Aditya Mehta, the founder of Art&Found, is an ex-advertising exec, who curated the Art&Found platform as an outlet to make art more accessible and affordable for people across the world. Art&Found (artandfound.co) offers a variety of art options ranging from wall art for home décor to prints and hangings for offices and hospitality businesses.
The Genesis of an Idea
When asked what spurred the motivation for his startup, Mehta refers to one of his favorite quotes,
“Art, without distribution and discovery, moves nobody” – Scott Belsky
Art&Found was born as side hustle when Mehta was working full-time at one of the country’s biggest ad agencies.
“I’ve worked closely with many illustrators, designers, photographers and artists. The creative industry has always been undervalued so I wanted to build a platform to help monetize their work and make it accessible to a new generation of art lovers. “
He credits the inspiration for his startup to his India roots where incredible home-grown talent needed a platform to amplify artist voices and support the local industry. He believes that if the value of Indian art and design is to increase, it must begin at home.
Carving a niche
Today, Art&Found is the go-to art retailer for brands and businesses. But the journey to top has not been easy.
“I started working on this side project on nights and weekends while still working full-time. That project eventually grew into Art&Found. You relentlessly work on something you believe in not really knowing the outcome; the journey is the reward.” – Aditya Mehta
Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey even more so if you’re a solo founder. The physical and mental demands are endless and the long hours never seem to end. Mehta candidly recollects,
“Anxiety, second-guessing decisions and constant self-doubt are a part of startup life. The trick is to have the right balance of crazy and confidence.”
But he reiterates that entrepreneurs need to constantly challenge themselves to get out of their comfort zones, learn new skills and make tough decisions with limited information.
Through the Looking Glass
So what exactly does Mehta recommend for other startup founders setting out on their own entrepreneurial journeys?
“Be ready to pivot. Business plans, valuations and exits are only big words, don’t let them intimidate you. What matters is getting the work done, and fast. Shamelessly market your idea and get feedback, but don’t listen to everyone.”
He also stresses the importance of taking a step back to look at your idea from different perspectives to get a more comprehensive view and identify possible gaps.
“Entrepreneurship is a labour of love. Enjoy the grind.”
A domain with the right vibes
Setting out to take his idea to the world, Mehta chose .CO because he appreciated the cool, startup-driven vibes that the domain offered.
“.CO has a hustler, entrepreneur connotation and fit the designer vibe. Part of it was that, the other part was intuition. Also, .CO just sounded cool.”