She mostly thinks outside the box, which has been one of the major criteria behind the success of her startup, Khyatiworks. Her art is her instinct and her vision is what is reflected in all Khyatiworks products. Khyatiworks comes from within her rather than an external source.
After completing her BE in computer science, Khyati Mehra Sharma moved on to fulfill her passion for art. She was driven by ingenuity and originality. If she paints a pair of shoes or necklace, it is unique, as it does not come from an external image, but from her inner artist. Another aspect behind her success is that her products are not bulk produced but rather created one piece at a time and there is something about each piece that cannot be replicated in bulk. Her mission is to transform as many daily use products as possible and give them a complete makeover.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Khyatiworks.com is a niche brand of merchandise created out of my artwork. I am a psychedelic artist and Khyatiworks’ products are either created out of images of my paintings or are hand painted psychedelic artworks in themselves. The wide range of products include hand painted shoes, jewelry, handmade coasters, table mats, some very quirky hair accessories, stationery, Fridge Magnets and the list goes on and on. To summarize, The USP of Khyatiworks lies in 2 things: One is the Art, it is not a design that is in vogue or a computer graphic. The second is the creative makeover that a daily use mundane product gets at Khyatiworks.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
I was always very sure that I didn’t want to simply exhibit my paintings in a gallery but instead put these lovely colors on merchandise and make them accessible to as many people. Somehow the idea of my art being assessed and appraised by a select few didn’t appeal to me. My colorful abstracts bring a splash of zing to any space, and I wanted that everyone should be able to acquire a piece by Khyatiworks. Khyatiworks is a niche brand, with each piece unique in itself as it is handcrafted and conceptualized by me. Most of the pieces, especially the handpainted ones like jewelry, bookmarks, magnets, wallets, paperweights are single unique pieces.
What is your life mantra?
To never have regrets! If I really want to do something but am scared that the outcome might not be what I expect or am just hesitant, I definitely go for it. That way I never have a regret that I didn’t even try. I make sure I break the shell.
Also, I always believe I am responsible for how I shape my life, circumstances and people are there but if I fail, I am to blame and no one else. This thought brings all the power to me and whatever the situation, my focus shifts on finding a solution rather than harping on the problem and blaming others for it.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Marketing the products and building credibility and faith takes time and is pretty challenging, for a startup everyone assumes that the brand could be short lived, they are unsure about the quality and general trust factor owing to the brand being new and it does take time and hard work to win their trust and build your Brand image.
How did you overcome those challenges?
I am still working towards it, reaching out to people. Exhibiting at the right places, making Khyatiworks merchandise available at the right outlets and at the same time spending the resources and my time on them optimally. You need to take chances, take risks – that is the only way out!
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
My corporate job is enough to support Khyatiworks at the moment if required, as all the raw material of Khyatiworks merchandise is imported from US and that is procured when I travel to US for my IT work. I travel to US for mostly for 3 months at a time and that is enough for me to do my research on the raw material and work on some new creative ideas.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
Not applicable to my venture, but on the corporate front I do feel there are 2 aspects which must be balanced to control attrition – one will be the money factor and the other is an individual’s growth. If a person is growing in the organization and is payed well, the attrition is automatically reduced.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
- Positive Attitude – It takes a lot of ‘falling flat on the ground’, disappointments and failures to finally reach where you want to. But all through your journey if you manage to get back up and try again no one can stop you.
- Open to feedback – We all think we are masters in our field but we sometimes miss out on critical points and strategies which can only be learnt when we have an open mind.
- Filter information – Do not waste your time on what others are doing, if there is something you can learn from it then of course you should but if it is of no use to you, just filter it out. People waste a lot of time comparing and looking at what others are doing, filter out relevant information and use your time productively.
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
My webstore is managed by StoreHippo.com and it has integrated shipping, payment gateway and some wonderful features. I mostly market through my Facebook page. I also have a Twitter and Instagram handle by the name ‘Khyatiworks’. Also I send regular mailers to Khyatiworks Subscribers with special discounts and offers.
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Finding time for what I love to do. Being in the corporate sector my schedule is really hectic at times but I still manage to find time for Khyatiworks. I am always working for Khyatiworks, I guess the reason being my love and passion for it. During a busy day at office I can always find half an hour to send a mail to a customer, or share a picture on my Facebook page, surf the net for some interesting ventures or ideas. At home also, I am either updating my webstore or processing orders or working on a new product line and that’s only possible because I manage to take out 10 minutes here, 30 mins there, take a break, finish some household chores and again get back to Khyatiworks.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I am too hard on myself I don’t take failures easily, I always bounce back but am very critical about why it didn’t work out.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
To focus more on your Brand’s USP instead of following what’s popular or what’s the current trend. Trends keep changing really quickly so instead of being a part of the rat race if your product is timeless and has that unique vibe, it will sail through all changes like a breeze and still hold the consumer’s attention.
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Living in the future, or waiting for ‘their’ time to come. You will need to take baby steps towards it otherwise that time will never come.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
That all the success stories we hear and read about and get inspired, are much more than the lifestyle they enjoy now. Now I know how much they must have worked for it. My perspective has changed, every success story hides behind it the relentless pursuit of their dreams, getting up on their feet after failing n number of times and that’s the biggest lesson for me.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
I plan to set up a Khyatiworks boutique in Bangalore. It will be more like a place to visit & experience than just a shopping store. I don’t wish to spread it across cities, I always see it as one single store created and designed by me with colors, art and creativity flowing all around. The store would house all the unique merchandise that we create. From a notebook to a piece of furniture, everything will be handcrafted and will have a story to tell. It will be different from its market counterparts, the way each piece will be made will make people happy – that’s what I envision!
The Store will also have a gallery section where I will put up my Artwork on display. When I meet people they always want to see the Original painting and it makes them relate to the product in a deeper sense. I never sell my Artwork ever, so with the Artwork on exhibit, people can buy an Art souvenir and then see the Original painting whose image was used to create that product.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
Nothing – No regrets!
What are your top three getaway destinations?
- Amritsar – My hometown – I miss it all the time!
- Jaipur – Love the colors, the culture and the architecture
- Paris – Would love to go there someday!
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Sometimes I ask myself, what would the honey badger do?”