Sapna Koshy, Courtesy: The Hindu

Sapna Koshy, Courtesy: The Hindu

Sapna Koshy was at her wit’s end: her mother-in-law was about to be seventy in just a few days and she had absolutely no clue what to gift her on her birthday. Since the six years she had been married, Sapna had exhausted all those ‘gift items’ that could possibly occur to her: sarees, cookeries, gift vouchers, ornaments, family trips – absolutely nothing new to surprise her with this time around.

Confronted with a daunting task – a desire to delight her even more than ever- Sapna sat down in profound contemplation, alone and eventually heard her inner calling-
“Let me be myself: creative, unique, unpredictable….”

Over the next few days Sapna kept herself busy: gathering photos of her mother-in-law hugging her three grandchildren and preparing a photo frame of it all by her own; preparing cakes of flavour which she loves; eye-catching home-made mugs, candles; and showpieces with “mother-in-law wordings” on it….in all a collection of seventy items wrapped beautifully in self-made gift cases shaped out of commonplace materials like a card board cartoon or shoe box, and then giving the finishing touch with a satin ribbon winded around it or a flowery brooch attached to them.

On the day of her birthday, Sapna made her mother-in-law ‘earn’ her gifts: she organized a ‘treasure hunt’- giving a subtle hint which would lead her to all those places in which each of the seventy of her gifts was hidden as the small gathering was entertained thoroughly.

“I video recorded the whole episode, and noticed how she cried in joy and surprise at the discovery of each gift,” Sapna told me in delight.

“If I can surprise my mother-in –law with my gifts….I can pleasantly astonish anybody!”- Sapna told herself.

Her gifts and particularly her innovative ‘gift-wrappings’ had always been a huge hit among her friends and relatives as she always fancied bringing a broad smile on the face of loved ones as they unwrap her gift.

She does not have much of a pleasant recollection of her three and half years association with a giant corporate house and knew that corporate-culture was not her cup of tea.

Eventually after her marriage and then becoming a mother to a cute little daughter, she decided that she was not to be satisfied being only a house-wife and wanted to follow her heart.

She launched her brand TheGoldenWraps – a venture in customized gifting, with the encouragement from her husband.

But then her uphill task started right from the day her venture took-off. With household work to be performed and a daughter, Melissa -who was not even a year old-perceivably, needing her constant care and attention, she was up for a challenge. Her worrying friends vehemently suggested that TheGoldenWraps would invite unwanted stress and will be a misadventure. But then she was ‘Sapna’ – her name itself implies dream and she knew how to realize her dream.

he had her hands full: babysitting one moment and then making handmade gifts and gift cases the very next; lulling Melissa to sleep one instant , and taking orders from the clients and uploading her newly made customized gift hamper in Facebook the very next . And whenever she got a calm moment to be with herself (which was not to come by very often), she would ponder over her next Gift hamper- how to make it more innovative. At the end of the day, usually late at night, she would go to sleep: exhausted.

But she took things in her strides and sustained the extreme pulls and pressures. As Melissa grew up, and with her helpful husband by her side, Sapna got more time to herself. TheGoldenWraps soon started to be noticed and admired and she could cut down her time on marketing the venture and concentrate more on her products.

She not only takes customized gift orders, but often suggests her clients about how to make their gift exciting so that person whom they want to ‘make feel special’ is left gaping in amazement. She works on cash-on-delivery model, largely, and now she receives order from the every nook and corner of the country.

As the fame of TheGoldenWraps spread around, Sapna was asked to conduct candle-making classes for the women prisoners of Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, so that they can be self sufficient and engage in meaningful pursuit in life to sustain a living.
“One of my greatest and soul-satisfying experience so far,” Sapna says gleefully.