They say good businesses don’t run around products but around solutions to everyday problems. Non-degradable waste is one such problem which has led her on to the entrepreneurial journey.
“I am extremely against non-degradable wastes. While there are many initiatives by government and private entities for recycling bio-degradable wastes, very few people talk about the non-degradable wastes”, says Nupur, the founder of NU Creations.
Even though business was something she had always wanted to do, being from a service class family, she ended up graduating and settling for the usual 9-5 corporate job. At one point in time, she had a bad health condition and could not commute to office, which became her blessing in disguise.
She quit her job and started her own venture – NU Creations in September 2014. With no external support or guidance, Nupur had to learn everything herself about running a business. With the passion and dedication she had for the business, it did not take long for people around her, especially her husband and her parents, to realize her potential and lend her their support.
She had spent days learning about the different aspects of business through YouTube and blogs and had her fair share of mistakes and learning.
Since she was already making paintings and organizing exhibitions, customer acquisition was never a problem for her. Reluctant to confine her expertise to just painting, she ventured into paper crafts, clay crafts, handmade jewelry and saree painting. She got in touch with the HRs of some of the biggest multi-national companies and started conducting workshops for painting as a stress buster and team building activity.
Ask about her initial struggles and fear, she says
Crafting is an expensive hobby and all these things require a lot of initial investment. When you take it as a business, you really need to cut down your costs. So, searching for good suppliers was the biggest challenge. Secondly, in India people are not mature enough to appreciate art, so it was difficult not only then, but even now and this explains why a major part of her clientele is from outside India.
During her initial days in the business, she had stocked up the inventory way too much, without proper analysis of the demand. Not the one to be deterred by setbacks, she started taking on her challenges, one at a time. Realizing the importance of efficient management in business, she had joined IIM Lucknow and earned herself a degree in executive management.
Most of her inspiring works are those which express her love for the environment and the personal touch they provide the customers. Non-degradable wastes such as plastic form the major part of her inventory and she tries to create art out of otherwise harmful wastes. When asked about the USP of her products, she says her products are extremely personal and customized. She tries to keep that personal touch with all her customers and her way of doing it is by sending personal notes and gifts for the customer’s kid’s and spouse’s birthday.
I sell handmade photo frames. Suppose if you want to gift it to your partner, I take 13-15 habits, likes and dislikes of your partner from you and represent them in a comic way around the frame.
To her, spreading smiles through her works is the biggest motivation. Her most satisfying moment in this business journey so far is when the parents of a 3-year-old, who had attended her workshop before, accredited their kid-winning-the-art- competition-at-her-school to her coaching and invited her and her husband for a gratitude dinner at their place.
Even though her business was booming, she did not want to be tied up to the timelines. To her, quality is more important than anything else and when she found herself in a place to choose between the two, she chose the latter.
As John Wooden said – “It takes time to create excellence. If it could be done quickly, more people would do it”.
Even though she has started working again, her passion remains unfazed. She always finds time for her art and continues fulfilling customers’ needs. She hopes to revive her NU Creations when she has the time and liberty to work at her own pace.
Her business mantra is as unique as her art –
Being unprofessional is the new professionalism. Always try to keep a personal touch with the customers.
She is also available on all major art platforms such as Fizdi, Saathci Arts, World Art America, Fine Art America and much more.