Meet The Maker: Sahaj Ghose, Leather Craft Artist – The Bicyclist, Delhi

Today on the blog, we feature Sahaj Ghose, leather craft artist, designer and founder of The Bicyclist – a slow design studio for handcrafted leather goods. The featured artist, showcased his works and has conducted a series of leather craft workshops at @byhandfromtheheart makers market edition in Coimbatore.

Hello, tell us all a bit about yourself.

I have always liked working with my hands, since I was a kid I have been building, with paper, and sticks, and wood.  When it was time for selecting my course of higher education, product design in some ways always kept that eagerness to work with hands alive through model making. Through my experience in college, I started looking at objects with new light. I could connect the object with not only its purpose and function but also as a story. I liked the nature of interaction that builds around objects. They could be conversation starters or even bring out a pleasant feeling or a memory when we looked at it. Eventually design became a way to connect to a larger picture.

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About your venture. When and what inspired you to start your business?

I fell in love with leather. My affair with this material started with shoes, a beautiful pair of brown high ankle leather boots. I got them from one of the many street-side shops of the infamous ‘Chor Bazaar’ near Red Fort, in Delhi. There she was scattered among a pile of leather sandals, oxford’s, derbies and loafers. For some reason, I just had to wear them. After all these years the wrinkles of use have creased her face but she still looks beautiful. Leather again tickled my curiosity, a few years later in one of my trips to the mountains, I found an ill-finished camel-leather backpack and the next two years I used it to its limits, but through all the rough use I started appreciating the functional purpose leather serves in bags. I used it every day (holiday adventures included), and I could see how it had responded to my use. The material kind of came alive then, because it had evolved. Leather somehow made sense and I have explored this material ever since.

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How did you learn the craft?

I learnt leather craft by myself. Mostly online tutorials and watching the craftsmen work, through observation and practice. There has been a lot of trial and error in this process and many frustrating moments. But I guess the only way you learn is by doing.  It’s been four years since I started working with this material and I am still learning new techniques and trying to perfect them everyday and every time I work on it. There are just so many amazing things that can be done with this leather that I don’t think I am ever going to stop.

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Your production is mostly hand done. Why do you choose this approach?

The process of hand making objects is a slow process, however it also becomes an expression of the love and passion of a craftsman. These expressions can be found in the details of a handmade object. Objects made by machines are just soulless.

In the world we live in today where instant gratification and ever changing desires is the norm. I feel there needs to be a constant, something real and something made with love that you can fall in love with as well. With objects that get discarded, it becomes impossible to do so. There is always going to be the next best thing that craves to be bought, forgetting about the ones you already have.

The journey of a crafted object does not end with the craftsman. Its final chapter is written by the owner. For a second look away from this screen to the things that surround you. How many of them do you see are going to be with you in the next five or ten years? Some might be discarded in a few months. But the ones that hang around become a little more precious. With every patch and repair, a sticker and a mark, the care and time you have shared with the object, makes it a part of you.

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A bit about your studio & work space.

I live and work out of my studio in Delhi. I have been living here for the past 6 years now and I love staying here. The best part about this place are the large glass windows that look out onto the balcony and overlook into the garden right in front of me. I have been very lucky to get this place. It’s tiny but it’s perfect for me. A bubble where I can be whoever I wish to be and do whatever I want to. Another part of the place I love is the floor. A big single polished but completely bare cemented floor with no decorations or patterns but over time there are these tiny random cracks that have appeared in between. These random cracks are imperfect and so beautiful.

The story behind your label name,’The Bicyclist’. 

The bicycle through its construction is honest about what it is, and how it functions, it does not hide its working, but through the precision of its construction and assembly celebrates it, which defines its form and what it stands for.

The bicycle is a mode, being The Bicyclist is a choice.
Why not show the beauty of what is than what it is not.

What’s the most challenging part of making your products?

Making is never a problem, selling is. I have always loved making but I have never really understood how to sell. I am learning, but like everything else it’s a slow process. And I have just started.

