I Want To Be Able To Put Art In Everyday Life: Aarthi Sivaramakrishnan
Aarthi Sivaramakrishnan, founder of The Colour Company, India, always dreamt of owning an arts-shop. Her fascination for upcycling glass bottles brought her one step closer to the start of The Colour Company.
How did it all start?
Aarthi followed her passion and started painting on glass bottles while she was working full-time. Soon, she was making customized gifts for friends and family and Aarthi was flooded with orders, just through word of mouth. That’s how the Chennai-based entrepreneur’s journey started. The passion for customized art could finally turn into a viable business opportunity. Shifting from a business degree to owing an art shop seems more like a fantasy. But she aimed to incorporate art into everyday life.
Art in the traditional sense is looked at as something that is reserved for the elite, or for people who have had intensive training in the field. With The Colour Company, I want to be able to put art in everyday life. On objects that you use every day, in one’s living spaces
From Corporate Career to Art Firm
She shares an excerpt from her Facebook post which she has written a few years ago:
From “you will earn a pittance” to “painting is a good thing for a woman to do – you can take care of your daughter” (not sure how the two are related) – I’ve heard it all. Some people seemed awfully upset that I chose to do this “after going to XLRI”, “you didn’t have to do an MBA if you were going to do this…” and the likes. What good is a fancy education if it cannot enable what your heart really desires, I say?
However, now Aarthi is receiving orders not just from individuals, but corporates too. She tells us about the positive response she is getting.
She says, “I almost always get repeat business from clients. All our products and services are highly customized, so it holds a very special place in their hearts.”
When asked about her inspiration, she says, “I come from a family of self-made entrepreneurs. My father has been my biggest role model. He became an entrepreneur at an age where most people would retire. I derive my strength from my mother, an iron lady.”
Aarthi attributes the unwavering support of her family and friends for helping her stay sane through the transition from a corporate career to entrepreneurship. “People who make up my support system has also been my most vocal critics and that has helped me have a balanced outlook to scaling my business,” she explains.
The company recently expanded and also conducts training and workshops. The aim is to help people who had no formal training in arts. The workshops helped such enthusiasts enjoy creating art. Aarthi says, “Through this initiative, I have also been able to break a lot of stereotypes — art for people with disabilities, I see a lot of interest and participation from men (art is considered as something that women dabble in) in all the workshops that we do and so on.”
According to her, the art industry works on an informal and fragmented basis. There is no real data available to take decisions, which were one of the major challenges for her.
Customization is our USP
“Customization is our USP. The Colour Company also operates in a very consultative basis, so we’re able to deliver exactly what the client needs.”
She shares her future endeavours of bringing The Colour Company India, which launched in 2016, to the next level.
“The next step is getting my e-commerce sales process in place. I am also evaluating several collaborations to be able to take The Colour Company to the next level.”
Deepali Is An Intern With SheThePeople.TV