Hi Indu, thanks for taking the time to chat with SIW. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.
Indu : I am a B com graduate, born and brought up in Bangalore. I have also done an online short term course in Environmental Management from IISC, Bangalore. Previously, I was working with Ocwen Financial Services. I quit my job in 2005 to devote my time to my daughter. For the past two years, I was looking out for opportunities to work from home (part time), to utilize my spare time in a constructive way. In my search, I stumbled upon quilling. Jewellery and greeting cards had always attracted me. So, I started quilling as a hobby. Encouragement and appreciation from near and dear ones led to the start of Kanasu Art – a dream come true.
What inspired you to get into this profession?
Indu : My friend Mayuri Kini is a quiller. I was amazed by her simple and attractive work (especially a quilled Krishna on a photo frame). I started searching and learning about quilling with guidance from her. I was amazed by the work of so many talented quillers in the world and a special mention for Pritesh Ananth Krishnan’s work. Both their works and my love for jewellery inspired me to try quilling seriously and thus led to the start of the business in a small way.
What is your USP?
Indu : My concentration is always at delivering quality products, a high customer satisfaction and all these at affordable price. I work with the intention of creating wonderful pieces of jewellery to suit individual taste.
How someone can start the same business as yours in terms of investment, material procurement, production, and marketing etc?
Indu : Starting a business and managing them are two different ball games in my view. Investment in the quilling business will depend on the individual capacity. Quilling as an art form is catching up very fast, so the quilling tools are available in various online stores as well as local stores. The production part is the most difficult job, as the jewellery has to be perfect in terms of design and color combination. It requires a lot of patience to roll the pieces of paper and turn them into beautiful pieces of jewellery. Marketing them will depend on the individual’s contacts.
Any challenge you facing your profession and how you overcome that?
Indu : Many people have a misconception that since the raw material used is paper, the jewellery is not durable. So, my challenge was to convince them that the jewellery is durable, but, yes with a little extra care and maintenance. Some of my customers who have been using the accessories for more than a year will vouch for this.
What are your plans for the future?
Indu : My plan is to keep working on my designs to match the ever changing jewellery market and also to expand my product base to include more customized gift articles for all occasions. I also intend to share my knowledge about quilling with people who are interested to invest time and money in learning this wonderful art. I am also looking at opportunities to display my art work in corporate offices, exhibition, thus increasing my customer base.
How you manage your personal and professional life?
Indu : As a mother of a nine year old, the productive hours are when my daughter is in school. Since I am the only person behind this business, the A – Z of managing the business, from procuring the raw materials, to production, to marketing, to direct sales are to be done during the morning 4 to 5 hours of time. However, I am lucky for the support from my husband and daughter, that this has not been very difficult. Both of them are the greatest critics of my work and my daughter has a great sense of colors. So, I am blessed. The afternoon and evenings are usually family time except where there are time limits to deliver the orders.
What are your favorite books that you would recommend SIW family?
Indu : My favorite book is Robin Sharma’s “The monk who sold his Ferrari”.
What advice would you give to young women readers of SIW who want to follow a similar career path as you?
Indu : Creating art work using quilling as a technique needs lots and lots of patience, concentration and dedication. The time to reach the breakeven point in this business will vary between individuals. However, it is a great opportunity for people, who give creativity a higher hand over profitability. It is great for people, who are ready to take that extra risk and give the time for your talent to bloom and reach people.
All images are property of “Kanasu Art” and required permissions have been taken to publish it on www.smartindianwomen.com website.
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