I needed to properly introduce myself, Ive been blogging for a long time and before I hit a decade of being on the world wide web, proper intro toh banta hai! This is more of a “chat with a friend” kind of casual intro and not the “About me” of the website.
As the website suggests, and this post title too, my name is Preethi Prabhu (no surprises there). I was born in Udupi to a modest set of working parents who were self made. My mom is a typical Indian “log kya kahenge” type of mom and my dad was the head strong “you dont need to put up with bullshit” kind of person. I have my dads attitude and my mothers patience. Both my parents came from large families and in their childhood have seen days when there was little or no food.
But they were the most generous people I have ever seen, generous with what they had, generous with what they could do for others. My dad helped his friends set up their businesses, got his sisters married, was the greatest friend anyone could have. My mom was always aware of other peoples problems and found ways to help them out. As a middle child, I’ve had my own issues, but we were comfortable. We had enough to sustain, not enough to splurge, but that was ok. I learnt to appreciate what I have and share.
Some of the things from my childhood made a huge impact on me. Everyone who came to the doorstep on a hot day always went back after a cool refreshing glass of something and a little bite. It dint matter if it was a guest or a postman or a beggar, everyone was treated with respect. When the wedding of a girl from a very poor family was fixed, my mother and a few other ladies of the village donated a few grams of gold each and gave it to her parents as a security for the girls future. We never lived beyond our means and were taught to be real. This is the only life I know and now I am more than grateful for the humble beginnings.
Apart from my family(husband, children, mom and sisters), I have a very small group of close friends who are as much a part of my life as my decorating is ( a number less that what you can count with one hand fingers) Also, it takes me a long time to include people in my inner circle and I consciously avoid it because I have a tendency to fall in love with the hearts that resonate with me and then their problems become mine. As an adult you know its always better to have fewer problems, thats why I keep my group trimmed 😀
But I can get along with most people easily in a day to day interaction. I am more a “blend into the crowd” kind of person and not the “Life of a party” kind. I carefully avoid negative people and have no issues cutting myself off when my well being is threatened. I dont put “convenience” before “values”. I take things at face value and believe in honest open communication.
For a long time I though I was a very unambitious person. A majority of people are working towards something, increasing their net worth, a bigger house, a bigger car, exotic holidays, material wealth, being able to afford latest trends, etc., etc. None of them excite me. There was even a time when I though, I had nothing to look forward to, until one day I asked myself “what would you do if time and resources were not an issue?”, the answer was get a new place so I can decorate it. Do all the things that I’ve always wanted to do. Execute the ideas that were in my head. I had my answer.
Which brings us to “What do I do?”.
Anything that needs decorating, room, house, office, studio, boutique, stall, anything at all, really. For me work is a relationship and not a transaction. My only criteria for choosing a client is that we are on the same page, we understand and trust each other. The budget and brief is secondary. I have done work where I charged, very little to no service fee just coz I wanted to do it. More often than not, decisions are made from the heart and not the brain. Bad for business, but it helps me stay true to myself.
I have a constant need to work with my hands. Its what keeps me sane and happy. DIY is no longer a hobby, its a life skill. I am constantly dreaming of what can be done with simple everyday things and when I am awake I want to try it. Its like a bug that never leaves you.
Here, on my blog. I have the freedom to rant away and no one can stop me. I believe knowledge should be free for anyone who seeks it desperately. (DejaVu, I think I’ve said that before somewhere) Just because someone doesnt have the resources or means to get into a school, doesnt mean he cannot have the knowledge. And I’ve always believed that if what I am putting out, helps just one person, its time well spent. Pretty much all of the things that I do lands here on the blog, at-least it has started to this year.
Whatever that I know. It all started when someone told me they would like to come and learn from me and I could charge a fee. When I suggested that everything is available on my blog for free, I was told that it would be a great experience to do it face to face. Well, after the first one, lets just say I agreed. I love meeting like minded people who share the same passion. Its a lot of work to set up and run a workshop, but the energy in the room is fantastic. Every time after a workshop I am exhausted, but there a certain happiness and a feeling of gratitude that is irreplaceable. DIY and Marketing for small business is what I teach now. May start teaching quantum physics and nuclear science in future if I take fancy.
I am able to think clearly. For myself and for others. Constantly advising people who ask for it. Again I stumbled upon someone who was willing to pay for my time. Having started a business at a young age, dealt with a million problems, failing and restarting gives you the kind of experience that studying in a premium B-School cannot. So yes, I help out anyone who wants me to.
One can argue that focusing on one core area can bring better results, but like I said, my ambition is to do things that challenges me. And making sure that its not my only source of income helps me stay true to who I am and what I want to do and who i want to work with. I have the luxury of refusing work that I dont want to do. So I am not a total idiot for making decisions with my heart. I am a very smart business woman who will not sell her soul for making money.