My journey into entrepreneurship was led by art. I am an artist and I trained at NIFT Delhi. After my post graduation I did not take up a full-time job to work for someone else because I felt that would stifle my creativity. As a free-spirited artist I wanted to explore my own potential which is why I started selling my artworks. I set up Shruti Arts to spread the word about the kind of work I do and I am glad to say that about women entrepreneurs.
I have been very lucky to have such a great response to my platform which curates my artworks and I use it to sell it all over the world.
The internet has no limitations and I think it is a great tool to reach out to a global audience.
When do you know that it is no longer just an idea in your mind, and that you can really turn it into a lucrative business?
To be honest it was not a conscious decision, I started curating my works on the website to build a platform for them and to showcase them to a larger global audience. The rest just followed. I started getting inquiries through the website for selling my designs and I thought of giving it a shot.
What inspired you to start out on your own or with your partners?
As I said, my inspiration was always my art and a desire to showcase it to a larger audience.
What are some challenges that you faced initially when you started out? Do you have some examples to share and advice to women entrepreneurs on overcoming them?
There are everyday issues that you have to take in your stride, some big some small but at the end of the day it’s a joyous journey. Your focus should be on your expertise and what you are offering and the money will follow. I am focused on my art and always strive to better it. When I get appreciation for that it means a lot to me and when people want to have it for keeps, make a part of their lives, it is highly gratifying.
What are all the things that women entrepreneurs needs to keep in mind? I.e. apart from your great idea, what do you need to be armed with?
Courage and belief in your work. Just don’t get affected by criticism. Some time the response may come very slowly, but if you have faith in what you are doing, you will get there.
Do women entrepreneurs find it tougher to get funding for businesses? If yes, why do you think that is?
Not really, as I did not have any problems pertaining to funds. All I needed was some space for my art studio and some art equipments. I started of with a small room in my house , made it my studio where I would do my painting. The art materials came out of the savings I had made over a few years. My family has been very supportive of my work and have always encouraged me to persue my dreams.
Is it beneficial to have a mentor when you’re starting out on your own? What does a mentor bring to the table?
I have not really had a mentor but have worked with some partners on and off. I think it’s a matter of the power of your idea and how much you believe in it.
What are 3 key things that you have learned as an entrepreneur?
It’s not always a smooth sail, take the ups and downs of your journey as they come. Do not be discouraged by what others say or don’t say, just follow your dream and make it work.
Keep the faith strong and keep surging ahead.
What would you describe as your biggest moments of success in your business?
The biggest moments of success have been getting appreciation from art aficionados and critics alike in India as well as abroad.
A few of my works have also been exhibited in various International events like Delhi International Film Festival ,Indo-Korean Art Festival and World Art Dubai.
What is your message to the upcoming artists who want to make a career in the world of painting?
My advice for the young artists(women entrepreneurs) would be to have faith in themselves. Art is not easy just like any other field. If you want to make a mark, work hard and work consistently. The more you work the better you will get at your craft. Look around, take a moment to absorb the sights and sounds around you and paint away.
You have participated in many art shows in different places , what was your response you received from art lovers?
I have enjoyed each and every show that I have been a part of. It has been a great learning experience for me. I have improved as an artist and my style has evolved over time and I attribute this partly to my shows. As an artist one continually evolves and improves, art is a journey and not a destination.