#ARTISTSPEAK: Your small business brand, with Krishna Tolia

People believe that creativity is inherent, and that art is a talent that you are born with. I know for a fact that’s not true, because I was far from born with it. I was terrible at art in school, and would struggle to get even an average grade. I would doodle sometimes, but that was the extent of it. Eventually I realised just like any other skill you can experiment and constantly practice to become a better artist and a small business owner!

For my undergraduate degree, I studied business. At that point, I thought would take over my family business. After my time in business school, I did a bunch of internships in a variety of spaces- marketing, content, web development, HR- I experimented with it all. However, I realised quickly can’t do any of it. Simply because I did not find joy, I felt no connect and I just believed there was more to life.

I wanted to wake up a lot more excited than I was.

So, I quit on a whim. I gave myself time and space to figure out what I want to do, and found my love for art. I again began experimenting, I tried a whole bunch of mediums from hand lettering to water colours to bath products, I tried it all. I realised I loved working with my hands. I found the joy and connect I sought.

And on one glorious day, I found fluid art. It wasn’t popular in India back then but was going viral globally. I then googled resin, found the BohriAli website, bought my first pack and something just clicked. I had no technique, I had no information so I did all things you aren’t supposed to do and made what I believe is the the ugliest piece of art.

Despite it all, I realised that I loved working with it. One year later, the material continued to bring me joy.

An important question I had to ask myself as my role as an artist expanded to that of an entrepreneur, was that is my art good enough to sell? I questioned its worth in terms of finish, quality and value. Arguably, I got in my head, and the idea of saying “yes my art is up for sale” made me fairly uncomfortable. However, one day, I added DM to buy in my caption- and that was that.

As a small business owner, especially in the handmade/art space, I have realised that customers are buying from person as much as buying from brand. It is imperative to show your audience what you stand for, show your technique and help them get to know you better.

Put your face out there, talk to camera – it is essential for building a community for your small business.

My biggest mistake in my journey would be to lose my own sense of individuality. I started creating products that everyone was making. I created home decor, like everyone else. It was later I discovered my love for jewellery, my love for colour. I still feel incredibly passionate about the products I sell.

I wholeheartedly love everything I create!

About the Author: Krishna Tolia

Krishna Tolia studied business from MMK in Mumbai Despite not having any formal training, Krishna managed to find her passion with resin art. She is the founder of brand “Krishna Tolia”, where she has managed to build a community of over 7500 people (and counting!). She specialises in creating colourful, quirky jewellery.

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