Originally published at: https://community.envato.com/interview-power-elite-templatemela/
Based in Surat, India, TemplateMela are one of our newest Power Elite Authors from ThemeForest. We decided to ask them some questions about how they got started and how they built a business out of doing what they love. Enjoy!
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?We’re a team of creative and innovative people from Surat, India. As a team of two, Mahesh and Chetan, we started our journey in 2008 as WordPress and Magento eCommerce developers and we began to create custom designs for those platforms. In 2011 we connected with ThemeForest and started building Templates for eCommerce.
Even though we were selling our templates on our own website templatemela.com, we decided to go with ThemeForest because of its great potential and good business model.
We were determined to focus only on ThemeForest, and so we rejected many partnership offers and freelance work. Because of customer support, we have more than 25 people at TemplateMela and they are all earning enough to reject any job offers .
Tell us one thing about you no one else knows?We began by creating themes for Magento when it launched in 2008, and we were the first company in India providing customized Magento designs. Seeing the huge demand for custom work, we came up with the idea to create and sell Magento templates to our customers. We created website magesupport.com and sold many Magento designs. We also partnered with OpenCart and PrestaShop as theme designers, then we launched templatemela.com and offered many platform themes.
Today we are the world’s first company to offer themes in all major platforms currently available for eCommerce.
Is there anything unusual or special about how you work?There are so many people asking why and how we have more than 200 themes on ThemeForest.
Our focus was providing creative themes for each category like electronics, fashion, jewellery, toys, medicine and more, so that customers don’t have to customize generic themes. We create niche themes for many platforms, so [as a result] we have more than 200 items on ThemeForest.
And we have more than 25 professionals helping clients upgrading our themes.
Is there anything unusual or noteworthy about your life experience?We borrowed some money to complete our masters in computer education. And before we started our company, I was getting $100 a month in salary while expenses were more than $200 a month including loan instalments. Mahesh started freelancing part-time and Chetan was looking for a job. So, we start working together doing some freelancing in 2007 so that we could earn enough money.
Just as we started doing this, I got fired from my job. And all of the sudden my $100 in earnings stopped. But the good thing was that we earned more than $200 in our first month, part time, so it was a good experience. All we knew was how to customize WordPress and Magento. Luckily Mahesh loved designing, turning into a complete web designer, and we had good techniques to speed up theme design and create online stores for clients.
Now we are generating more than enough money for all our 25 team members.
What's your most memorable client/customer story on Envato?In March 2014, the TemplateMela team attended WordCamp - the WordPress conference - in Atlanta, USA. There’s one client named Michel who is a freelance web developer there who told me, “I regularly purchase themes from you, you guys help me speed up my eCommerce development to earn money. Thank you, guys.”
The next month in April 2014, we attended Joomla day in Atlanta, USA. Two clients hugged me and said “You saved us lots of time!” We will never forget those moments.
What's the most challenging thing about your work?Staying up to date with current web trends/standards, and regularly updating our themes on new versions of each platform. We now have more than 300 themes, so keeping up-to-date is a constant challenge.
Name a few people who inspire you and why?Narendra Modi - I personally like his way of working like a machine, his humbleness and his leadership. And Steve Jobs, as he created outstanding high-quality products and moved the industry forward.
What is your advice to other authors regarding how to create a successful portfolio?Do what you are an expert in: if you have good experience with eCommerce, don’t try to create business themes. Focus on niche themes, as there are many general themes built. Do trending and unique design, followed up with the best customer support you can offer.
Fun Fact: You're ranked 50th for sales on ThemeForestWe can’t believe we made it! We love to say thank you to all of our customers, the ThemeForest team, and the team working with us.
Congratulate TemplateMela in the forums, and check out their portfolio!