Mallika Kejriwal: Founder & CEO of Aola Handmade Cards

Hello arts & crafts enthusiasts,

Hope everyone is doing well.

“Do what you love, do what makes you happy”

These are the quotes of our first artist in the blog series – “Inspiring Artists”. Introducing Mallika Kejriwal, a young, ambitious, focused and creative artist who loves to create handmade greeting cards, personalized scrapbook albums and other lifestyle and decor items in a fun and unique way.

Mallika Kejriwal

Her Journey So Far

Mallika is a software engineer by profession and a crafter at heart. Her passion for crafting began in 2010 when she was creating a handmade birthday card for her friend in India. With the hunt for creative and unique ideas, she was introduced to Blogspot and with that, her love for art blogging and creating handmade items began. During her college days, Instagram and Youtube were not as established as Blogspot was. While studying in college, she always loved creating art for her near and dear ones. Seeing her creations, the demand for her crafts began. In those days, she started receiving orders from her college classmates – someone wanted a card for a girlfriend while someone wanted a scrapbook designed for their significant other. For her, Valentine’s season was the busiest season of all. Before she knew it, her love for crafts turned into a business. She started her own blog page – “Aola Handmade Cards” (http://aolahandmadecardsindia.blogspot.com/).

Mallika Kejriwal - handmade card

She believes that to make pretty art having pretty materials is necessary. High quality art materials were hard to find in India. So, she started shipping products such as handmade craft paper, beautiful embellishments, stamps and ink from the U.S. Her main focus was to introduce Shabby Chic and Vintage inspired craft products in India and soon her business boomed. Shabby Chic is category where the products such as cards, tissue boxes, scrapbooks, albums are decorated in a way in which they appear to be vintage, that is old or slightly worn out. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree, she got married in 2013 and moved to United States in 2014. In 2013/2014, this form (Shabby Chic and Vintage style) of artwork was not popular in India. Mixed media was not known and because of this reason, she continued making cards and other artwork and used to ship the products to India. She even started her own YouTube channel called “Aola DIY”. But then came another hurdle, shipping the products to India was way too expensive and soon in 2015, this category became popular.

In 2015, she applied to a Master’s degree program and was accepted. She began pursuing her Master’s in Computers Science and graduated in May 2017. She is currently a software engineer for a technology company. For those 2 years, she did not craft significantly and was fully dedicated to her studies. Back in December 2017, after getting settled into a professional career and getting into a normal routine, she felt the need of going back to her crafting. She has re-opened her business and now knows how much time she can take out for crafting.

Her Goals

Initially during her college days, there was no vision for the business, but now she has a vision for her crafting. She has set goals and one of her first goals is to increase the subscribers on YouTube. Currently, she has almost 27,000 subscribers and she want to reach 100,000 this year. You can subscribe to her YouTube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh4ywHcQJzIxlL-7ayqbYiA/featured

Her second goal is to become a part of the design team of Prima Marketing, Inc. Prima Marketing is an online store which carries vintage inspired art supplies such as beautiful craft paper, embellishments, flowers, mixed media, lace and a variety of other products. They are considered as the established leader in the flower embellishments and have taken scrapbooking to the next level. In the case of a design team, every year, these companies that sell raw materials hire 5-15 talented people (based on their previous artwork) to promote their products (Face of the company) via social media. After the creation, design team members are asked to share their creativity by posting pictures on their blogs, Instagram and videos of creation on their YouTube channels. Mallika has been part of many design teams but this year, her main focus to become a designer for Prima Marketing. In order to be on the design team, there is an application process and selection that usually occurs in the month of August. We wish Mallika good luck and hope she qualifies for a spot on the team. Seeing her dedication, hard work and creativity, she can definitely make an impact to meet her goals for this year.

Her creation process

pic4Like for every artist, she has faced a bumpy road. There were times when she was struggling with ideas. Today, she is pumped up to accomplish her dreams and goals and has many ideas. She is an independent creator who received a great support from her family, especially her husband. Her husband pushed her through all her ups and downs and always motivated her to continue her passion for crafting. It takes her 2-3 days to finish an art project or a work of art. If an art project finishes too quickly, then she considers the quality to not be great and she is not usually satisfied with the work. For her, there is no continuous creation. She prepares the base and leaves that base for a few hours and continues her other tasks. After some time (overnight), she resumes back to her artwork and layers the base with other beautiful embellishments. She allows herself some time for the ideas to flow.

Her Inspiration

There are a ton of artists that inspire her. She is a huge fan of every member that is or has been present on the design team of Prima Marketing. She is completely in love with works of Marta Lapkowska, Stacey Young, and Nadya Drozdova. Another person whose work she loves is her crafty friend “Jaya Raghuvanshi”. She is the first Indian to be a part of Prima Marketing design team. The lovely color palette, flower cluster, textures and the mix of colors by Jaya attracts Mallika the most.

Her Hobbies

Besides being a software engineer and a unique crafter, her hobbies include swimming, travelling, dancing to Bollywood songs and watching Bollywood movies. She is a Bollywood movie fan. Her favorite movie dialogue is from the movie Om Shanti Om – “Kehte hain ki …… Agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaaho to puri kayanat usey tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai.” This means if you truly desire for anything from the bottom of your heart, then the whole universe comes together to make that desire turn into reality. This quote has worked very well in Mallika’s life.

Her Business

pic7Mallika’s business, Aola Handmade Cards, specializes in handmade personalized shabby chic and vintage inspired DIY (do it yourself) items such as greeting cards, tags, altered notebooks, canvases, scrapbooks, photo albums, collages and home décor like tissue boxes and clocks. Among these items, scrapbooks are the most popular. These handmade items serve every occasion – from birthdays to thank you, from weddings to baby showers. She takes personal orders and usually prefers small quantities. She believes in giving an ample amount of time in each creation. Besides creating personal orders, she believes in teaching and inspiring young artists and is open to giving classes on how to make these handmade products. There is no particular shop for ordering. Email is the best way to contact her. All her contact information and social media links are provided below. Go check out her blog, follow her social media and give her lots of support and love.

Email addressaoladiy@gmail.com

Bloghttp://aolahandmadecardsindia.blogspot.in/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Creationsbymallika

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/aoladiy/

YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh4ywHcQJzIxlL-7ayqbYiA

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. We will share more of Mallika’s works of art in another post. Stay tuned for that special blog post! Please share this blog and follow us here and on our Instagram page. If you would like us to showcase any other artist, please leave a comment below.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s