What is the best thing about being a maker designer in India?

You can get really close to the master craftsmen and learn from them. In my experience it’s the easiest way to learn a craft. In India there are so many people ready to help you out, only if you ask the right questions. If you don’t have anything to ask, be humble and just observe. Even eavesdropping on a conversation at a tea stall near a workshop area can give you so much information.

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Your favourite tool and technique

All tools are important and all techniques are precious. I cant choose. Each of the tools was a mystery till I worked and learnt about working with it and taking care of it. Every technique started with an experiment till I was able to do it better.

Why is making important? How does creating make you feel?

Making gives me a sense of satisfaction and confidence. I know what I have made is tangible and real. I know how the object came to be, step by step, from the very beginning. It’s the only thing I loved doing as I had mentioned earlier. I don’t think I would ever stop making things.

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We love all your works; do you have a favourite pick? And why?

Thank you for that, and it’s a tough pick. I honestly can’t say because how do I make the choice? Each of my designs are an expression of my feelings so they all hold value based on their form. I could tell you which one is a favourite among my clients but that wouldn’t be fair to the other designs.

Who or what influences your work? Do you have a favourite maker artist?

My experiences. Along with the feelings and emotions that are associated with it mostly influence the form of my work. Looking at other craftsmen and artist work inspires me to have better detail in my work and craft with more patience and perseverance. I especially get inspired by potters, weavers, miniaturist painters and sculptures. I have many favourite artists and creators, the list is long and ever growing.

The music you listen to. Share with us your favorites on your playlist.

Where do you see your label taking you?

That’s a question I ask myself as well and I am not sure. What I do know is that I would like to keep working with craftsmen and as a craftsman. In the near future, have a studio space where we can all live and work together, side by side. I have no idea practically how I am going to make it happen. But I do know that’s what I would like to live like someday.

The Bicyclist x By Hand from the Heart. Your experience. 

By Hand From the Heart has been an angel in disguise. It helped me in so many ways than just having a space to exhibit my craft. The first workshop I ever did was facilitated and encouraged by them. They have always been so helpful and encouraging even after the event they keep helping me by spreading the sharing my work and passion with people. As a creator it means a lot when someone trusts you and loves your craft as much as you do.



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Meet The Maker: Ananthan – Master’s Loft, Chennai

Today on the blog, we feature Ananthan founder of Master’s Loft, – an artisanal label of artifacts for modern day spaces. Meet the makers at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am Ananthan, a Visual Communication graduate, Designer, Photographer, Traveler and Art Lover. Worked for Advertising and multimedia industries in the past and working as a design consultant in an IT company.

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How did you begin Master’s Loft?

I used to collect art and artifacts while I travel different places across India and abroad. while I interact with the makers, the passion and the story behind the product made me more excited.  When I wanted to buy a gift that reflects our nativity, culture, art and history, either the workmanship was below average, or the price was very expensive. Most of the time end up with the Chinese products.  So, I thought of making my own gifts and decors that is inspired from my own culture and tradition. I started to search for the best artisan across Tamil Nadu, who are the masters in the traditional process of art making. I have invested a good amount of time and money to identify the right people. It took almost one and half years to do R&D, understand the material and assemble a small team of passionate people. To make the engagement active and bring more excited designs I thought reaching out to art lovers. We named it Master’s Loft and keeping the momentum live.

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What is the story behind your brand name?

Every great master will have a loft where they store their master pieces. Master’s Loft  is the place we store variety of artifacts from the master craft men across the Geo landscape.

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Tell us about your team of artisans and craft styles.

We have 3 Master Craft men who makes these artifacts in different materials (Wax, Bronze, Wood and Clay).

I am getting inspiration from ancient murals, temples, homes and architecture. We sketch those master pieces and converting it into a model with the suitable material. Copies were made of minerals and bonding material. We trained a small team of under privilege rural women who work for our production for their livelihood.  We have a restoration artist who deals with colors to matches the ancient look. The Museum quality stands were made by our in-house team.

 

 

What is your personal favorite pick from your Master’s Loft right now? And why?

