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Journey of female art entrepreneurs
There is a very low participation of women in all kinds of businesses including arts. But there are some females who have proved their capacities in this field. Pinches Artcore and Studio Sarcastic are the living examples that women can lead art industry.
My City team interacted with the founder of these two ventures and here’s what My City’s team explored:
Revitalizing trendy everyday appliances
There are die-hard art fanatics, wanting to share their gifted skills of making arts and designs to the people. As a result, they make paintings and various other types of handcrafts. Some of them also established brands to share their knowledge of the art. One such brand is ‘Pinches Artcore’. Shreya Joshi founded the brand in 2018. It was an outcome of her fascination with arts and designs. Since their inception, Pinches Artcore has been providing customized products to the art lovers. Their products include accessories designed with various art forms. They sell pillows, cups, key rings and so on. Currently, they have 35 products.
Joshi wouldn’t have started this business if she hadn’t been an art lover. She adds, “I love paintings. It has always captivated me because of its awesome features of attracting people. The love for arts made me establish this brand.” She justified her love for art when she said she began the venture as a one-person army. “During the start of the company, I did almost everything. Painting, designing, digital printings, handling the social media sites of the brand, and doing administrative works were all done by me.”
According to the founder, the love for arts has helped her immensely to come up with this business. “Since I was attached to art, I constantly asked myself why I don’t try my hands on this business. I initially started an online store at first and later establishined my office at Battisputali, Kathmandu.” Despite the fact that the brand is the result of the Joshi’s love for arts, Joshi believes a woman can inspire women. “I have always wanted to contribute my efforts in this field. Priyanka Karki has been my inspiration. As a woman, she inspires what a woman can do.”
In the starting days, Joshi’s life as an entrepreneur wasn’t easy. The challenges were always there. She calls it tough being a one-woman organization. Initially, she was handling all the profiles: designing, digital printing, marketing, administrative works and managing social media sites. And even after hiring employees, lack of acute human resource was a problem. Lamenting on the human resources problem, she said it was the working instability which created a blockade in her start-up journey. She adds, “In Nepali business, most of the workers are attracted to foreign lands whenever they find better opportunities there. In my case too, many workers who were working for me left for Australia. It was tough at that time.”
When asked how she had overcome the challenges of work instability, she replied, “Now I give contracts to the workers. So I haven’t faced such problems these days.” Also highlighting on today’s challenge, she lamented it would be hard to deliver if there are many orders. She adds, “As we are a start-up, we only have 12 staffs. So, the work load is heavy.”
Like the famous Japanese proverb goes, “Fall down seven times, stand up on the eight”; Joshi’s ambitions show the challenges as mere phases of business. However, expanding the business is her main goal. “Currently, we deliver our products to the capital and other cities in the country. Nevertheless, making the products available everywhere and smooth operations are our main ambitions,” she explained. Joshi also finds it cool to export the products to foreign nations.
The brand mostly works online. Joshi says, “The order is made over the internet and we deliver the products both inside and outside the capital. However, the charge varies. We charge 100 rupees inside Kathmandu and 200 rupees to areas out of the valley. My point is, “You order from Pokhara, Chitwan or other urban places. We won’t charge you anything more than 200 rupees.”
Unique designs with Studio sarcastic
Established by Sneha Koirala, Studio sarcastic is a Lalitpur-based design-led lifestyle brand that makes quality products with local designs. It produces 18 different types of products, including mugs, shot glasses, notebooks, bags, and t-shirts printed with eccentric and humorous illustrations and designs. The venture also makes unique designs including topographic and character-based designs.
Story behind the initiation of venture
Doodling was Koirala’s childhood hobby. However, her passion for doodling was not just limited to her hobby. With Studio sarcastic, Koirala transferred her childhood hobby to a business venture on September 7, 2017. One year after its trial phase, Koirala decided to take an official move and digitalized the venture by launching a website on September 2018. Today the venture has spread all over the country and in India as well. Koirala revealed that she decided to start Studio sarcastic after her friends and colleagues requested her. They regularly demanded cards and postcards in the designs of ‘Fantastic Beasts’. She had posted them on the social media page of Potter-heads Nepal (a group of Harry Potter fans). The first product launched by the venture was a postcard with one-line sarcastic comics. This later inspired her to name the venture.
Similarly, the products designed by Studio sarcastic are called ‘that’; that mug, that card and so on. Explaining the reason behind this Koirala said, “That is the most used word in our daily life and is easy to remember.”
Challenges faced by the venture
Initiating business is like having nightmares. No matter how innovative your ideas are, you will face different challenges while establishing the company. Studio sarcastic also faced numerous challenges during its establishment. Lack of adequate market, lack of quality products, unaware clients and trends in copying designs were some of the challenges that the venture faced in its initial phase.
Speaking about the company’s strategies to overcome the challenges, Koirala said, “We created our own platform by going digital. Similarly, we observed our market demands keenly. We also limited our products likewise. Hence, it was not that difficult for us to tackle the challenges.”
Koirala believes there is a good market for startups in Nepal but as entrepreneurs have to import from other countries
The company is currently producing 18 different products but soon they are planning to launch other products as well. Koirala said, “We are working to increase our products to 24 within the coming months.” Similarly, Koirala is also working on the style and designs of the products. Apart from these, the venture has various future plans; like launching a mobile app, introducing new payment methods and strategies and so on. Currently, Studio sarcastic’s service is limited to Nepal and India. But soon they will be entering the European market as well.
Clients have to first place their orders on the website and then payments are either made online or by the cash on delivery facility. People from all across the country can place their orders and will receive the product’s delivery within three to five days of the order.