How YogaKargha got started
Introduce your Etsy shop and tell us your story. How did you begin and decide on what to sell on Etsy, and how do you create your products?
Hi, This is Neha, and I own the Etsy shop YogaKargha. We started out as a small handmade brand, AbhinehKrafts, which is still our parent company. We started making handwoven rugs, bedding, and cushions, which later translated into a dedicated brand only focused on wellness, meditation, and yoga. As a yoga practitioner, I knew it was important for me to make use of natural fibres and natural materials in my daily life. I later extended this to my Etsy shop so that others with similar thought processes could benefit from such products as well. When we started out, the markets were laden with mass-produced, fancy-looking but non-earth-friendly products for wellness, especially yoga, such as rubber and PVC mats. We were the pioneers in making natural fibre mats a preferred choice for yoga. Today, a number of other companies take inspiration from the groundwork that we did in early 2015–2016, and consumers have more options. We handweave, handcraft, and handmake each and every product that we sell, either in our studio or on our partner looms.
What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?
Oh, the list is endless. I love almost everything in the shop. But the top three would be: meditation cushions, altars, and our handblock mats. I love our cushions because they are versatile pieces that not only serve as meditation pieces but also reflect the personality of a practitioner. I use my meditation cushions in and around our home too. Other products that I personally love are our meditation altars and benches. Made with reclaimed mango wood, these are home-grown and reflect the craftsmanship of India in true form. Our handblock mats are one of a kind and would make you want to do more yoga every day!
Getting sales on Etsy
How long did it take for you to earn your first sale and how do you currently attract customers to your Etsy shop?
It took us more than six months to truly establish ourselves. But we took that time as a lesson and made our foundations strong. Many of our sales—about 15%—are repeat customers or customers from word of mouth! We do basic optimisation and promotion—nothing too grand. No influencer marketing or paid media.
How do you manage your shop? Are you running solo or do you have any team members? What tools or services do you use to run your shop and how do you handle fulfillment?
I run the digital part of it. This is a woman-owned and woman-operated company. The studio has an all-woman team for packaging, tailoring, embroidery, and dispatching. Our weavers, carpenters, and dyers are 50% women.
Tools: We use Google Trends, Mailchimp, and the basic tools provided by Etsy so far. Canva for some of our editing and features on Instagram.
We are preferred partners for FedEx and DHL and ship via them worldwide.
The future of YogaKargha
What goals do you have for your shop in the future?
We plan to launch more exciting and new products in 2024 and grow our sales overseas by partnering with like-minded brands.
Advice for new sellers
What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?
Be authentic. This is so important. There will be good and bad months. People and brands are copying your stuff, and companies are changing their algorithms. But what would make you stand out is your passion and authenticity, because these two things are the most difficult to copy. Secondly, choose products or categories that truly speak to you, meaning that if you find your Ikigai, you won’t have to work a single day! And the work would feel more like a blessing.
Lastly, always use your products before you launch in order to understand your customers better. When you create products like a consumer, you do better.