Stressed out by her professional pursuits, Shweta Kokra, a professional hypnotherapist and counsellor, quit her job in 2017 and decided to be a stay-at-home mother. “Hypnotherapy uses a lot of your energy and you have to devote plenty of time to clients. So I took a break. But during the pandemic-induced lockdown, I had enough time on my hands. It helps that my son is three now. While scrolling through Instagram, I came across interesting reels on alcohol ink art, and it fascinated me,” she says.
With an inclination towards fine arts since childhood, Kokra started researching by watching a number of videos online. She later purchased the raw material and explored the art of alcohol ink independently. Currently, her online venture named Handmade With Love by Shweta Kokra— through which she creates and sells hand-painted mugs and name boards, photo frames, coasters, among other customisable items—has fulfilled over 450 orders since its February launch. “It started as a hobby. When my family and friends saw the articles I crafted, they appreciated it a lot and also placed orders,” adds Kokra. The appreciation she received helped her pivot and become an entrepreneur. She now works from her home in Punjabi Bagh.
An early investment of Rs 20,000 from her savings helped Kokra get the ball rolling, and she never looked back. While her best-selling handmade mugs are priced at Rs 1,000, the name boards are Rs 2,000 each.“I try to work on my venture about three to four hours a day. This way, I can strike a balance between working and being a mother and a wife. Moreover, my mother-in-law and co-sister are very supportive; they look after the home and my baby, giving me time and space to work in case the order load increases,” she adds.
Despite competition in the online market, she makes sure her ideas are refreshing and her work is unique. “My emphasis is on quality. Now, people reach out to me to learn the art so I organise online workshops for those who are interested. I also give them ideas on how to start their business.”On September 26, she will be holding an online alcohol ink art workshop. “I announce it on my Instagram and then hold it on an online platform,” she concludes.