Designing sets is one major element of filmmaking. But you don’t often see filmmakers take these talents and create an actual interior design business around them.
However, that’s the story behind The Pebble Drop. Read about this unique company below in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Provides sensitive, relaxing design services.
Founder Satish Babusenan told Small Business Trends, “As a former Design Professor, I appreciate the importance of clean aesthetics in design. Besides, we go with the nearly-Zen idea that the spaces we will design are already moving towards us. Our few clients come to us through word-of-mouth publicity or after coming across us or our website.”
Sticking to one design philosophy and keeping their client list minimal.
Babusenan says, “We only go with clients who are attracted to our design philosophy. Plus, we never market our services aggressively.”
Small Business Deals
How the Business Got Started
To solve a problem in the family home.
Babusenan explains, “About three years ago, a drainage problem arose in my family house, which the city corporation did nothing to resolve, even though the seepage and flooding were their fault. In frustration, I was forced to solve it myself. But, as we executed it, I felt drawn to make it into a fine, enjoyable space.”
Luckily, Babusenan had some design experience from working in the film production industry, a business he still runs with his brother.
He adds, “I have been doing the Production Design of all my feature films (co-directed with my brother Santosh). That helped, too. Soon, friends and neighbors who saw the yard started asking for design advice. That led to consultancies. And in a year, we decided to acquire a studio space and set up office.”
Securing a client during a pivotal moment.
Babusenan explains, “I tend to think that Nature is intelligent and works in strange ways. The very first major project we took up (a big apartment in an expensive condo) is an example. We were heavily investing in our new film projects and that meant there wasn’t much funds left for the Design studio. We needed one more client, a real good one. Then came a miracle. I got a call from our client. “We just bought the adjoining apartment and so now you will have two in hand. This means we will need to make some changes to the original plan. Is that okay? Sorry for the inconvenience caused!”
“We are a small business. This was a big win for us. Now we have more on-going projects, but we can never forget that first one.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Babusenan says, “As always, 10% would go towards charity. The rest would be spent on renovating a sprawling heritage structure which belongs to a now-impoverished family. This would help them turn it into a boutique hotel and, more importantly, give us a brilliant showcase on our portfolio.”
Getting experience in multiple industries.
Babusenan explains, “As I said earlier, we have two businesses running – the film production and the Interior Design. So whenever we have interns working for us in either of these, they are offered the opportunity to get their teeth into the other. That is, in my opinion, rather rare. And it goes absolutely free for them. No extra charges.”
‘Draw a line as if it’s the only worthwhile thing in your life!’
Babusenan adds, “It was said by my design teacher Prof. R.K. Joshi of the IDC School of Design.”
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Image: The Pebble Drop, Satish Babusenan