These 15-year-olds have made Rs 3.75 lakh by helping undiscovered artists showcase and sell their works
Entrepreneurs are getting younger by the day, and their novel ideas and concepts are disrupting the industry.
Meet the two teenagers, Sanaa Beriwali and Aarushi Barai, who are part of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) and are running a profitable business.
These 15-year-old students from Mumbai’s Dhirubhai Ambani International School, have founded T.Art, a platform that discovers unknown artists, especially children with disabilities, help showcase their talent at exhibitions and galleries, and bring in money for their efforts.
A passion for art
T.Art, a portmanteau of Teenage Art, was born out of their shared love for art, the young founders say.
“We noticed many teens with artistic abilities and talent are not discovered. From several trips to NGOs like Jai Vakeel and Omkar, we realised that several children with disabilities are extremely creative and passionate about their art. This deserves to be recognised and rewarded. But they do not have any platform to showcase their talent.. hence, we thought of starting T.Art in 2018,” Sanaa says.
The duo collects paintings from several undiscovered artists, who they say are “afraid or insecure to showcase their work”.
“There are so many amateur artists who just leave their artwork lying around as they don’t know what to do with it. We also source from artists who do not have the resources and infrastructure to showcase their artwork – young teenagers or school children with a zest and passion for their art, and of course children with disabilities who are blessed with great talent,” Aarushi says.
Keeping the spirit alive
T.Art hosts exhibitions and private viewings showcasing the artists’ best artworks for the public. It gives back the proceeds to NGOs to help fund and encourage art programmes and keep the spirit of art alive in the children.
As with other entrepreneur ventures from students of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, T.Art also began with the help of mentors.
“We had no idea what business we would start when we joined YEA! They helped us identify this passion for art within us through creative brainstorming sessions on our hobbies, interests, and problems that we felt strongly about,” Sanaa says.
Thinking out of the box
The duo built the company over the course of around six-seven months with lessons on running and setting up a business.
“The various speakers and field trips at YEA! inspired us to push ourselves and think out of the box. They supported and helped with the smallest of things, were brutally honest if they didn’t like something (which helped us), and much more. I don’t think we would have received such support and help from any other avenue,” Sanaa adds.
T.Art got its big break when the duo sold a large number of paintings at a trade show organised by YEA!. This beginning led to more orders. So far, they have made Rs 3.75 lakhs in sales.
“We are sure that this is just the beginning. We have a long way to go. Managing the business and studies at the same time is not easy, but we are a team of two and work really well together,” Aarushi says.
While Sanaa manages sourcing and curating, Aarushi looks after delivery and manages the finances.
For both of them, entrepreneurship is a big high.
“Being able to let our ideas flow and really put our heart and soul into our work is something that comes with being an entrepreneur. Also, the power to impact lives positively is so gratifying. Every piece of art sold brings so much joy to the artist as they know there is someone out there who appreciates their art. The look on their faces when we share the news of sales is a big reward for us.”
Inspired to do more
Working with children with disabilities has also given them a different perspective to life.
“Working with them has been incredible. We’ve also volunteered with them at several art fairs where we help them paint and draw. Seeing the smiles on their faces when people praise them truly inspires us to do more,” Aarushi says.
The founders now plan to create a social media page to increase reach and awareness, and also organise more exhibitions.
“We are also looking forward to setting up a website so customers can easily access the paintings. We want this website to also be a forum for our young artists to connect with senior artists and receive guidance and feedback," Sanaa says.
The young founders hope "we can get a few professional artists on board as mentors. We plan to connect with various art galleries, hotels, and architects so as to give more opportunities to our budding artists”.
(Edited by Apoorva Puranik)