Starting a business can be hard. You have a million things to take care of even before actually making a profit. A sola flowers business isn’t different at all. Starting from your sola wood supplier and all the way to building you clientele, a business is a tough thing to handle, especially if you don’t have any help. Luckily, there are still people eager to learn and to pass on the information to others. The world of business can truly be a scary place. But it doesn’t have to be that way, if you have the proper information about what you want to do and the tips on how to do it.
Where Can You Find Sola Wood and What Can You Use It for?
sola wood comes from a plant that grows in the marshy areas of the Indian subcontinent. The plant is part of the Fabaceae family and it is called Aeschynomene aspera. Although it might not have many other uses, the wood from the stems of the plant is the backbone of a thriving business that has its origins in India and spreads all across East Asia in countries like China, Myanmar, Malaysia and all the way to the Philippines and Japan. That business is the handcrafted decorations business.
But until people can make money out of their craft, they must firstly harvest the inside core of the stems. They present themselves as spongy and milky-white, unfit for the various crafting processes. So the first order of business is to let the core dry itself out in the sun. After most of the moisture has evaporated and the core has become tougher, then it is time to cut it into sheets. The sheets are then rolled up into giant rolls and shipped off to hobby shops and craftsmen around the world. Although the rolls themselves are quite big, the wood is very light, and that is why it is preferred by many. It weighs only around 190 kilograms per cubic meter, so it is ideal for various decoration and even popular accessories.
One of the most recognizable things that sola wood is used for is the making of the sola hats. These hats are a leftover from the British colonial period, and are maybe the thing that most people think of when talking about India and that time period. Until discovering this material, colonialists wore regular hats made out of classic felt or other fabrics. The sola hat was lighter and easier to make, thus giving them the perfect substitute. Once the regular hat was replaced by this low-cost, locally sourced option, the British started using them anywhere they went, especially in hot, wet, tropical surroundings. This is how the sola hat virtually conquered the British Empire, and became a fashion statement as well as a cultural symbol.
Speaking of headpieces, sola wood is traditionally used to make ceremonial ones for the brides and grooms of the Bengali region of India. These beautiful and detailed pieces are what gave the famous handcrafters, known as Malakars, their start. They used to make these in their shops for wedding ceremonies. But, as word got out, people started wanting more and more complex pieces in order to use the at various religious ceremonies. This is how various products made out of this wood started being shipped all over the world and how people from almost every part of the globe started to know about this craft. Soon enough, shops started popping up all over India and supplies were shipped anywhere in the world people wanted to try and learn how to work with this kind of wood.
This type of wood is cheap and can be found in almost every hobby shop in the world. Most people that buy it do so in order to pick up a new hobby. Tools and instructional videos are available over the internet. All it takes is a little bit of imagination and patience until you get the hang of it. The most popular things people use the wood for is making traditional flowers and flower garlands or bouquets. But there are a few out there that understood that this can be a very lucrative business for them, and as such have started making more and more shapes and products for others.
6 Tips for Starting a Sola Flowers Business
The beauty about starting your own sola flowers business is that you are basically turning your hobby into money. Not a lot of people can say they can do that. All it takes is a little perseverance and a few tips on knowing what you need in order to get started.
1. Make sure that your supplier is a serious one. The quality of the materials you use impacts the quality of your finished product. Also, your supplier should be able to get you enough material for your needs. Sure, you can try several suppliers until you settle on one, or even have multiple suppliers all along the way, but in any scenario you have to make sure that the people you are working with understand that you’re not just making sola flowers for the thrill of it. They have to understand that you are building a business.
2. Although the quality of the materials you use should be your prime concern, you should always try and get your materials at the best price possible. Remember, you don’t only need the wood itself. You need paints, varnishes, staples and other things that will help you make your sola flowers unique.
3. Sola flowers are delicate, and so is the business involving them. Don’t treat the business like a factory assembly line. You’re not trying to make a lot of them, at least not at first. What you are trying to do is find your rhythm and your clientele. After that, the sky is the limit.
4. As in any business, marketing is the key to success. Make sure you understand this and don’t forget to try and promote your wood flowers in as many ways as possible. Social media platforms are a must when it comes to promoting, and any other ideas you might have are also great.
5. Make your customers your friends. Always try and engage with them as much as possible. The fact that you both like wooden flowers should get you started in creating a strong bond with them and in even creating a community around your business.
6. Growing a business isn’t easy. That is why it is important to get as much help as possible. Try and get more people involved in order to make sure that you don’t have to do everything by yourself.