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JWB Meets Renu Dandiya: The Owner Of ‘Art & Craft’ Avocation Classes

  • JWB Post
  •  November 10, 2015

 

It’s Diwali! And what is Diwali without beautiful hand-painted creations which can adorn our homes and make them even prettier? Hence, we decided to give Renu Dandiya’s workshop a visit, to get some inspiration and a doze of creativity!

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‘Renu Dandiya’s  hobby classes’ is an established logotype. It  hardly needs any introduction and is evidently the most renowned avocation class in Jaipur. Quiling, paper mache, painting, etc. are just a chunk of her vast curriculum. Dancing, cooking, napkin folding, gift wrapping, rangoli making, rakhi making, card making, etc. are all present in her lineup.

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We visited her showroom and her adjoined workshop where all the magic took place! We were itching for an interview, and she enthusiastically obliged. Here are some snippets from our talk:

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JWB: What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture?

Renu: I completed my graduation in Home Science from Mumbai in the year 1981, but I was able to finish my final year only after being married. My family belongs to the business and professional domain and I am possibly the only one in the a creative field *laughs*. One could easily say, that my profession is a byproduct of my love for creativity. I cannot help but learn from new ideas. Any new article in the market, and the next thing you know I’m experimenting with it till late night already.

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However, the exact idea for business struck me when my realtives’ kids clocked-in to learn how to cook and paint, and my mother-in-law asked me to fix-up a time for them. And thus, I made this hobby as my profession!

 JWB: But, with the ongoing business, how are you able to juggle family and work?

Renu: Yes, it certainly gets challenging, since this field demands a lot of time and energy. I always make sure that my timings of work never clash with my time with the kids. Things used to get hectic but I always preferred to bring my children ‘on board.’  This helped them to get the knack and experience of working with different tools, paper mache, paints, etc. and also brush up their imagination and creative instincts. My family on the other hand has been also exceptionally supportive throughout my journey.

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JWB: How lucky! What is your approach to build-up the clientele? Any specific business-mantra?

Renu: As I already stated, my main motive isn’t profit–making.  My idea of a prosperous business is one where the customers feel content with what they receive. My fee structure is quite inexpensive. People with an eagerness to learn are always welcomed at ‘ Renu Dandiya’s’! *giggles* This way, the classes are accessible to a lot more people and hence, art as a whole gets promoted.

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 JWB:  You now there are certain people like us , who cannot even draw a potato properly! So, what about those people?

Renu: Well, almost everyone that comes here starts from ground zero. They are made to practice vigorously! 9-10 notebooks of mere circles and straight lines are a must! *laughs* I have students ranging from 3 to 80 years.  Most of them are amateurs. The canvas is the last landing place for the students.

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JWB:  How was art-scenario in Jaipur when you started your business back then?

Renu: I came to Jaipur after marriage and started working in the late 80’s. Jaipur back then was devoid of expertise in art and craft, there were hardly any avocation classes; further people weren’t very sure of ‘art’ as a line of work. So, it got very difficult for me. My family however was very supportive and my husband is a painter himself. So, we were able to work things out for the better. But if you look at Jaipur now, it has changed drastically, when it comes to creative arts. Nowadays, people have a burning curiosity for art. People want their children to explore new options and become versatile in every sphere of life. Craft as a career has started attracting a lot of students because of its extensive scope. My son himself has pursued a career in ceramic pottery.

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JWB: Even after being a Home-Science graduate, how do you seem to understand so much about business?

Renu: *laughs* Business has always been in my genes; well at least, my father was in the business domain. So, I was able to start, develop and expand my business quite smoothly.

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JWB: What piece of advice would you give to a budding entrepreneur?

Renu: I believe a rock-solid reputation coupled with honesty as the leading quality will take the business ahead. Maintaining the quality of service is a must, and I personally think that goodwill is more important than money. Publicity is the last thing I’d work for *laughs* and if you work hard you won’t need any!

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JWB: How does it feel to watch the children learn and grow?

Renu: The feeling of watching your students grow is inexpressible. Those children, who were at one time unable to draw circles properly, create masterpieces on the canvas today. I feel quite proud to be able to contribute towards their creative growth. It is not only their sense of imagination, creativity etc. that grows, but there is seen an overall development in the kid.  Feelings of accomplishment and a sense of satisfaction fills me.

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