Juan Montoya says,
“A room should never allow the eye to settle in one place. It should smile at you and create fantasy.”
In our #MondayMotivation blog focusing on the #WonderWomen segment, we present a woman who dons many roles, like a decor enthusiast, a gardener, and a blogger. Meet, Neha Agarwal, a business analyst turned homemaker, a hands-on mother of two, and an entrepreneur (founder of Art by Armaya)
What made her quit her day job and how did she end up being a blogger and an entrepreneur? Let’s find out in her own words.
“I’m proud to introduce myself as a business analyst turned homemaker, a 24*7 mother of two and now an entrepreneur as well. I create mosaic decor and utilitarian products for homes. The range of these products includes handcrafted mosaic wall plaques, mirrors, trays, trivets, coasters, name plates and much more. I have recently also started curating brass and carved wooden artefacts for my brand Art by Armaya. I am a decor enthusiast, an amateur gardener, and a blogger.
An innocent and absolutely basic mosaic workshop years ago got me hooked to this art. I wanted to learn this seriously and pursue this as a hobby but didn’t get any help from a couple of studios I approached who were already into this field. So, I decided to self-learn from YouTube videos online and so far, it’s worked. I made a few mosaic plaques more than 3 years ago out of boredom when I was expecting my little daughter, where I set a screen-printed tile in the centre with vitreous tiles all around and styled them in my balcony garden. And I got so many queries from people all over asking me whether I could make those plaques for them too. Of course, I was to go on the maternity break soon, so I didn’t agree.
A year later, I revisited the idea and started looking for someone who could make wooden frames for me as I didn’t like the polyester frames. And then a couple of years ago, I met a professional DIYer who understood the requirement and agreed to be a part of this small business venture. So, currently, it’s just a two-member team.
As my background was completely different, first as a business analyst and then as a homemaker, it was a long and slow learning process in the field of mosaic art and home décor. The biggest hurdle I faced was that people weren’t willing to share their knowledge on mosaic. I had no option but to turn to YouTube to learn glass-scoring and cutting, by myself. The second point of struggle, which is even evident now is that we haven’t been able to scale up exponentially. Since everything is custom made and I always give my customers the option of choosing the tile designs for their plaques, it ends up being a time-consuming activity.
Many times, people change their choices midway through the project. Also, I have realised over time, that people here don’t realise the amount of effort that goes into making a particular mosaic product. I have lost the count of the number of times I got my fingers sliced open while scoring and cutting tiles and even while grouting. So, price points are a sensitive subject here. And I try to address them very logically to all my customers.
The turning point was when I started sharing my work on Instagram two years ago. There’s been no looking back ever since. Almost 99.9% of my sales come through the various social media platforms where my art products are posted on a regular basis. My biggest motivators are my husband and my Mom, and also of course my two kids. Armaya is named after them, Arjun and Amaya. You wouldn’t believe, most of the times, these two creative geniuses help me decide the colour combinations too!
As a woman, my responsibilities never end. I am a multitasker, and in between juggling the kids’ schools, their extracurricular classes, and home affairs, I make sure to take out time for my passion and work. I am restless by nature and I always need to work on something to keep myself busy, whether it’s mosaicking, gardening or blogging.
So, my learning is
“Always work on your passion as if you own it and work towards realising it.”
You can drop in a message to Neha, have a look at her beautiful products, or even order one for your home/office, via the links below: