When you set out to buy an art piece, you are not just buying a wall hanging, you always buy something that you can relate to, that you think is amalgamation of emotions that you are feeling, something that takes you on a journey.
But to find that one piece of art is often an uphill task. But we now have Eikowa to the rescue. Eikowa is an online art gallery, with a mission to make good art accessible to all who want to buy. Eikowa is inspired by the Greek word for image. The venture wants to paint a clear picture of the Indian art market for buyers.
The e-commerce venture was founded by Vaishnavi Murali , in 2015 and is based out of Bengaluru. Eikowa was meant to happen for Vaishnavi, because it is the perfect platform to marry her artistic spirit with her keen entrepreneurial sensibility.
Although she comes from a family of professionals, Vaishnavi was always keen to strike out on her own and started her first business at the age of 18. In her maiden venture, she sold sarees she designed and painted.
It was then that she discovered the joy of building a business from the ground up and making customers value her products. She quit the (successful) venture to pursue her studies, but with a promise to return to entrepreneurship.
Art work on Eikowa
Vaishnavi did her MBA from the prestigious Indian School of Business, and holds professional experience with retail luxury brands such as Jimmy Choo, Armani, Versace. All this equipped her with the tools for her next avatar as businesswoman. Vaishnavi says:
“Working in the retail industry exposed me to the nitty gritty of Indian luxury markets and allowed me to appreciate the underlying consumer psyche and pain points,”
As a painter herself and someone with a deep, abiding interest in art, she began to notice there were hardly any avenues for upcoming artists to showcase their work. And that it was extremely hard to buy art. And nowhere did these pain points seem more obvious to her than in the Indian art market.
These problems seemed worth solving for, so she researched the art market for a year and Eikowa was launched. Going the single founder way, Eikowa’s core team brings in the required skills and commitment required for a start-up.
Art work on Eikowa
Expressing her views about art, Vaishnavi says:
“India has a long tradition of loving and creating art, but to the new buyers procuring quality painting is hard. A crisp quote on prices and lucid information on art are difficult to come by. This often scares the common buyer away, and limits the reach of the artist and the size of the ecosystem. Eikowa addresses these challenges by positioning itself as an eco-system for art and not merely an e-gallery.”
Content and curation are the two tools that help Eikowa distinguish itself. Content helps buyers make more informed choices and artists are able to better market themselves. Curation mutes the noise of hobbyists and helps the buyer to focus on good, serious artists that deserve their attention.
The startup will be introducing sculptures and installation artists as well in near future. Along with that they plan to bring in a lot of international artists to India. Eikowa will also be testing commissioned art for high end buyers.