Have you ever felt the power of influence of someone you can relate to, can have your life? They make you see that you have the potential to reach somewhere you have never imagined yourself to be, doing tasks that you never dared to do, and achieving what they call the purpose of your life. Here is a woman running a business and at the same time and proving wrong those who feel that for women, being an entrepreneur is not their cup of tea.
In conversation with Minu Mathew, founder of ART-ery who apart from running her successful business and her job as a Business and Social Media Marketing Consultant, also acts as a guide for women entrepreneurs, with her online communities.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m an Entrepreneur – founder of ART-ery – an Ecommerce business in Jewelry & Accessories that has been in business since 2015. I am also a Business & Social Media Marketing Consultant, and I work with entrepreneurs who want to launch and grow their businesses online. I also run 2 online communities. The first is Girl Boss Going Places, an 850-strong community of Women Entrepreneurs from all over the country. And the second is The True Tribe, with more than 5000 women from all over the world.
What inspired you to begin ART-ery? What is it about and what is the story behind it?
ART-ery is about giving every woman, no matter what her background, the ability to express herself with a work of art. It’s also about bringing these works of art from all over the world, and in the process building sustainable livelihood for the artisans behind the work. Fashion and Jewelry at the time ART-ery started, did not fulfill both. Products and styles were catering to very stereotypical profiles of women, and most of the products were mass-produced commercially.
I was inspired to start this business in my travels. I found jewelry that was unique and also could be matched to contemporary styles. And my background in Fashion Designing & Merchandising, as well as my work experience in Fashion and Luxury Retail, helped me.
Tell us about Girl Boss Going Places? What made you start such a community?
Girl Boss Going Places started when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Businesses were crashing every day, and small & medium women entrepreneurs were struggling to make ends meet. At this time, I felt that there was a spirit of collaboration over competition because the pandemic did not spare anyone. That’s what got me to start the community. Girl Boss Going Places not just brought women entrepreneurs together to support each other but also became a source of learning, mentorship, and knowledge-sharing, which we all had the time for as we weren’t stuck in our usual daily operational grind. The community grew well, and today it is buzzing with engagement – with 850 women business owners who learn, support, and collaborate every day.
How did you begin your journey as a coach and influencer? How has it impacted you as an individual?
I built my business without any B-school education, external funding, or mentors. And I built it as a digital-first business, without going the traditional route followed by most retail businesses. At the time, I had to teach myself everything, and rely on online courses, which I devoured. Today, at the stage of my business and my profession, I feel the need to guide women, so that they can build their businesses faster and smarter. There’s a lot of knowledge out there, but finding what is relevant for your business is the challenge. This is where I come in as a coach and guide. As for being an influencer, the influence I build is the one I want to have on those who follow me – thus I work hard every day to post quality content, that can inspire, motivate, enlighten or guide my audience towards achieving their goals. As an individual, this has been very fulfilling and a journey of great growth for me. Being a Coach requires me to always be up to date, and continuously learn, and this in turn helps me both as an entrepreneur and a person.
What would be the biggest advice you’d give to all the women entrepreneurs out there who are just starting out?
Starting something of your own is a process in which you will be filled with doubt, fear, and anxiety. And perhaps what you hear from others would compound these feelings. What’s important is that you normalize these and not consider yourself lacking or a failure because you feel all this. Every entrepreneur faces this, in varying degrees. It’s important to understand that it’s ok and part of the process and the results that follow you overcoming these feelings are worth the effort and the patience that the feelings demand of you.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
I believe in an early start, to take in the peace of early dawn. I always begin with a series of affirmations and a review of my long-term and short-term goals. It’s important to motivate yourself, affirm your desires, and then look at your goals through this positive lens. I then move on to some exercise, which invigorates me. I then review my to-do list over a hot cup of coffee and then it’s time for a healthy breakfast. After breakfast and some clearing up, my business day begins. I review my emails and messages and spend the first half of the day creating content. Lunch is happy food, and after that, I do some light research or learning. If I feel like taking a short nap, I do so. The latter part of the day usually has consultation calls scheduled with my clients or a webinar/group coaching. The late evening is spent on organizing work, dinner, and some chores. Before I sleep, I prepare my to-do list for the next day, and I read a book till I fall asleep.
What are your goals for the future? Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Growing my communities and reaching out to as many more women entrepreneurs as possible is my most important goal. At the same time, I am currently working on expanding my business to other countries. We already have clients all over the world, but there can be improvements in the way we cater to them. I’m also working on entering new categories and expanding our collections. Additionally, on the Business consulting side, I’m also working on building focused courses for aspiring and active entrepreneurs that can help them use digital media and tools to grow in a lean, rapid, and smart manner. And 5 years from now, I will have implemented all of this and be looking at the next stage
Role Model: Sarah Blakely
Favorite Holiday Destination: Thailand
Favorite Book: The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
Favorite Hobby: CookingYour go-to quote: “A little progress each day adds up to big results”
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