Entrepreneurship opens the door to endless opportunities where passion can be turned into reality. Jaya Aiyar, the Founder of Créatif, also wanted to pursue her love for art and turn it into a unique family-friendly art studio business. Jaya is an electrical engineer with an MS in project management. Her academics led her on a conventional corporate career path. Family is a priority for her, so when her kids were young, she took some time off from work to fulfill her responsibilities towards them. “I have always been an independent thinker with a strong desire to establish myself as an entrepreneur and a creative visionary, “shares Jaya. A corporate job wasn’t fulfilling this desire. Thus, her kids and love for arts became the primary reasons for her inclination to start a family-friendly art studio business.
The First Step towards Entrepreneurship
During her research, Jaya didn’t find the adult-centric paint and sip model, a traditional pottery place, or an art class concept, impressive or exciting. “As I started to delve deeper into the vision for my art studio business concept, the pieces started getting clearer,” adds Jaya. An aesthetically crafted studio with an inspiring interior and ambience offering interesting bits for people of all ages and bringing out the creative best in everyone ticked all the right boxes for her. Keeping these ideas as her building blocks, Jaya started putting the concept together.
Jaya wanted to incorporate one more thing into her venture: infuse art with technology. She remarks, “As I researched more into it, I couldn’t find any art studio concepts that incorporated technology as part of their customer experience.” This led to a revelation for Jaya. An art studio mixed with technology enhancing customer experience presented an untapped opportunity waiting to be explored. Jaya took this opportunity with both hands and incepted Créatif.
Créatif: The Future of Art Studio Experience
Créatif is a modern, tech-savvy Art Studio offering an immersive customer experience. The studio has been designed to appeal to kids and adults alike, and the ArtPad app provides art lessons to create a unique masterpiece. “At Créatif, we understand that everyone loves art. So, we’ve combined an inspiring studio environment with a wide selection of items & services to create a unique, exciting, and engaging space!” asserts Jaya.
Under its umbrella of services, Créatif offers DIY walk-in & paint, paint parties, corporate events/team building, instructor-led painting workshops, art classes for preschoolers & toddlers, and kids summer camps. Jaya and her team have already transformed a traditional art studio into an exciting and experiential community destination by integrating Art with Technology.
Since its inception, Créatif has been bestowed with several awards and recognitions. Creatif won the international design:retail Spectrum awards in the hybrid retail segment, and was listed amongst some of the biggest retail brands in the world – Hershey’s Chocolate World, L’occitane En Provence, The Container Store, Sub Zero etc. NBC California Live’s segment covered Créatif and shared the ‘Anyone Can Paint’ philosophy of the studio with its viewers. Créatif was also featured in Design Retail and Diablo magazines. Jaya was also listed as one of the “50 Women of Wonder” in franchising, by the Franchise Dictionary magazine. This has been made possible through Jaya’s relentless pursuit for excellence and dedication towards Créatif.
Lessons Learned from the Past Experiences
There are times when even entrepreneurs get uncertain about venturing into new and unchartered areas. When Jaya started franchising, she sought the assistance of professionals who could promote and market Créatif in more effective ways instead of her. Sharing an important lesson learned from the past, Jaya mentions, “I quickly realized that no salesperson can present my brand better than ME, as this is my everyday life.”
Jaya also realized that prospective franchisees prefer to speak with the founder who understands the nuances and intricacies involved in running the business. Sales personnel can only pitch the company’s services and objectives. However, owners can share their mission, vision, and story behind starting the business. This first-hand knowledge holds more value than anything else in the world. Knowing this today, Jaya never doubts her capabilities and learning potential. “I can do it!” is her mantra for any new project or engagement.
“I’m the primary driver of our franchising program from shortlisting/qualifying the prospects—taking them through the discovery process and bringing them on board. Once they come on board, I support their journey from site selection to opening. I’m heavily involved in training as well,” explains Jaya. Being involved and aware of all aspects is Jaya’s way of keeping plans on track and maintaining high quality and ethical standards. “My team and partners are committed to our franchisees’ successful training and launch, and it keeps the franchising process running smoothly and efficiently,” adds Jaya.
As the CEO, Jaya’s leadership style is hands-on. She considers herself as a part of the team. She skilfully devotes her time supervising Créatif’s corporate location operations and managing location-specific tasks. “I’m well acquainted with all aspects of running a Créatif studio. This helps me see the positives and challenges that our team faces. I use this information to develop solutions that make our processes and operations more efficient,” remarks Jaya.
Jaya and her team moved all of Créatif’s services to a virtual platform during the pandemic. This online platform will continue to be a part of Créatif’s offering as a new revenue stream in the coming days. “I’m glad I had faith in the brand, my team, and myself, and here we are already on the way to opening our first franchise location in April 2022,” Jaya continues. With the expansion in newer territories, states, countries, and across various continents, the future looks bright and art-filled for Jaya and Créatif.
Words from the Wise
According to Jaya, franchising is not like a typical company expansion. The success of a franchise system depends entirely on the success of its franchise partners. Hence, it becomes essential to always keep that at the focus. Moreover, an entrepreneur needs to be fearless about an unknown task, take on the challenge, and learn. Learning allows us to grow. As a franchise brand starting out, the founders must take the time to evaluate all prospects & only bring the most assertive candidates on board. It is this process that will build a strong foundation for exponential growth. These are some crucial tips for those who wish to enter the franchising industry.
For More Info: https://www.creatif.com/