Quitting a job and starting your own business doesn’t always require a big business idea and a lot of investment. The art and skill of the hands also works wonders many times. Born in a lower middle class family in Pune, in Pooja’s house, for many generations, no one ever thought of leaving Chakri and doing his work. Not even Pooja herself, but she had magic in her hands. He made such beautiful figures on paper with colored pens, wrote the words with such elegance and art that the eyes would be deceived. It looks like it’s not written, it’s printed. That skill alone turned into a business idea one day and started Ink N Bliss.
Ink N Bliss is a calligraphy and design studio, started in 2017. Calligraphy is an art form where words are shaped into beautiful shapes on paper with colored pens. It is used in everything from card printing to posters, videos, films and all kinds of advertising. Calligraphy is done not only on paper, but also on plastic, glass, ceramics, etc. Today Pooja has many regular customers and new ones are coming in continuously. A startup started with zero investment has become a very profitable business in 5 years.
girl drawing on paper autumn sari
Pooja was born in 1988 in a lower middle class family in Pune. The father was a clerk in a government office and the mother was a housewife. But seeing the economic situation of the house, the mother used to work on saree to fall, blouse and clothes for the little children. A plain transparent paper comes in the Sari Fall package. Mom would open the package and take out the fall and Pooja would paint the remaining paper with her pencil and wax paint. Different types of images and shapes. Seeing these beautiful figures, everyone would be filled with pleasant surprise, even praise, but in the end the question that is asked to every child is: “What happened to the homework? Enough painting, now go study.
Pooja was also good in studies so family members never stopped her from taking pictures. When he grew up a little more, after a little stubbornness, after a little persuasion, he also found a sketchbook with watercolor, sketch color and beautiful white pages. Pooja used to copy the cartoons, pictures of heroines from newspapers. There was no scrambling to take pictures all the time, but there wasn’t much enthusiasm either. Pooja laughs and says, “It was a relief for the family that at least the walls of the house were left of my painting.”
I don’t want to study science, I want to go to art college
If 86% marks reached in 10th, the family members expected the daughter to become a doctor-engineer. But the daughter announced that she would go to art college. The mother showed some displeasure, expressed concern. What career is learning painting? Uncle had also worn the form of Science College. Even father had not seen much of the world. He was not aware of the new modern career options. But he said softly to the mother, “Let me do what I want.”
Pooja was admitted to the prestigious Abhinav College of Arts in Pune after class 10 in 2005. She was happy because she was doing her will. The mother was still worried because the girl was taking pictures day and night at home. All the relatives and guests who come to the house, watching Pooja paint, ask the same question: “Will this work have money?”
After some time, the mother’s anxiety and Puja’s frustration also started to rise, but she laughs and says, “Among the questions and teasing of the relatives, only one thing saved me. My family thought I was a girl. Even if nothing happens in career, marriage will happen.” Pooja says, “Even today in our society, a girl’s career is optional. It’s not a necessity.”
studied art and got a job in the company
After leaving Art College, Pooja worked in an advertising agency. The money was good, but there was no interest in the work. In the art that had to be done in the name of advertising, the machine played a greater role than the brush, the pen and the colors. As if the miracle was not from the hands, eyes and brain of man, but from the artificial intelligence of the machine. Pooja bounced from one advertising agency to another, but the creative bliss she was looking for was not fulfilled.
Businesses changed, money increased, while the city also changed, but the mind became more depressed and restless than before. Meanwhile, Pooja also got married to a classmate from her college. They both came to Mumbai from Pune and started living. Here Pooja became the Art Director of a large advertising agency called DDB Mudra. But now this question began to worry more than before the corporate job would have been devoured. You have to save yourself.
To give some relaxation to the mechanical life of the company, Pooja used to do calligraphy in her diary late at night. A beautiful quote, a poem, a poem or an excerpt from a book. That diary was a piece of art in itself. Once someone in the office saw that newspaper. Surprise and happiness know no bounds. The news spread like wildfire throughout the office. Now people were coming to Pooja’s desk to see that newspaper.
first calligraphic work
The first calligraphic commission was a fluke. A colleague in the office asked, “Tomorrow is a holiday. An event is happening in Mumbai. They need a calligrapher. Some names need to be written on the candles. Will you do it?”
Pooja said yes and reached the event venue the next day. Upon arrival, it turned out to be an event by the famous Spanish fashion brand Massimo Dutti. His new store was opened. There, on a large round table, candles of different colors were kept. All Pooja had to do was write the name of each guest who came to that candle. The grace and beauty with which Pooja was writing people’s names on those candles with her long delicate fingers in Saloni’s palms captivated the guests. Now he was more interested in how much his name was engraved on the candle than his gift.
Pooja wrote names on 200 candles that night. By the end of the night, my fingers were numb, but there was a strange joy and peace in my mind. The afternoon went very well. But he felt even better when, after the event was over, he had a paycheck in his hand. In one night, Pooja had earned as much money as her monthly salary at that time.
Pooja had found her way. This was what I had to do. Your mind, your pleasure.
Start of Ink and Bliss
It was a night in 2016 and just a year later, she had quit her job and started Pooja Ink & Bliss. There was still fear whether survival would be possible this way or not. There is some guarantee at work. At the end of the month, a bandhi-bandhai salary comes. What is the point of this work? When it came, it came a lot, if it didn’t come, there was complete silence. But Pooja was determined to take the risk by saving money worth spending for the next four months.
It started with creating your Instagram page. He started publishing his work on this page. They started talking about talent. Things started to spread. Small calligraphy tasks started coming to Pooja. Someone had to write a birthday card for his girlfriend, someone had to write a note about his father’s retirement. Gradually, individual clients became large corporate clients. Bulk orders started coming in. Sometimes an order of 500 cards would arrive at once. So much work started that Pooja had to hire other calligraphers.
Today Ink & Bliss has its own website. Now their work is done more systematically. There is a structured price list on the website. How many words how much money? Pooja is also designing book covers, product headers, names etc. He has set up a small studio at home. Soon the work is likely to increase so much that it will be difficult to manage from the home studio.
Talking to Pooja, she doesn’t seem to have any business skills. Simplicity in words and honesty in the eyes. Happiness comes from working with your hands. While narrating her story, Pooja says at one place that it wasn’t just about painting, it was about painting. It was about the relationship of the mind with the hands and fingers. From a young age I saw my mother working with my hands. Saree fall, sewing baby clothes, blouses. His hands and fingers had a very intimate relationship with the needle, the thread. How they both follow each other’s instructions. There is a lot of work, there is also a lot of money in a lot of work, but the question of manual labor is different. It’s like meditation. This is happiness.