Brian O’Reilly says,
“Starting your own business isn’t for everyone, but for the right people it’s much better than climbing the corporate ladder”.
In our #WonderWomen segment for today’s #FridayFeature, we proudly present a businesswoman who changed the course of her professional life after many attempts but did not give up on her love for art. Meet, Entrepreneur, Homemaker and Artist, Priyanka Singh. What made her gather the courage to start something of her own? Let’s find out in her own words!
“I’ve donned quite a few professional hats before finally settling down with La Vie En Rose Design and focusing only on it. I have been an exhibiting artist before this, having exhibited my artwork in England and USA. Before this too, I have delved into entrepreneurship by launching another design-based company, but unfortunately, or rather, fortunately, that didn’t work out so well and had to be shelved.
I have also worked as a creative head and content creator for an Instagram page. In fact, it was this work which led me to the idea of starting my own business. Besides these, I also took on a temp job as an art teacher at a school. Irrespective of the place and profile though, whatever work I did and do now, I have continuously been involved in creating art by traveling around the world and working with some of the best people and artists. Somehow, I am of the belief that all of these factors combined with my own thirst to do something of my own, which I genuinely loved doing, fell into place and came together to motivate me for starting La vie en Rose Design. I had quite a flourishing career as an exhibiting artist, but things took a backseat when I had to come back to India because my dad wanted me to get married.
The first two years back to my homeland were struggling because I was so used to knowing how things worked in terms of Art world in other countries, however the answer on how to breakthrough into the Indian art scene was hard for my understanding. I tried getting jobs across various profiles like gallery manager, curator and even as an art teacher but nothing worked out and some even said I was ‘over-qualified’. Even with all my achievements and being a topper in college along with my abroad education and exhibiting experiences, it still wasn’t good enough for the Indian market. This phase was quite frustrating, but a friend recommended a temp job as an art teacher in a school. I took it up and three months at this job flew by in a breeze, having fun with the kids.
However, a turn in the personal phase of my life brought an end to this too. I got hitched and had to move to Gurgaon. By the time I had to say goodbye to the kids and the school, I got so many well wishes and goodbye cards that I was overwhelmed. Some of these kids send me good wishes and remember me even today, which is very motivating. After getting married, I did a group exhibition with my New York friends.
However, it soon hit me that managing both my married life and adjusting to the newly added responsibilities alongside my professional work, was hard and took a toll on my health too, so I decided to take a break from work. A special mention to my husband here who was very supportive during this period. It was during this sabbatical of sorts that I also got pregnant. Hence, my energies were shifted to taking care of my son. During this time though, I completely lost touch with my art and even with what was happening around artwork in the world. This meant my art needed to be upgraded in a different way and form and it took time for me to find what I could do with what I have.
I’m the kind of person for whom not doing anything is impossible and emptiness I felt inside me during my break from work, wasn’t letting me sit still. When I browsed through the Instagram feeds of my friends and others who had flourishing careers and knew exactly what they are supposed to do, it made me feel like I was getting sucked into a black hole. The fact that I’m prone to anxiety and depression made this struggle even more challenging as I tried hard to keep a hold of myself. However, the biggest challenge I needed to overcome was figuring out what to do with all my talent. I had no idea how to go about using all this pent-up creativity and give it an outlet. The breakthrough came when my sister started her business and wanted me to design her logo and further design posts and even the content for her social media page.
It was wonderful, it gave me something to do and it was easy to handle that much amount of work with being a new mother. The reviews my sister got on her page for the design, were unbelievable. People and her friends were full of compliments about the way her page looked and everybody all around said that the designs were amazing. After a year of doing this, I got the idea of designing stuff for myself and getting it printed on various products. Everything just fell into place after that. We started testing products, making sure they were of high quality. We were new at all this, but I felt like this is what I was supposed to do, because from day one itself we knew exactly what we want this business to be and how to go about it. The motto of our page is by women for women. This project and the company of ours is my sister’s and my brainchild. We named it La Vie En Rose Design because it means looking at the world through rose colored glasses and that’s how I look at the world; I see hope everywhere. The future plan as of now is to stick to what we are doing because we get lots of reviews and positive response for what we are creating which means we are going in the right direction. We are getting a lot of opportunities, but at this moment, we are taking it slow, one day at a time because we are still in development phase where basically everything is getting into a proper flow and our website, our office, logistics, etc, are all falling into place. My biggest motivation has been the voice in my heart and head that just kept pushing me. The other big motivators are my sister and husband who have pushed and helped me in this and even my mother, who has always been my biggest supporter.
My role model are women like my mother and sister and that’s why our business is women centric as well. My learning out of all my experiences is to keep doing something even if you can’t figure out what to do exactly. It is okay to change careers or modes in which we work, but the aim should be to keep exploring and to never give up, because somewhere along the way you will figure out some or other way to make your dreams come true.
My advice? Work hard, be persistent in what you are doing but also keep learning new skills along the way, because the key is to work with the times and be aware of what’s happening around you; keep yourself updated because you can’t live in a shell and expect miracles.
To know about Priyanka’s artistic and creative streaks, you can have a look at her amazing products (and even buy one or two for yourself) by following the below links: