Neesha Merani

Owner - illustration studio, PaperWand

Inspired by the whimsy and magic of childhood, PaperWand is a medley of creative gifts, custom art and online classes. My hope is that these offers allow you to reconnect with your own imagination, to celebrate wonder, and make believe a little more each day.

What inspired you to start your business?

After 15 years in the graphic design industry, I followed several other paths including being an art teacher, kids’ book illustrator, and a nursery muralist. It was when I became a mom that I craved a more flexible work situation; one that allowed me creative freedom to work from anywhere, and also the ability to stay home with my kids through their little years.

What is something you would say to someone who is struggling in their first few years of business? Is there something you struggled with and learned from in those first few years?

Yes! I struggled to find the right audience, the first few years. In the beginning all my friends and family (bless them) were my biggest supporters - however, it really skewed who I should be targeting and how to market my business. Biggest lesson: Your ideal client/customer needs to be aligned from the start.In hindsight, I would have looked outside my family/friends, so I could do the crucial groundwork to build a strong foundation and then market to my actual ideal audience.

What hobbies, causes, or activities are you passionate about aside from your work?

I’m passionate about protecting children and the environment. Even as a little girl I signed up to sponsor another child from a third world country, and I didn’t stop until she was old enough to graduate from the program. I continuously give back to charities and companies that use sustainable methods or in some way contribute to the preservation of our planet.

Image Credit: sarah christensen, ,