Nidhi Jani is #MadeForKnoxville.

A creator by nature, Nidhi paints heartfelt pieces full of passion and feeling. She always longed for a career built on the freedom of creative expression; and after some trial and error, she found a way to channel her skill into a means of income.

Growing up, Nidhi was surrounded by other business-minded individuals in her family. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, she set out to test her business skills with a pop-up shop, selling handmade gifts from the back of her dad’s car. She leveraged this learning experience to gain more understanding about her customers’ needs and desires. When she immigrated from India to the United States, she brought these lessons learned, her painting skills, and a willingness to learn additional ways of marketing her talents. These days, you can find Nidhi selling her hand-painted greeting cards and more to a growing customer base online and at local markets in Knoxville. 

“When I started, it was quite overwhelming. I had self-doubts and goals seemed unreachable. However, I was not ready to give up on my dreams without a fight. I believe it all eventually boils down to your mentality and positive approach.” 

In Their Own Words…

Art is a big part of my existence. Spreading happiness through my art is something I adore so much. I always wanted to build a career where I can have the freedom to create and express myself. Being brought up in a business-minded family eventually led me to start thinking of having one of my own. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in engineering; I started looking for business opportunities online and offline.

The first pop-up shop of handmade gift articles I did was a tailgate shop in the back of my father’s car. It was my first learning experience that helped me to understand people’s needs and market demand better. I did not earn much in the beginning but I got to meet new and customers with different types of background, I received both positive and negative types of feedback. Eventually it all worked out and I started getting a wider customer base.

In 2019, I immigrated to the USA from India. After studying the market here, I decided to improve my digital graphic design skills with the help of several online courses. I decided to continue working on my handmade greeting cards business here. I had to improve my people skills as things are different here than what I was used to in India. I got to learn different marketing strategies through social media and local pop-up shop events. Now I can see the growth in my business here and improvement in my customer reach.

I have learned that nothing happens overnight and success does not come easy. I also believe that if there are no failures, you will not grow, you will not learn. Just like others, I have been through many learning experiences throughout my journey, which in a way helped me to reach where I am today.

When I started, it was quite overwhelming, I had self-doubts and goals seemed unreachable. However, I was not ready to give up on my dreams without a fight. I believe it all eventually boils down to your mentality and positive approach. For me personally – reading inspirational books, listening to peaceful music and watching motivational videos, keeping myself surrounded by a positive environment helped to stay focused and build my mental strength.

I used all the resources I had at the time and tried to keep going on. Through social media, I learned how to improve the displaying of art, what markets are appropriate for art related products, and how to build a network.

I made myself believe strongly in “slow growth is good growth”.  I am constantly learning new things each day and feeling blessed to have gotten a chance to live my dream. Unconditional love and constant support from my family and friends has played a major role in getting me where I am today.


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