Having launched her passion project during the pandemic, Amrita Deora admits that following one’s heart can bring up challenges that need to be overcome.
Deora’s father is a first-generation entrepreneur, and that entrepreneurial spirit permeated her home.
“From a very young age, our dinner table conversations equipped me with all the soft skills I needed for my entrepreneurial quest,” she says. “Although being an entrepreneur at age 17 was unconventional, it felt like a natural step in my journey because of the way I grew up. At age 17, my blooming love of design coupled with my real estate background led me to set up Camelot CoWorks, an uber-cool coworking space. With the luxury of hindsight, I know that this venture allowed me to grow my love of design while fine-tuning my leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Soon after, my passion for the fine arts led me to set up The Designera, which I can confidently say is my true calling.”
Deora admits that her love for art took her across the globe from Venice’s Bienalle to Basel’s Art Basel to New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
“I sought out every place and traveled to where I could find art,” she says. “My world travels became synonymous with my journey of art. But The Designera was ignited with an epiphany when I went to see the Durga Puja in Kolkata and was left mesmerized with the craftsmanship within India. It was a moment where one realizes how severely undervalued Indian art is. Seeing all these places on an international canvas, and then seeing the mismatch of Indian talent and platform, I committed myself to be a flag-bearer of Indian art.” Deora says she is lucky to wake up every day and do what she loves and motivates her.
“The vision and mission for The Designera is something that I will work tirelessly to accomplish. That is, honestly, motivation enough,” Deora says.
As the vision for The Designera began to evolve, she realized that the disruption in the art industry was yet to happen, and she knew she had to be at the forefront of the art revolution. “We pivoted our vision to add an art layer to the everyday, and revolutionize the way in which we interact with art,” she says.
While launching The Designera during the pandemic, Deora used the opportunity to onboard exquisite artists and give them a steady flow of income, which they wouldn’t have otherwise got in the current market. The Designera is a platform for emerging artists and an incubator for creators. Through an extremely selective curation process and an under 5% acceptance rate, The Designera selects artists and artworks spanning all verticals: sculptures, paintings, photography, illustrations and more.
“We are also the only artist platform to purchase every single art piece that we represent, allowing the artist to have financial freedom right off the bat,” Deora says. “Our mission is truly nationalistic at heart; we hope to empower our artists and create a global name for Indian art.”
With the launch of The Designera, Deora’s long-cherished dream has been realized. Like any young entrepreneur, the route to success was filled with several ups and downs.
“Over time, I have come to realize that roadblocks are a part of any journey, and it is just a matter of crossing over,” she says. “However, for a woman entrepreneur, the resistance may be slightly elevated due to preconceived societal norms. Nevertheless, I have learned to be fierce and to believe in my goals despite these roadblocks. Success generally comes after repeated trial and error. Taking risks and pushing boundaries is second nature to me. Being a woman, in fact, contributed to nurturing my business goals, and it reflects through my decision-making skills.”
Deora’s success also owes much to her family – her rock and support system.
“Being able to talk through every issue, however momentous or minuscule, is something that gives me incredible strength,” she says.
Deora also likes to travel and playing the piano to unwind.
“I also study our epics – currently the Bhagavad Gita – which have been a guiding force for me,” she says. “My study of Indian mythology also inspired a series of art pieces in The Designera collection.”
Today, more young women than ever before are, like Deora, embarking on entrepreneurial journeys, launching incredible ventures and paving their path to living their dream life on their own terms. The key is to innovate, evolve and learn along the way.“Women entrepreneurs need to harness their talent with an unwavering will to succeed in any industry,” Deora says. “Don’t be afraid to make errors; instead, view them as opportunities to grow. While it might be challenging, embrace your entrepreneurial journey and have faith in your ability to achieve success.”