Interview | Arti Jalan Agarwal
Sponsored Post: Estetic
Arti Jalan Agarwal is—what she prefers to be called as—a Mompreneur – Mom + Entrepreneur. This young entrepreneur is mother to a year-old son, and simultaneously running an exciting and fast-growing business of DIY activity-kits for children.
Arti has completed her BFA from the Sir J.J. School of Arts, Mumbai, and specialised in Painting. Arti has earlier worked with Mexus Education in their R&D department and was managing the entire art and craft curriculum.
We wanted to understand what role Estetic DIY products have in education – beyond the craft aspect of these products or kits, as Estetic refers to them. We caught up with her to know more about what she has been up to, and how her products are used in learning and teaching.
eVeltio TEN: Introduce us to Estetic. Why did you start?
Arti Jalan Agarwal: Estetic is a young start-up focussed on creating innovative DIY kits for all age group kids, which are intertwined with the concept of fun-learning. Estetic was seeded in my mind from BFA days and I wanted to start my own venture since then. After working for more than three years with Mexus Education and being a core member of the academic team and handling the art and craft curriculum, the thought and passion of doing something on my own strengthened and I started to visualise something tangible that I could create. With Mexus, I started my career as a visual designer and then shifted to the academics team. Estetic was started because I feel that the art and craft products available in the market were very “templatised” and did not focus on core learning and skill development. Art is a very powerful tool of teaching which is often neglected in the current educational system; Estetic kits fill that gap by providing unique activities.
eTEN: Walk us through how the products are designed – from concept to creation.
AJA: All products are designed considering learning and skill development. Here is brief process which is followed while coming up with a new product (kit):
- Analyse the current offering of the market through research
- Decide the age group for which the product is to be created
- Brainstorm on learning and skill development need and how it can be offered in a cohesive manner
- Identification of medium/material which will fulfil these needs
- Identification of key learning and developmental objectives for children using this product
- Finalising the list of activities which can be taught
- Eliminating complex activities or those which cannot be accomplished by given age group
- Try it out with some children as a pilot and check if its age appropriate and other considerations
- Finalising the activity mix and handing over to execution team for procurement, sample and manual creation
- Pilot run and rollout
eTEN: On your website, you mention that “Estetic products map to education, social, curriculum needs”. What’s the educational or pedagogical underpinning for your products?
AJA: As mentioned earlier, each product’s key focus in on learning and skill development. To ensure this, we refer to overall skill development requirements for each age group. Estetic has created a comprehensive skill-based mind map which details skill-needs for all age groups. This mind map also describes the prerequisite for every skill. For example, Aqua Scape is a complete learning activity, where kids learn about ocean life and sea animals. They also gain knowledge of what artificial ocean life (Aquarium) is and then creating one for themselves (using the activity kit). One can say that Aqua Scape is at an application level and reinforces learning.
eTEN: How can these products be used? Is this limited to parents buying these only as engagement activities for children? Does it have any use or application in institutional learning?
AJA: These products can be used at home and as well as adopted by any institution, such as schools and pre-schools. These products are not just engagement activities, but, also lay emphasis on learning about history and origin of a particular craft. Our activity kit (products) also teaches some quick fun facts about the articles they are going to make, using the kit. For example: If a child is making an Origami Peacock; he also learns some interesting and simple facts about a peacock. So, it becomes a complete fun learning package for the child. This keeps them motivated and builds curiosity. Therefore, at the end of each activity the child not only learns the craft but has gained a lot of knowledge too.
eTEN:There are other similar products out there that fall under creative kits for children. What’s special about Estetic kits?
AJA: There are many DIY kits available in the retail market but where we make a difference is in the unique composition For example: You will not find a kit in market which teaches comb painting! Especially one, that includes skill development and knowledge enhancement. Also, the material provided within each kit is estimated after performing each and every activity and minutely evaluating the amount of material which children will need. This ensures that there is enough material within the kit and parents or teachers will not have to be concerned about purchasing extra materials. Also, other kits available in market are very costly and Estetic kits are priced so that parents and teachers can ensure more activity at a lesser cost.
eTEN: What’s the next step for Estetic? Are more products on the way? How do you see the future of your products in education and learning, in the next few years?
AJA: Right now we have rolled out 8 products and more 7 are in line. In the next few years, our plan is to open a unique activity centre which will be a one-stop-shop for all recreational needs catering to all age groups.
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A big thank you to Arti Jalan Agarwal for her time and talking to us about these creative learning kits.
To know more about Arti and Estetic, connect with her at the links below.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of eVeltio Education Consulting Private Limited.