Dear readers, pull up your sleeves, bring out the craft box and get ready for an art-and-craft session right after you finish reading this. Our interview with Shruti Bhat, famously known as the ArtsyCraftsyMom is bound to inspire you to sit down with your little one right away and get started on a creative journey together. In this interview, Shruti talks about her life as a working mother turned full-time craft blogger, her inspiration and the road ahead.
Q: Tell us about the journey that started from a simple blog to what it is today- a platform for art and craft enthusiasts
The journey started in 2009 when my daughter was 3. I was working full time and found Art & Craft as a way to connect with her after work hours. I started writing about the fun stuff we did together every day and very soon I had other moms sharing their crafty creations with me. Over the years it evolved into a proper website with better categories & organization. We have more than 800+ activities for kids aged 3 – 15 now.
Q: What is a typical day in the life of Shruti Bhat?
My day still revolves around my daughter who is now 10 years old. Once she is at school, I work on the business side of the website. Mornings are spent quickly answering emails from sponsors, my subscribers and my team. Followed by content planning – shooting videos, creating crafts, photographing when there is enough natural light. After lunch I am usually at the laptop – editing drafts, managing social media and other works till my daughter is back from school at 4. 4 to 8 p.m. is our family time – a walk, quick homework, a fun trip to the park or a store. I am back at the laptop usually from 10 pm until midnight attending training & planning for the next day. Sundays are exclusively for family.
Q: You quit your IT job to work on ArtsyCraftsyMom full time. Was it a tough decision? What was it that gave you confidence to take the plunge?
I quit in September 2016, just before my daughter’s 10th birthday. The decision was largely personal than anything else. My husband was just promoted at work and was traveling extensively. It was getting tougher to manage home, office & the commute on a daily basis. The motion to quit my job was set in place much before I actually took that decision. I worked towards getting the blog monetized, setting up a domain, getting advertisers & approaching brands for sponsored work. It was not a tough decision but was scary as hell! But I had the confidence that a blog could be a full time income and I had full support from my family.
Q: Printables, tips, DIYs, craft lessons- the blog is abuzz with various activities for children. What does it take to constantly think of new ways to keep your audience (the little ones) engaged?
We plan our content three months in advance. I come up with ideas based on upcoming holidays and festivals, audience requests, and my creative design team’s inputs. The blogging community in India and abroad is very tight knit. We collaborate a lot and support each.
Q: From all the various craft activities that you do, which is/are your favourite(s)? Can you tell us what makes it/them so special?
Q: What exactly are the ‘family fun activities’ mentioned on your website?
Holidays are a great time for family to get together and have some fun. Our holiday crafts & activities aim at involving the whole family – cooking, decorating, making cards, handmade memorabilia even making our own wrapping paper.
Q: What is the best thing you’ve heard from anyone about ArtsyCraftsyMom and your efforts?
The best part of my day is when I read happy emails from subscribers. I love hearing back from parents about activities that their children loved. But my daughter’s words – Mumma, I love that you are my artsy craftsy mom and I love making fun stuff with you – are worth their weight in gold.
Q: Answer in one word- How would you like your daughter to remember you?
Q: Where next from here? Will we see brick and mortar ‘Arsty Craftsy’ stores across India or will there be more books in the offing?
Hah! No brick and mortar store in the plan, but it is my dream to open an ArtsyCraftsy Café someday. This year, we will be adding more eBooks, a free e-Course and maybe a membership site too.
Q: Any tips for moms who are wannabe entrepreneurs on what NOT to do?
Don’t give up. Remember it’s not a 100 meter sprint, but a marathon and you will reach your goal.
Q: Some of us parents may not be as creative as you are. Any tips on how we can still keep our children glued to it?
The child must lead and direct all activities. Our job as parents is to be the facilitator. Encourage creativity in all that we do, expose them to different activities, support them and most importantly give children the freedom to express themselves.
A big part of parenting is spending quality time with your kids. And if something creative can come out of your time together, nothing like it! Hope you liked Shruti’s interview. Let us know your thoughts by commenting in the space below. Also, don’t forget to head out to ArtsyCraftsyMom for craft inspiration for your little one.