It all started in 1996. I had shifted from France to India. My husband was in a job and my youngest child was already 4 years old. I had plenty of free time. I wanted to do something.
I began to sell Western art reprints in India. I used to import them from France. Architects and interior designers became my distribution channels. Offices and hotels began to buy these art prints. This is where 'Shalin' brand was born. I named the company Shalin fine arts. I liked the word Shalin because it related to my own name Shalini and 'Shalin' also meant 'grace' in Hindi. I conveyed to my customers that I was selling the most graceful artwork ever created.
July 1998, my difficult moments came. Indian rupee had devalued and import became difficult. My husband who is a trained telecom business professional suggested that I get into export-oriented business and use the Internet as a vehicle. I loved the idea of selling to the global market the most exquisite handcrafted products of India. Internet was right there to put this idea into action. As an art seller, I had developed an eye for beautiful products. Therefore, I took charge of selecting and procuring products.
October 1998, I had started with 5 page website www.shalinart-india.com. We didn't have a shopping cart then and no credit card transaction facility either. Yet, we made our first sale - a Madhubani style painting by a very eminent woman artist of India. I developed faith - we can do business on the Internet.
Aparjeet Chopra, who had studied art in San Francisco, was my first Webmaster. I owe our success today to his initial passionate work. A year later he shifted to live in the U.S. My younger brother Vikas took over from Aparjeet.
Now I have a team each specializing in a particular area. Web design and maintenance, online marketing, inventory and supply management, logistics, copy writing and wholesale. We sell everyday and we have great fun working together.
ShalinCraft is now a recognized brand. Our customers love us for the products we sell and the service that we provide. Our craftsmen love us for the frequent purchases we make from them and sell their products to our customers worldwide. Unlike some other businesses, we make upfront payments to our craft suppliers and assume the risk of having unsold products.
With this strategy, we take possession of the products and we are able to generally ship all orders within 12 hours of receiving the order. Thanks to UPS's excellent service, the packages are delivered to customers within 4 to 7 days in any part of the world.