Startup Stories, “Empowering artists to follow their passion”


Inspired to follow his passion in Iranian handicraft market, Amir Fatahzadeh, the founder of just quit his job in the web design company which he created years ago to build a startup which he was dreaming. He believes that if you have these three things you are in the right path in your startup and your passion: you really love to do it, you know how to do it & you can make money out of it. These three traits leaded him to a company in handicraft industry named Honari to change the way that artists are dealing with different processes of creating a handicraft products, from buying raw materials to get educated and selling it online. With Honari you only need to focus on your passion and creation. We interviewed Amir and asked him about the story of building Honari & their challenges until now.

Q: How Honari has been created? How did it start?

Amir: Honari at the very early stages was a social media for the artists, but for some reasons it didn’t work, one of the reasons were lacking of focus, on that days we had several ongoing projects and one of them was Honari, so I decided to stop doing everything and just focus on my passion and decided to build Honari from scratch again but with different business model. After being in this industry, I figured out about the pain of the handicrafts artist. I remembered once I read the comments of about 300 people, in one of the educational websites and saw that the majority of people are asking about how they should buy raw materials. So we started with building a website to sell and provide people with raw materials and in parallel, we launched our art courses too. We started our courses with leather & decorative paintings and now we are moving forward with other art topics.


Q: How did you find your co-founders?

Amir: During entering to Avatech and working in pre-accelerator, I was alone. I had bad experiences with finding & working with co-founders, but at the same time, I was aware that I will need co-founders to move on. Until one day one of my friends form university (Heydar) called me and showed interest about Honari, at the same time, I realized that he is a professional leather artist and has a good insight about the market and business. So he experimentally started to work in Honari as a Supply Chain Manager. After this match up, I was relived a little bit because I could cover one of our core value propositions to customers which were providing raw materials with a good Supply Chain Manger. But still as an IT startup, something was missing; we were lacking the Techi co-founders, until that time we were dealing with Magento CMS to handle our website but I knew that soon we will need lots of customization, and that is when, Omid came in, I knew him form my past company and knew that he is a talented developers which has hands on design too. Now I had my two wings, my technology guy and my business guy.


Q: Regarding to your past experiences on working with different co-founders, how should someone find their ideal co-founders?

Amir: In my opinion, there are two main things about finding the right co-founders, the first one is the profile and the role of your co-founder, I mean you have to search role oriented and try to cover your core value propositions with the right expertise. The second and important one is the passion; startup has lots of up & down, and without a strong inner motivation which is coming from a passion, you can not be sure that the core team is moving forward. Passion is the only thing that nobody can fake it.


Q: What challenges did you overcome in the past months?

Amir:  We started our startup before Avatech, and one of the mistakes that we encountered were not having MVP, it was just after our first product release that we realized about the true feelings and feedbacks of our customers. And we tried to fit our product with the market. Another challenge was the processes of accounting and inventory, which in this part Avatech helped us a lot with its good financial team.


Q: What did you envision for Honari?

Amir: To empower Iranian women to start their own handicraft business. This is why our main customer segments are women & girls between 15 to 40 years old. We are trying to build a platform which can fulfill their needs from providing raw materials to education and selling their products on our online marketplace.


Thank you dear Amir for this interview.