Entrepreneurial Story of Lakshmi Subramanian who founded 64arts.in located in Bangalore India
- Lakshmi Subramanian Ayalur, Creative Manager and Proprietor, B. Arch with passion for Fine Arts, Music and Literature and also graphic art design
When Started: 03/07/2009
What motivated you to start your Business?
I was working for an Architectural practice for many years but felt a deep sense of dissatisfaction and decided to take a break and reverted back to painting oil on canvas and writing articles. During this sabbatical, I thought about an online art business venture as fine arts has always been my passion and I wished to do something in that line. I communicated with many artists both in Bangalore and Mumbai, art critics as well as other online art galleries to get an idea of how to approach selling affordable art as art in India as is still relegated to the background. It started off as an idea in 2008 and gradually developed itself and has gone through many changes to where it is today and continues to evolve.
Tell us about your Business
We are essentially an art design store selling affordable fine art canvas prints of famous painters like Raja Ravi Varma, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Oscar Monet, Da Vinci and others. We also deal with more traditional art methods of Kerala mural art paintings and Tanjore paintings.
We have since 2015 expanded into postcards, Creative Arts services where we create innovative memoirs, lyrics and poetry for loved ones.
We have a unique collection of Abstract art and Graphic artwork as well that has been the backdrop for a jazz concert at an Architectural Office opening in Bangalore.
Tell us what an average day in your life looks like.
We keep looking around to find creative partners to work with or collaborate on certain art design concepts to work out new products that will be both interesting and challenging to bring out new product lines and expand.
We work on improving our quality and range of products and the adrenaline rush of contributing to a previously untapped art design market in India is itself highly motivating. We keep introducing newer innovative product lines that keep us enthusiastic as well.
One particular skill you got right and gave you best results.
Always be ready to learn
What have been your biggest challenges in running your Business so far? How did you overcome these challenges?
Initially it is all about breaking even and surviving in an extremely competitive market as art in India is not considered to be very serious and selling fine art prints is considered a strict no-no by many serious art buyers.
But in India, people are looking to buy gifts for weddings, events, birthdays etc within a budget of Rs 100- Rs 1000 and fine art prints that we sell fit into that range. We have dealt with many first time home owners who have been simply delighted with their purchases and some have approached us only for interior layout consultation that we have provided for free.
Easy accessibility, transparency in transactions and competitive pricing has helped us grow since we started in 2008. We do a lot of pro-bono as well and most of our clients have recommended us to newer ones as we like to take a lot of time and effort to help them and guide them even to a competitor even if they may not buy anything from us.
One needs to be innovative, creative and offer a range of products at a competitive price. You need to offer product lines that are not easily available in the art design market in India or that have previously not been introduced to interested buyers.
What have you found the most effective way to get new clients?
One needs to show extraordinary patience and put in the time and effort to try to deliver or at least understand the client’s requirements. Efficient service and prompt replies have always resulted in new clients and older ones coming back to us for more.
Innovative product lines and creativity has kept clients engaged in our business.
What advice do you give to other business owners?
Patience, treat every client like he/she is very important even if they may not buy anything from you and always be ready to learn,
How did you keep motivated through difficult times?
One needs to believe in themselves and their own judgment and intuitive analysis to get through difficult times.
What are your Marketing, Funding, and Team Building Strategy?
We are always looking to build up collaborations with various design stores and come up with new creative lines of products.
We have recently collaborated with VIDA, a Google Ventures-backed fashion e-commerce platform where our Abstract Art collection gets transformed into beautiful fashion products like scarves, tops and dresses. http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/lakshmi-subramanian-ayalur
We have successfully grown since 2009 and built up our client base mainly through word of mouth and through our quality products and range of innovative and affordable creative artwork.
We now are having our Abstract artwork transformed into wearable fashion garments at http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/lakshmi-subramanian-ayalur
We have also successfully signed up with exclusive marketplaces so as to create a niche market for our affordable range of unique products.
What’s your favorite quote?
Wait and watch
Who inspires you?
Share your Business Philosophy?
The world needs more creative, courageous and strong-willed people to put an idea across and translate it into something. Hence, believe in yourself and your judgement and your intuition. As the saying goes, “Go with your gut”!