It started as an effort to bridge the gap between artists and consumers, providing young artists the perfect platform to showcase their talent with their customized motifs and products. Cupick, an online platform, has opened the doors for artists to showcase, share and monetize their work by making it available on various consumables such as t-shirts, hoodies, art prints, canvases, posters and cards. With over 9000+ artworks on their website in just a matter of 7 months, Cupick has India’s largest collection of high quality artwork.
We at TYS got in touch with Team Cupick which comprises of three young entrepreneurs – Shaishav Todi, the driving force at Cupick aka the Founder and CEO, Rituraj Dowerah– the in-house genius who built Cupick from scratch and does all things code, and Justin Alva, the marketing wiz behind the initiative. In an effort to create a community-driven platform empowering and connecting artists to an audience that craves independent art, these young men came up with the idea of Cupick, over a round of beer!
Shaishav’s always been into getting art printed on various things. The major problem was finding a means to get high quality art; there weren’t any places where one could buy online (or for that matter, offline as well). Along with a dearth of choices, artists found it rather difficult to produce and ship. There was a lot of ideation that took place. How could one make art accessible? And that’s where the beer came in. Over a round of some brew, the basic outline of Cupick was formulated, says Justin Alva, the man behind marketing at Cupick.
Justin goes ahead to tell us that starting their own business came with a lot of responsibilities but with time, the experience gave them a gratifying feeling. So much, that now work doesn’t even feel like work! Although starting up was a challenge, the trio did not give into the urge of settling for a comfortable well-paying job and kept themselves motivated every day. One of the biggest challenges they encountered was to get artists to use their website. Once they overcame that problem, things started falling into place. The team now receives emails from artists all over the world expressing how much they love Cupick; artists from India especially, who can finally make their work available for sale to their audience.
Digging a little deeper and talking more about the trio and their likes and dislikes, we discover that these men love music, football and spend a lot of time talking and arguing about those topics among others. Shaishav has got great insight into the evolving world of internet and technology. He and Justin both happen to be avid readers.
There’s one question we couldn’t wait to ask. As interesting and catchy as it sounds, we wondered how the idea for the name Cupick came about.
Cupick just felt right and it ticked all the boxes. There were two mandatory requirements in mind when we were choosing a name; it should be available in .COM and should be short and memorable. Most of the names we came up with were mostly never available in .COM or did not feel right, and we were running out of both vocabulary and sound. Surfing through a list of recently expired domain names, we came across the name Cupick. While a play on the word ‘Cupid’, although that wasn’t really the intention, it was love at first sound.
Putting the artists and asset owners in control of their work while making art accessible to people all over the world definitely gives Cupick an edge over the rest. The company was bootstrapped until very recently. Two weeks ago, Team Cupick raised $120K from angel investors in the US and India to help them continue to build on all the successes they’ve had so far. With an interesting business model which lets an artist decide his/her own price, over 2500+ artists have signed up and sold a good percentage of artworks on the website. Some have even earned in the four digit range in the matter of a month!
That certainly sounds like a great accomplishment. Some lessons about entrepreneurship for our readers perhaps?
Do things differently, work hard, take calculated risks, maintain the passion to see things through and innovate throughout the process. Also iteration; there’s a lot to learn from trying, making mistakes and learning. To top it all, having a good team to complement each other is very essential.
Cupick is now on the lookout for talent to help build on technology, marketing and hiring the right people to take it to the next level. Although the team doesn’t plan on opening flagship stores anytime in the near future, they do plan on showcasing their products in boutique stores and events. With the goal of becoming the ‘go-to’ website for anyone looking for aesthetic, high quality lifestyle and décor products; t-shirts, prints and canvases, Cupick surely holds the potential of becoming a global platform in the years to come.
We are delighted to announce that The Yellow Sparrow hit 6000 followers on Facebook last week! Celebrations are in order and we want you to join the fun. We’re giving away 2 sets of quirky coasters from Cupick to three lucky winners. To enter the giveaway, visit our Facebook page and comment there to let us know which artwork you like the best on Cupick. Scratch your creative itch and win goodies in return!