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Fishers business owner helping people 'find their word' through art therapy

Manasa Nagraj has welcomed countless customers and helped them create a masterpiece or two, transforming unfinished wood into works of art.

FISHERS, Ind — Many of us couldn't wait for 2020 to end and for 2021 to arrive.

Some may have made New Year's resolutions, but what happens when you lose focus on your goals?

Manasa Nagraj didn't want that to happen. She opened Hammer & Stain Central Indiana — her "dream studio" — in Fishers last year.

"2020 has been a very tough year for all of us," Nagraj said. "Many of us have went through a lot, so art kept me safe during the tough times."

She knew from a very young age that she liked being creative and loved doing crafts.

Nagraj has welcomed countless customers and helped them create a masterpiece or two, transforming unfinished wood into works of art.

COVID-19 slowed things down and made her reflect on how to better 2021.

"We all list New Years resolutions, but I just wanted to scrap the long list of goals," Nagraj said. 

Instead, she helps customers design one word they can see every day.

"If you choose one word to focus on for the entire year, you're committed to remain mindful of it for the year," Nagraj said. 

Her word is "hustle."

"I'm kind of a procrastinator so I just wanted to overcome those issues to prepare better myself,"  Nagraj said.

Nagraj says art can be a therapeutic aid.

"It can focus your mind and has even been compared to meditation, just because it has that calming effect," Nagraj said. "When you get involved in art, it kind of alleviates your anxiety, stress and depression."

In a world of uncertainty, Nagraj says art is something that is certain.

"When you get engaged in such activities, it kind of like helps you stay focused and happy," Nagraj said. "I believe everyone can be creative if they have the right tools to get there, and that's why I wanted to help people create that perfect piece they always wanted to create."

Nagraj is hoping everyone can find their word for 2021.

Hammer & Stain Central Indiana is located at 11508 Lantern Road in Fishers.

Nagraj is holding a "One-Word" workshop on Jan. 20 and says customers can make the signs at home as a take-home kit.

Click here for more information on Hammer & Stain Central Indiana.

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