By Phebe 11/21/2017 4:58 PM Comments

This week, Vidya Kumaresan shares a chair at the Hazel office for a festival collaboration with the sister company MadCap. Vidya is a talented designer and a budding entrepreneur who runs The Wishing Ink - a place where one can get customised presents and cards for their loved ones or themselves. 

Over a cup of hot tea, she recollects her journey and shares her answers to some questions.

Vidya at the MadCap/Hazel Office

How did it all start?

I quit my professional job to pursue something different. I asked myself “what do I want to do?”, a question that would later lead me on to unearth a passion for creativity. During my college days I had started designing greeting cards which was just a hobby at the time. I posted photos of that on Facebook - and that’s where it all began; I started getting more requests for cards made and designed by me.

Once I began giving a serious thought to pursuing it as a profession though, I didn’t have a clear idea where to start. I told my parents the idea, and they supported it. I initially named it ‘Vidya Designs’ when I thought I’ll be designing for friends and family. But as the requests began to expand I realised that there is so much potential and such wide audience for personalised, handmade designs. That’s how The Wishing Ink was born.

 

Why the name “The Wishing Ink”?

I focused on the two major aspects of my brainchild: who I made it for and what I was making them out of. People show their love of celebration by wishing each other, be it a birthday, anniversary or festival days. There I found the first part of my brand’s name - it would always be aligned toward the purpose of wishing. ‘Ink’ is because that’s the medium I use majorly for any sort of work. From there, the name fell together.

 Why am I doing this? My clients send in their orders to either make someone feel special or to send a priceless gift to their loved ones.

 

How did you brand and promote your works? Is there a plan for future products?

 Being a graphic designer, I started branding myself - I made the logo, took the orders, organised schedules, framed the artwork and packed the goodies myself! It was overwhelming at the beginning, but I wasn’t exhausted. I loved every part of it. I was a one-woman army, doing everything from scratch.

 I found a local dealer later on to help me with certain parts of the process in the finishing stages. I still pack the posters and other orders myself, for I feel the importance of connecting with my clients in a personal way. I want them to know that there was a lot of care and thought put into the gift they get for their loved ones.

 Five months from when I started, the response was unreal and unexpected! I started getting words of appreciation from people I didn’t even know, got more followers on IG by the day, and more clients! It was a truly welcoming response. The Wishing Ink grew from friends and family to friends of friends, and complete strangers who shower love and appreciation. 

 I wasn’t aware of the business potential that Instagram had. It was solely a self-entertained research, and unlike Facebook where you have to pay for every promotion, Instagram was doing my job for me - finding the right audience and keeping me updated on trends; all I had to do was post pictures of my work. On the side, I was doing painting and exploring more art forms. I use a third party e-sale platform called Instamojo from which customers can easily purchase or make special orders.

 Now, I’m planning to expand the base by introducing printed designs. They would still be as special as the handmade ones, and the option to customise the designs will always be available. I’m planning to introduce printed greeting cards, badges, A4 posters and in the line of handmade ones, wedding stationery. 

 

I am a person who adores handmade products. I believe that the future will be filled with handmade stuff. They also feel very special. 

 

What were some challenges you faced when you ventured out on this business?

 The main challenge was couriering my orders and finding the right art products. In this field, certain materials that are perfect for the job cannot be sourced locally and I was depending on foreign friends to get them for me. The waiting period would be very long sometimes. With the couriers, there was a lot of mishandling of framed artwork in the earlier stages. But my clients were all understanding and supportive and mine being a small business couldn’t get someone to manufacture the frames for me as I wasn’t ordering in bulk. Then, some of my friends suggested I use UPack, which makes delicate and lovely cardboard boxes in small amounts. I still use it to this day, and there have been no issues.  

 

How would you define your relationship with clients?

I always show the client my work before I gain working on their order. I’ll make sure they know what colours I’m going to use, and a rough layout of how the result would look. They are continually in touch with the whole process, so one can see why it makes the gifted feel special - because it reflects the nature of the gifter. 

 Every order works its magic in a 3-fold way: The one who places the order is filled with excitement, I get to live through the mounds of creativity behind the making process and the one who receives the order get to experience the joy of ownership!

 I spend an average of 30 minutes a day on building my page. I also make sure I’m in touch with all my followers, and I make time to respond to all their messages. 

 


Vidya makes personalised artwork (of all sizes, framed/unframed), posters, bookmarks and wishing cards. To follow her, visit @thewishingink on Instagram and Facebook. 

 

Share with us your experience in Lettering and what makes it so successful!

 Lettering began as an experiment following Insta posts. I had no idea that I had a knack for lettering, and initially it was quite the horror. I gave up after a while. However, I couldn’t let go of the beautifully writ craft, so I kept a close eye on such posts. I understood and learnt the various materials, tools, and techniques. After months, I came across these practice sheets and then decided to give it another try. This time, as I patiently practiced from scratch, I got the hang of it and as time passed, I invented my own style of lettering. Currently, some of my friends and I are planning to start an online platform where indian lettering enthusiasts can quench their spirits.

 I’ve been asked many times to conduct a workshop on brush lettering, but I wasn’t ready. When MadCap’s CEO approached me, I was a little more confident and I’m happy that he asked me to do this. As for December 3, I’m quite excited. My followers are too, and everyday they encourage me. Their words make my day. I’m humbled by the overall experience, and can’t wait to share the joy with the participants come December. 

 

 What experience would you like to give the participants of the Workshop?

 I had a lot of mixed experience and used up a lot of precious time learning. I’m going to try and reduce that time by focusing on the plain necessities and techniques like upstrokes and downstrokes, and different kinds of fonts paired with brush tips and angles.

  My experiences have made me what I am. If there was one piece of advice I’d give someone about brush lettering, it’s this: “Don’t assume that certain quality finishes can only be achieved with super expensive art tools. A beautiful and expressive artwork can be created using the cheaper materials too. It’s all in the hands of the holder”.

 

Vidya is currently working on a 40-page workbook for the workshop participants, and she is open to sharing her thoughts on creating a business in the world of brush lettering.

To register for her upcoming workshop, visit this link : http://bit.ly/2yguy6G  
or contact 
Gokulraj GK:  +91 9176808449 or send an e-mail to info@mycopie.com

To read MadCap's blog on the workshop, http://bit.ly/2zJSJvC
 

 

 

All pictures courtesy of The Wishing Ink, and Madcap 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

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