This Woman Entrepreneur’s Home Decor Platform Lets Hidden Artists Monetize Their Work

forty one years old Pankhuri Gandotra admit to being a workaholic. She likes to be productive, hard working and passionate. However, after fifteen years of being a technician, the monotony crept in and Pankhuri no longer felt challenged at work.

Pankhuri then took a bold step and quit a steady job at age 37, as she decided to take the plunge into entrepreneurship by founding a home decor brand. write on the wall in 2018.

The entrepreneur is now tapping India’s online home decor market, which is expected to grow by $3.75 billion between 2021 and 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.24%, according to MarketResearch.com .

Startup

Getting started, however, was not so simple. To build something on her own, at first, Pankhuri and her brother started looking for new and upcoming businesses. They noted that dropshipping was all the rage in the United States.

With little initial investment focused solely on marketing, drop shipping has allowed businesses to thrive without maintaining a lot of stock and inventory. For Pankhuri, the idea seemed promising given what she had in mind – tapping into the talents of hidden artists and painters whose works were notable but barely reaching the market.

With Writing on the Wall, Pankhuri wanted to find a way to provide market access and a clientele for these artists.

Hidden talents

Incidentally, the first artist she worked with was a housewife and distant relative who had returned to painting after years of tending to her children’s needs and household chores. “It was fun for both of us to see how they would sell,” Pankhuri says.

Motivated by the success she tasted in the first two months, Pankhuri was inspired to adopt professional skills to do even better. She learned all about Facebook and Google Ads marketing, and worked hard to get the brand exposure and positioning right.

“It was actually fun to meet so many people because I feel like I have an artistic challenge. I can’t draw but I can sell. So I can at least use my skills to help those who have the artistic gift,” she said. tells HerStory.

Having worked with around 12 artists so far, Pankhuri says most of them are housewives, including two mothers of autistic children. Pankhuri relies on social media platforms and her network of friends and family to spread the word and connect with people who paint as a hobby.

“Most housewives who paint have a lot of paintings lying around and don’t know how to sell them,” she adds. Most of them are monetizing their work for the first time with the help of Write on the wall.

Specializing in wall decor products, the platform selects artists who have a collection of products to sell and chooses different types of artwork based on engagement and customer data on its website. In addition to tableware and furniture, its most popular wall decor items include large wall clocks, abstract wall hangings, and different kinds of paintings.

While abstract art is the most popular choice based on data, the platform tries to maintain a variety of options so there’s something for everyone.

Artists have complete autonomy to decide the price and are not charged for showing or a commission on the sale, and Writings on the Wall earns by taking a markup – beyond the artist’s price.

In addition to tableware and furniture, its most popular wall decor items include large wall clocks, abstract wall hangings, and various kinds of paintings.

Scaling up as a home decor brand

Started so far, Pankhuri now has a mission to create a holistic home decor brand and stand out with unique paintings and products by reaching out to different communities like rural artisans and housewives. Currently, she reaches out to people who promote rural art because “it will help my brand stand out,” she says.

Started with an initial investment of Rs 3 lakh, the platform became profitable in the first year of operation and recorded a total revenue of Rs 2 crore in the last three years including the peak period of the pandemic.

Although COVID-19 slowed business, Pankhuri made sure her five-person team received salaries on time and the business remained self-sufficient, she says. In July 2021, when the second wave began to wane and logistical issues began to settle, demand picked up.

Pankhuri now wants to create a complete home decor solution in both B2B and B2C markets by exploring online and retail markets. Over the coming year, she aims to achieve 10X revenue.

Being a “female” entrepreneur

Pankhuri is no stranger to gender stereotypes, especially as a single woman in her 40s with robust career growth.

She laughs as she recounts how vendors would tell her, “Sir se baat karenge (We’ll talk to the gentleman.)”

While Pankhuri makes sure to present herself as a strong person from the start, she says, “You can’t change someone’s thought process instantly, but you can choose to go your own way and not be bothered. by these things.”

To aspiring female entrepreneurs, she advises that if you really want to do something, static factors like age, gender and status don’t matter. “But be very clear where you’re headed,” she said.

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