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The Design Cart
Apaar started The Design Cart in 2018. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on The Design Cart?
Post my MBA, I worked at 2 large startups for 4 years in a mid-senior management role. During this period, I had built 2 business units from scratch - right from hiring & managing the team, to managing the tech side, managing the client, and eventually driving revenue. The initial 4 years gave me a great sense of what it will be like to run my own venture. I sensed that I loved solving problems, executing solutions, and the feeling of driving great results from them. I had been harboring an entrepreneurial bug for a long time, but, never in my adult life had taken any action on it.
Building a two-sided marketplace was always going to be a treacherous journey and a typical chicken and egg story. The supply won’t come unless you have enough demand and the demand won't look at your platform till you have enough supply.
My family business has been closely associated with the fashion industry for the past 30 years, and The Design Cart was started by me as a weekend gig just to help them get an online presence and have supplementary revenue.
Alongside my full-time day job, in the first 6 months, I learned how to build a website, clicked 1,000s of product images, cataloged them, and started reaching out to my prospective clients. I started spamming various Facebook groups around fashion design, embroidery, apparel designing, beading, etc and that's how I got my first few customers. However, the real breakthrough came when I started setting up in-person meetings with fashion designers.
Every weekend I would have meetings and within 6 months I had met 800+ fashion designers from across the country. There was a common thread of feedback amongst them - procurement of raw supplies is a real problem and there did not exist a tech-enabled solution for this. It was this raw feedback that eventually motivated me to leave my well paying “settled” job and start my venture.
I took about 2 months to mentally condition myself and prepare my family for some financial uncertainty and finally in November 2017, I left my job to work full time on this opportunity. On a lighter note, I actually asked my wife to grant me an extended furlough of 3 years to jumpstart my venture and grow it into a global business. She generously agreed.
Contributors to this article:
- Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
- Wiki Updater