folding these small businesses builds your brand and puts you in a position where you are exposed to areas outside your comfort zone.

How do you find inspiration on the darkest days?

I’m inspired by reading the testimonies of others like me (female founders, POCs, global e-tailers). They embarked on their own entrepreneurial journey. Some were successful. Many have failed. And many are still in the trenches and fighting to float. Each story has subtle nuances, is grainy, self-reflexive, and ultimately genuine.

I don’t compare myself to others. But I’m humble enough (and familiar) to learn from the mistakes of others and to grasp what the success stories have in common. Absorbing these stories always reminds me that patience is rewarded and that almost every founder there had to encounter some kind of obstacle. This is exciting. This is what keeps me moving.

Who is your most important role model?

My most important role model was (and still is!) My deceased brother Ashok. He was the perfect multitasker and was confident in balancing his full-time work as a doctor with a US Air Force officer and reserve. He showed me the power of mental and physical discipline. With pinpoint accuracy, you can focus on the task at hand, but it’s still flexible enough to pivot. He never allowed obstacles and disappointments to defeat him. He told me that when you demonize obstacles, they cause paralysis and stagnation. But when you see what they are, guideposts, warnings, self-checks, harbingers, etc., you need to move forward no matter what you need. He was positive and not responsive. His spirit pervades everything I do in Arjuna and is a quiet way for me to give him eternal respect.

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