Home30Under30 2024The Story of Special You and the Entrepreneurial Journey of Sunny Singh...

The Story of Special You and the Entrepreneurial Journey of Sunny Singh & Cherry Saxena

Sunny Singh, a former IT professional with experience at IBM, Capgemini, and Axa XL, co-founded Special You in 2021 alongside ex-colleague Cherry Saxena, a German linguist IT professional This leading online retailer specializes in party decorations, supplies, and home decor items, aiming to create unforgettable experiences and vibrant settings for various occasions. 

Special You offers a wide range of products, from colorful balloons to elegant banners, to make celebrations truly memorable.

How It All Began

Sunny’s journey into entrepreneurship was shaped by a series of experiences, starting from his early venture into call centers and a subsequent attempt at launching his own business in the mobile confectionery industry. 

Despite encountering setbacks, he continued to gather skills and insights, including a stint in corporate roles at prominent firms like IBM, Capgemini, and AXA XL. Alongside his corporate career, he pursued interests in theatre acting, which enhanced his understanding of human behavior and expressiveness.

Cherry Saxena, with a background in BCom and PGDM, began her career journey as a German linguist at Amazon in 2015 before transitioning to HCL in 2018 as a German IT professional. For further education, she secured a scholarship to Germany in the same year, where she completed her Master’s in German language. Driven by her entrepreneurial aspirations, Cherry returned to India, where she crossed paths with Sunny at AXA XL. Bonding over their shared vision for business, they began exploring potential startup ideas. 

The idea for their venture, Special You, came during a search to create a personalized birthday celebration for Saxena in 2021, revealing an untapped niche in the party supplies market. He reveals,

“I remember that in the year 2021, when the world had already faced the wave of COVID-19, it was Cherry’s birthday on January 3rd. I wanted to make some special arrangements, like decorating a place, to surprise her. But there were not a lot of options available, so I wandered the markets and tried to find decoration items and props she could relate to. This was kind of my first exploration of the party supply market.”

Recognizing the potential, Singh and Saxena ventured into the business, initially offering curated DIY kits for special occasions online. Their venture quickly gained traction. Sunny tells us,

“We started selling these DIY kits online on marketplaces. And to our surprise, we sold more than a hundred thousand units in the first year itself. It was started as a business experiment but the response and love given by our customers turned it into a company and after a few months of starting up, Cherry and I left our corporate jobs and got completely engrossed in the business.” 

Specialty of ‘Special You’

Special You stands out in the market due to its deep understanding of customer psychology and a focus on creating truly special experiences. Unlike competitors, who may simply offer generic party supplies, Special You curates products designed to evoke emotion and create lasting memories. Sunny says, 

“We sell products that customers don’t buy for themselves but for their loved ones, so it has to be special, and that’s also how we got our brand name, ‘Special You’.”

One key differentiator is their commitment to unique designs that create a dreamy atmosphere for special occasions. By offering products that go beyond mere functionality to evoke a sense of wonder and joy, Special You taps into the essence of celebration and helps customers craft unforgettable experiences.

For example, rather than offering standard party decorations, Special You provides themed items that resonate with customers’ interests and preferences, enhancing the personal touch of their celebrations. This approach ensures that every purchase from Special You isn’t just a transaction but a meaningful expression of love and thoughtfulness toward the recipient.

Navigating Challenges

Special You encountered significant challenges in its journey to success, necessitating strategic solutions for each obstacle. They faced challenges in timely shipment, product diversification, and maintaining quality. To ensure prompt delivery, they established multiple warehouses across India. They diversified their team to address varied age groups and relationships in product development. 

Stringent quality guidelines were implemented for suppliers, supplemented by in-house manufacturing. Through strategic solutions, Special You overcame these hurdles, solidifying its position as a trusted provider of high-quality party supplies.

Celebrating Feats

“Good feedback and repeat customers are the right measures of the success of a business, in my opinion.”

Special You has achieved remarkable success in a short period, with the highest reviews and ratings across various marketplaces. Despite being the youngest player in the industry, they have swiftly ascended to the top of their category on platforms like Amazon and others. Their rapid rise to prominence reflects both the quality of their products and the loyalty of their customer base.

Plans Ahead

Looking ahead, Special You has ambitious plans to expand beyond party decoration DIY kits. While these kits have been a successful starting point, the company envisions a broader scope, aiming to provide customers with everything they need to express their feelings to loved ones and themselves. 

This could include a diverse range of offerings, from gifts to extravagant experiences like helicopter proposals. With the steadfast support of their customer base, Special You is optimistic about realizing these plans in the near future.

Lessons Learned

Through his journey, Sunny and Cherry  learned that building a successful brand or business depends on understanding people—their behaviors, needs, and motivations. Before they sign off, Sunny emphasises,

“You can’t sell to people when you don’t understand them; you can’t hire them and make them work for you if you don’t understand them. So as soon as you understand the needs of the people, you are good to be an entrepreneur.”

Lastly, he adds.

“There are no shortcuts; you will have to learn and work hard at the same time. That is a never-ending process, be it at any stage of your business. And you will always have problems; never be afraid because entrepreneurship is all about problem-solving.”

Snigdha Basu
Snigdha Basu
A multifaceted writer, Snigdha Basu is a freelancer and a columnist at Entrepreneurs Today. She also spearheads Chic Life Edition - her own Digital Magazine with sustainable fashion, beauty, and culture at its core. Reach out to Snigdha at [email protected] for inquiries.
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