All of them. You see these products in our shelf because of my personal pick from the ancient lot.

 

What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart.

A good range of artifacts that reflects our history, culture and art. Material ranging from wood, Bronze and Minerals. Our products are the best choice for Home decors and corporate Gifts. When you are buying a product from us, you are not only bringing a decor to your home, but you are bringing a piece of art that rediscovered from a team of passionate craft men.

 

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


 

Meet The Maker: Vinoth Kumar & Srinath Gowtham, BHUTHA – Coimbatore.

Today on the blog, we feature Ar.Vinoth Kumar & Ar.Srinath Gowtham, founders of BHUTHA – Earthen Architecture’ a studio based in Coimbatore. Meet the makers at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

 

Tell us a bit about yourself. Why did you become a maker?

As Architecture graduates and ecology enthusiasts, we have had a penchant for beautiful structures and buildings that translate in Bhutha. We were fascinated by how we can unite traditional methodologies with contemporary style. Working with ecological concern is our keen interest and that gave wings to new ideas on ecological perspective in architecture. We implemented our collective interests in our small freelance projects, initially.  We travel to ancient towns and cities to research and bring with us the hidden treasures of knowledge that will help in our practice. Travelling helped us in reviving the traditional building practices.
Why is making so important for you?

At Bhutha, Sustainability and Zero waste are our forte.We are inspired by the maxim: “ A home is where the heart is.” A home is constructed with a vision to spend the rest of our beautiful lives. We want that home to be perfect, eco-friendly, 100% natural and sustainable to all natural calamities. To break the conventions of chemical processing and artificial processors, we have embarked on the journey to find the hidden treasures of earth and help people understand how our lives can benefit from the surplus natural resources available – all whilst being able to contribute to earth in return, sustainable and 100% natural.
How did you begin?

We proudly call ourselves as “real friends of nature”. My partner, Srinath Gowtham and I [Vinoth Kumar] completed our Architecture. We always wanted to add value in everything we did and we couldn’t think of better concept of building our own Earthen Architecture Studio to emphasize the natural treasures available in the earth and promote a refreshing lifestyle. 1

What is the Story behind your brand name?

‘BHUTHA’ – derived from ‘PANCHA BHUTHA’ which is, the five prime elements

 

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Your work space & the artisans you work with.

Our studio located in Coimbatore, also we take project preferably in Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states.

What is currently on your work table?

A resort in Pollachi

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What are your displaying at the By hand From the Heart.

Palette of Various building finishes such as Mud, Lime renders and Paints, Building Techniques such as roofs or walls. Display of natural materials and tools.

 

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


 

Meet The Maker: Jhelum Narsale, Khela, Mumbai

Today on the blog, we feature Jhelum Narsale; designer and founder of Khela, a sustainable, kids wear label. Meet the maker at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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Tell us a bit about yourself.   

I am post graduate in social sciences with 15+ years of experience working large organisations. Around two years ago I decided to start my own venture.. unsure at first.. but gaining confidence as I went along. As I look back, i feel it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.

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Why did you become a maker?  Why is making so important to you?   

For around 7-8 years, I lived and worked in London. My baby was born there as well. I used to feel a little disappointed at the dearth of quality kids wear labels in the international market despite India’s rich textile heritage. This along with my love for textiles, was the reason why I became a maker. My vision is to showcase Indian textile and craftsmanship through premium kids wear. I want to craft a brand which uses traditional Indian textiles and crafts to create modern silhouettes for children.

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What is the story behind your brand name?

Khela means ‘to play’ in most Indian languages. We aim to create classic clothing in which kids can run, jump and play and yet look effortlessly chic.

 

How has your business evolved over the years?    

We have chosen to grow slowly. We make at our own pace without trying to get a new collection out every season. We spend a lot of time deliberating on design, quality and finish. We will continue on this path.

 

Your work space. 
One of our studios is in Kolkata, another one in Gurgaon.

 

Your favorite work tool.
My hands.

