This Ex-Corporate Honcho Is Igniting a Love for Art and Science in Belgaum’s Kids

Belgaum's creativity crusader Rashmi Kulkarni set out to encourage a passion for art and science in her city's kids after marriage and motherhood forced her to change profession.

She went from corporate head in Bangalore to a creativity crusader for kids in small-town Belgaum. In the process, Rashmi Kulkarni turned her circumstances into fodder for growth, and confronted her life’s challenges to develop her true potential.

After completing her post-graduation in analytical chemistry from Bangalore and MBA from Symbiosis University in Pune, Rashmi had worked for several years in the corporate sector in companies such as Hewlett Packard, Accenture and the Taj Group.

After marriage and moving to Belgaum, where her husband runs a small-scale industry, she changed gears to take up a slow-paced admin position at an engineering college. “It was a drastic change from Bangalore life,” she admits.

When her daughter was born eight years after marriage, Rashmi was forced to give up the job again. “She was a precious child born after years of yearning; I didn’t have the heart to leave her and go out to work,” says Rashmi. Instead she decided to develop her own personal passion for art and craft, and turn it into a profession.

14642167_1038020079629482_4142523121334146270_nAnd so Tarang Hobby Studio was born. “There was a lot of learning and unlearning involved. I first had to change my own mindset and adopt new skills,” she recalls. Then she began teaching children at home, and developed DIY craft kits for schoolchildren based on their curriculum and level.

It was a new concept for Belgaum residents, but slowly, schools and NGOs understood the value of DIY craft kits, and Rashmi was in business.

“There is science in everything I do,” laughs Rashmi, whose five-year-old hobby studio has won several accolades and was selected to be a part of the Cherie Blair Foundation’s ‘Mentoring Women in Business’ programme last month.

“I’m excited and happy to grow and to take Tarang Hobby Studio to next level,” beams the 40-year-old, who had her second child last year.

2017-09-02-00-07-07-808She has now put various processes in place, and has learnt how to make the most of limited resources. “Always look out for opportunities wherever you are. If you want to succeed, you can do it anywhere,” says Rashmi, who has trained herself to look at the positive side of every situation.

“Boiling water softens the potato but hardens the egg. It’s not your circumstances but your actions that define you.”

Photo credit: First published in the October 2017 issue of eShe magazine. Read it for free here.

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