One year, One man , One story- The first year of my startup

It all started back in october 2016 when I came through a facebook ad regarding a brand. It was super cool to me that got me into starting my very own brand where as at that time i didn’t even know the word “Euntrepreneur”. I’ll save this part of my story for another blog.

So Custom Solutions, the startup I currently work with started on the 26th of April 2017 after my previous brand failed. I started this with a $500+ debt or loss from my previous brand. The first few weeks were full of doubts and confusion as i was little aware and educated of branding, marketing and basically building a company. All I concentrated in the first three months was to make sure I didn’t repeat the mistake I did once . I started a facebook page and posted posters and pictures offering customized wristbands. Wristbands were the only thing i was good at, tbh that was the only product I had to offer.

It never started smoothly but surely got better with time and consistent homework. My first custom made wristband order was to Girl’s High school kandy ;). We made 200 bands and I ended up with a 7$ loss. Still it was a big deal because I was broke as hell financially and even mentally. For the next 5 months I did orders worth less than 50$ per month barely making anything but still I kept going☺.

“Being consistent and patience pays off”-

I have heard this several times but never realized it was true untill I experianced it my self. Months of continous posting on facebook and trying to figure out to make custom solutions make money payed off, but was not through the internet. One of my good freind’s mother was a principal of another girls school. He asked me if I could get 800 wristbands for a fundraiser for that particular school. boii, I said yes instantly. I was super excited because that was my biggest order ever worth over $500 and made a pretty big chunk of money through it and I did give myself a submarine feast😂. This was back in november. 2017 And then within days of completing that order this freind came back to me and asked me if I could get them the school ties done. I didn’t feel excited about it because I already got some money and I was too comfortable that resisted me taking the risk. Also i had no clue about getting them done,where to find suppliers and a dealt whole lot of questions.But after him bugging me continously i got him a prices from suppliers in china and never thought it would work. But after a month of negotiations he placed a massive order of 2500 pieces of ties worth over a million rupees. The biggest amount that was transerred to my bank account. After a nail bitting and super stressed day trying to get the stock out of srilankan customs I managed to deliver just 30 min before the deadline. That day is surley one that i would never forget in my life😊

-Packing from 1 am to 3.30 am and delivering the order at 5.30 am barely making the 6 am deadline-

Also this was the time when my whole family looked at me and appreciated what I was doing and took me serious. My cousin who is working as a coperate sales manager for 15 years in the same industry was one of the greatest mentors i had through my early times and still he does to be a good advisor.

Hardwork does payoff and from the begining of this year sales incresed consistently and smashed the 6 figure mark with ease from march 2018.

26th April 2018 marked the first year of custom Solutions being in business and surely this was one hell of a ride. Even today I’m the only employee for the company doing everything from designing, accounting, packaging, loading to answering the calls.

Im super pumped up right now because exciting years ahead!.

This is the summary of one great year where i started from -50k rupees in debt to building a company thats making a 6 figure sales every month with a 7 figure turnover in the last year in business ;). Pretty impressive for a first year startup right?

Rushdi Ilmudeen,

Founder,

Custom Solutions.

Entrepreneur | Student | CEO @Lavisco "A kid with a big dream;)"