An entrepreneur in the making, Manu Mathew is a Decoupage artist from Kochi who conducts workshops and exhibitions to showcase her creative art works. Decoupage is a French art form, in which highly creative show pieces are made from the common scrap around us. It basically involves the art of upcycling like cutting and pasting of several raw materials such as tissue papers, newspapers and even cloth pieces on surfaces. HerMoneyTalks cornered this soft-spoken artist for some heart-to-heart talk about her work, her finances, and her life.

Manu Mathew owns a page titled ‘Handartica’ in Facebook and Instagram, and is a trend setter in her domain of handcrafts. She exhibited around three hundred and fifty of her art works in an exhibition organised by herself at Panampilly Nagar on 8th and 9th of December 2019, when I caught her up there.

The Business

Manu was working on a project with the Municipal Corporation of Cochin when she decided to quit the job, to start a business of her own. “The art form Decoupage in a way taught me patience,” giggles Manu. “I always try to keep myself updated with the market trend and enjoy each step of this journey. Moreover I love being my boss,” she continues.

Confidence echoes around her. Manu Mathew serves a unique model to the world around. When hard work clubs together with proficient money management skills, any aspiring woman could become a confident entrepreneur.

Passion and Patience: Her Mantra

“Passion and Patience work together and it is the success behind my business,” Manu starts narrating. Within a limited span of twenty days, she organised everything for the exhibition. “It was a humongous task, as I wanted every art piece of mine to be unique. I had weeks of sleepless nights when new ideas struck me hard in the head. I worked with colours and cut pieces when everyone else was sleeping”.

It was a highly depressive period for Manu, as she had to fight back with her daily frustrations and tiredness. Her family and friends were her constant supporters and helped her to move forward. I could see the passion in her eyes and in her words as she talks.

It was a humongous task, as I wanted every art piece of mine to be unique. I had weeks of sleepless nights when new ideas struck me hard in the head.

As soon as her art works received applause from the people, the return and profits made the struggling business woman in her more confident. She makes the financial decisions in her business and she says her husband’s encouragement, in building her financial security is beyond words.

“I believe women have an innate talent to manage money, whether it is in our household or workplace. I always ensure the rise of profit in my business, and efficiently utilizes it as the capital, to extend my experimental works. I am fully aware of my needs and has a clear vision on how to manage money when it comes to business.”

The Three Money Lessons

Manu says she’s only a budding artist in this field, and has plans of developing her small scale business, into an established start up organisation. The three money lessons that she says she’d acquired along with her business journey are:

1) Careful rolling of the profit from the initial business to extend the capital funding of her future projects.

2) Precise decision making in financial matters.

3) Setting her goals patiently without losing mental stability. She believes that money grows out of your passion when utilised intelligently.

Manu is a self-assured woman and is decisive in her choices. She is surrounded with an air of enthusiasm, when she talks money. She says “money may come and go, but passion stays forever”. Her unflinching determination in the money making abilities is reflected in her words. The very basis of her profit is the uniqueness in her art works, as she is in no way ready to compromise her identity.