The best inspirations come from home; it has been the case with Rohini Joshi Asthana. With a grandfather who was an editor, father who was a photographer and with her cousins in music, dance and art, Rohini was heavily influenced by the arts while growing up. Fashion technology being the in-thing during her college days, Rohini became a manufacturing designer from NIFT, Delhi. After working for 15years with brands like Benetton, Calvin Kelvin, Lee & Wrangler, she decided to create something different for all.
“After working for a long time, I wanted to take a break from running behind deadlines. I feel at ease now. I wanted to translate this into my professional space as well. I wanted to build a place where people would come for a weekend where they could watch a play or learn pottery, a kind of a utopian place. Then I realized that I would require real estate which would cost a lot. It was the time ecommerce was booming. So I thought why not start off as an ecommerce site, and then go forth with a physical presence,” shares Rohini Joshi Asthana, Founder, The Tree of Life.
Launched in April, 2012, The Tree of Life (meaning connected to one another) works as a virtual studio and consortium for artists working with them to monetize their works through a royalty model. Artists design and the Tree of Life manufactures these designs translating them into products. The Tree of Life sells these products on their website, other websites or stores. T he profits are shared between the artists and The Tree of Life. The artists don’t think about the cost while designing. That’s where Tree of Life gets into the picture to help them decide on how the design could be incorporated as a product that could be monetized.
The Tree of Life offers seven categories of products on the website. First four categories are fine arts – Paintings, Photography, illustrations and Sculptures, the other categories are based on designing namely wearable art- clothing, accessories and footwear with a design or an art twist, furniture craft – interesting and efficient home décor products, and collectables – out of the box product designs. The Tree of Life doubles as a virtual exhibition platform for artists. They allow for exhibits in the fine art categories. They display one artist for a period of 3 weeks as an exhibition. The profit from the sale of exhibits is also shared at a nominal percentage.
Apart from the ecommerce of artistic products and exhibitions, The Tree of Life also organizes workshops, shows and exhibitions for artist, designers and theater troupes. They will be bringing a Delhi based puppetry theater Kakatha in October. The production uniquely is only for adults.
Targeting anybody who is above 25years and is able to spend his own money, The Tree of Life is for a person who would never walk into an art gallery. Installment options are also available for buyers with the aim to make art accessible to everybody. Adding a personal touch to the buying experience, a hand signed card on all purchases and an authenticity certificate on art is included in the packages.
Marketing efforts are mainly focused on social media like Facebook and blog apart from the word of mouth publicity that they have been receiving. The Tree of Life has also presented at flea markets like Soul Santé and Kitsch Mandi. With their events lined up in the coming months, The Tree of Life is hoping to get visibility and name in the creative space.
“I want to create inheritance that would be passed on from one generation to the other and put a smile on people’s faces. Later on with cash flow, we are looking to expand into artistic and efficient designs in lifestyle products,” shares Rohini who has currently self-funded the company.
For more information, take a look at The Tree of Life