Her passion for her art reflects in her designs…and its the same passion that drives her business. Meet Khyati Mehra of KhyatiWorks, a online store that retails table mats, mugs, handpainted shoes, jewellery…the works! Khyati is a great example of what all your passion and belief can help you achieve. Born and brought up in Amritsar, now settled down in Bangalore, playing with colours was always her passion. And it is this creative side of hers that surfaced after more than a decade of being an IT professional. She did not let it rest, and gradually found her groove, designing, producing and selling products that all bear her unique stamp.
Khyati talks more about her artistic leanings, her brand store and her struggles in this chat.
Her decision to become entrepreneur
Becoming an entrepreneur wasn’t exactly part of my plan. But I strongly feel that if something has to happen, it will happen. While working at a core technical job at an IT company for the last 12 years, I pursued my passion in painting. I used to paint all the time before 2009, and eventually I started creating abstract art more seriously. Once I had created a couple of psychedelic artworks, I decided not to exhibit those. I wanted to do more, something beyond showcasing my art to a small portion of the world. Then, I started looking for online portals where my artwork could reach people. That’s how KhyatiWorks came into my mind.
I realized that not everyone likes to buy an Artwork but everyone definitely wants to buy something that looks beautiful and that they can use. So I thought of coming out with a range of products, with varieties of artworks on them. I started with greeting cards and the response I received was overwhelming. Gradually, I started expanding my products range and one day set up my own art web store. The rest, as they say, is history. Sometimes you don’t think about your future really but somehow it automatically takes you to the right place.
The challenges at the outset
The biggest challenge I faced was my lack of an art or an entrepreneurial background. When I decided to startup KhyatiWorks, the first product I made was a greeting card in 2011. I didn’t have any contacts to market my products or company. There was no one with me who could lead me to the right people. That was a tough time. I was in Delhi and one day I decided to move ahead all by myself. I personally started looking for all the gift shops that were available in the market to find buyers. Approaching the shops was very hard. but it seemed to the only way to get word out there. Eventually, I built contacts and built a network, and it was then that I got orders for Diwali and festivals.
It’s not about men or women, for me it’s more about the person. I want to tell all the amazing women out there who are doing such wonderful work that don’t qualify your accomplishments on the basis of gender.
What drives her…passion for her art
I think if you’re passionate about something, really want something to work, you would definitely get what you want. For me, it’s like every time I go out, automatically my eyes seek for the items I like for my site. My passion basically drives me along the way. The love for my work has kept me motivated me in the long term.
Strengths women can bring in the work place
I am not gender biased especially towards my work. I always say that I would rather want to be known as a person first. I want to be judged impartially. It’s not about men or women, for me it’s more about the person. I want to tell all the amazing women out there who are doing such wonderful work that don’t qualify your accomplishments on the basis of gender. I really don’t have any answers on what men lack but yeah definitely equating both genders alike is what people lack.
Settle your mind first then start-up something. Never start-up first and then reconsider it.
The entrepreneur and her relationships
Well, what I feel is people who are actually your friends and well-wishers, they will not change, never ever. Talking about family, I have one supportive and inspiring family. So, nothing to worry on that note.
What gives KhyatiWorks the edge
One major thing is ‘my mission and my vision’. I don’t want KhyatiWorks to be a normal products store, my mission is to give each product a personal touch that cannot be copied. I would like people to remember me and my company as something that made them very happy. Whenever I create a product or a painting, next morning I just want to go look for it. That’s a kind of happiness it gives me. People tell me that the vibrant colours of KhyatiWorks bring a smile to their faces. I want that wowish reaction from everyone.
A message for all young entrepreneurs
Even if you fail twenty times, don’t worry. Settle your mind first then start-up something. Never start-up first and then reconsider it.