Zain Artiez: Meet this entrepreneur who started her handmade gifting startup at the age of 17, now has clients all over the globe.

Zain Artiez

What makes a successful entrepreneur? Is it experience? Is it knowledge? Or is it unwavering belief in your vision? It is often said that the key to success is to start before you are ready. And it is this can do attitude that helps one achieve their goals. Proving that age is just a number, 17 year old Shabna Shafi began her homemade micro arts venture Zain Artiez with just Rs 50 on Instagram. Cut to 18 months later, she has a following of 13k+ followers and 2000 YouTube subscribers.    

So what exactly inspired this young girl to venture into the uncertain waters of entrepreneurship? “Pure Passion,” she says. “I have always been a collector of craft items. Whenever I find something appealing, I always make it a point to store it even though I have not yet figured a use for it. It is this habit that has given me a keen aesthetic sense which fuels my creativity. One day, when I was visiting my uncle’s home, I saw some handmade butterflies stuck on the wall. I was so enamored by this sight that I rushed home and made those same butterflies myself. The result was so beautiful and captivating that whenever anybody came to my house, they praised the butterflies and even wanted to know where I had purchased it from!”

Creative Duo

Once the creative bug had stung, there was no looking back. Shabna dug out her old collected crafting items, watched several YouTube videos on carving pencil leads and was ready to showcase her creativity to the world. With positive encouragement from her best friend, the two girls began their own Instagram page “Initially it was very tough. As the tools I work with are very tiny and carving pencil leads with such small tools gave me lots of scars and blood. But I kept at it until I created a product I was happy with.” She explains.

The idea was to attach each carved pencil lead to a miniature glass bottle. But due to budget constraints, they could shell out enough for only 1 bottle which cost Rs 50. She then created the product and uploaded it on their combined Instagram page Zain Crafts. To their delight, the bottle sold quickly and they were in business. This continued for a year and Zain Artiez Crafts eventually grew to a page of 3k followers. However, as all good things come to an end, both friends realized that it was difficult for two people to operate one Instagram handle. Their classes had come to an end and it was time for Shabna to spread her wings and take flight.

Zain Artiez: Flying Solo

She started her personal Instagram page by name of Zain Artiez and began her journey as an entrepreneur from scratch, but this time with a clear sense of confidence and vision. Naysayers tried to discourage her and even threw negative vibes, but Shabna was determined. Zain Artiez offers 100% handmade, customized and budget friendly products that are perfect for gifting or personal use. A complete one man show, Shabna is responsible for manufacturing, production, packing, account maintenance, photography, videography, social media handling and the delivery of products.

What began from a small town in Kasaragod is now spread across the globe to countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, London, Canada, Sri Lanka and so on. When asked to give any advice to budding entrepreneurs Shabna quips, “No matter how hard the situation is, Move on. The harder you climb, the better the view is. Someday will be your day. I survived because the fire inside me was brighter than the fire around me.”  

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