Being an entrepreneur means you’re so much more than a business owner; it means you’re a risk taker, you’re a thinker, you’re creative and you have an energy, passion and determination that’s hard to find. That is what Vinda Tanuhadi owner, founder, creative director and the woman behind Beyond Scarf has. I recently sat down with Tanuhadi to chat about her business and how it all came to be. A scarf company can be considered a risky venture, but she stands behind the product and it’s easy to see why.In 2013 Tanuhadi walked away from her career, salary and benefits to start up a venture that was more than just about scarves, but a place to showcase artist talent from around the world. It was definitely not a decision she took lightly
“after contemplating for two years, and doing some research and saving, I finally had the nerve to take this leap. I said to myself, if I don’t do it now, I’ll always question whether I should have done it and regret it if I never tried.”
Thus began the hardest part, finding these incredible artists, designers and manufactures who wanted showcased their talent in the form of a scarf, and then have them sold in Calgary. “I did a lot of research… a lot. I probably exhausted my brain! But that’s the beauty of the process.” All the scarves you see, and every designer chosen, was hand-picked by Tanuhadi. Once the research was complete she travelled to Europe and met with each designer to create the perfect collection that’s not only exclusive to Calgary, but exclusive to Canada.
The most important part in choosing an artist or designer to work with was the quality and authenticity of the piece “I looked at the design, the material, the technique, the final finish and where it was made. The origin of the scarf is an important component because I like to see that the scarf is created using its country’s traditional technique and what they’re known for.”
Over time, as the collection grew Tanuhadi developed her website, and created her on-line store first selling to friends and family and then slowly word of mouth spread and the demand grew. And while the company itself is on-line, the personal connection is certainly not lost. When you email Beyond Scarf, it’s Tanuhadi that answers you, and she’s more than willing to help you choose the best product, share information on specific brands and provide you as much detail as she can. To her each scarf symbolizes a journey, and she’s excited to share that journey with her customers over the phone, email or even a glass of wine. So what makes Beyond Scarf different? “We’re not like what people think of an on-line company. We’re not big, we’re small, we’re independent and we’re driven by passion for the product.”
-Allison Onyett, Blogger