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What is currently on your work table?
Baby collection

What is your personal favorite pick from your brand right now? And why?

Our embroidered indigo bandi is my all time favourite. It’s evergreen.. it works for multiple occasions.. an evening dinner or a festive outing. I love the design, the Warli motifs, and the use of colours. It’s in its third production round now.. so love that the design has stood the test of time.
What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart.

We will be displaying our smart casual collection. We also look forward to launching our baby wear.

 

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


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Meet The Maker: Esha Agarwal Fernandes, Chambray & Co., Ahmedabad

Today on the blog, we feature Esha Agarwal Fernandes, Founder/ Creative director of Chambray & Co., an artisanal clothing label. Meet the maker at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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Tell us a bit about yourself.

The Indian in me is at heart a maximalist and will always remain connected with elegant excess; no easy task, given the present fetish for minimalism. The idea is to focus on retaining the quintessentially Indian high texture aesthetic, using traditional craft skills to create a completely modern appeal, with a touch of surprise and newness.
Now with an experienced eye and a flair for lifestyle businesses, a desire and motivation to go global, and belief in Indian heritage, I have set out to focus on our unique Indianness with global relevance through conscious and inclusive business practices to promote Indian artisanal craft heritage.

 

Why did you become a maker? Why is making so important to you?

Education at the best design and business institutes in India, industry experience with stalwarts in fashion, and years of witnessing and contributing to mindless consumerism made me realise the horror of it all. Currently on my sustainability journey by adapting circularity through mindful design, conscious production and closed loop consumption.

As strong believers in sustainable design and working with communities, we explore wardrobe and home staples, through the pursuit of innovation alongside the use of India’s indigenous textiles; modern tailoring that includes a respect for the provenance of craft, an awareness of individual purpose and a responsibility towards fair business practices.

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How did you begin Chambray & Co.?

Established in 2015, Chambray & Co. is a brand working towards creating truly contemporary products combining Indian craft skills and modern aesthetics in our design language to create international appeal. Started with a passion for contemporary expression of Indian traditions, our brand ethos emerged from this passion, and from an intuitive perspective on ‘artisanal clothing’, making a larger, yet deeply personal, statement through every piece, every detail.

What is the story behind your brand name?

Chambray, a plain woven textile is most simply defined as a fabric with a white weft (filler thread) woven using a coloured warp (background thread). We build our transitional design philosophy on this interweaving of opposites, deep-rooted history with modern concepts, traditional without the defined heaviness and contemporary with a hearty helping of culture.

How has your business evolved over the years?

At Chambray & co. we always ensure that our products look more editorial than environmental, and could easily be seen in a high-fashion magazine. We don’t want to create a line of products that are created only for ‘serious social activists’ or ‘hippie tree huggers’. Rather, our designs resonate with a discerning urban crowd and have the potential to go mainstream. We don’t want them in just high end boutiques, or be extremely niche. They are designed to be commercially viable products and a lot of fun!

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Your work space & the artisans you work with.

Inspired by nature and captivated by the city, we tell a story of a lifestyle which embodies a connectedness and balance with the natural world through our products. One that speaks of and for artisans, their skills and challenges; of consumers who know how it feels to pay it forward.

At Chambray & Co. craft producers are involved at all levels of the production chain from sourcing material or weaving and dyeing fabrics, to product development and quality control of the final product.

Chambray & Co intends to empower women in communities of Gujarat where, in the comfort of their homes, the women can use basic forms of Indian embroidery which are not only easy to learn but also less time consuming to execute. They use these skills to upcycle and to add value, recycle and prolong the life cycles of apparel, home and lifestyle products. We celebrate the versatility of the textile crafts while reminding the craftswomen of their roots and reviving their skills of needle work, while tapping their inherent expertise and natural inclination of attention to detail.

Your favorite work tool.

The pen and the needle are my two favorite work tools.

What is currently on your work table?
My laptop, my design journals, some swatches of fabrics, some samples of embroideries, lots of stationery, a hot cup of rosehip tea.

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What is your personal favorite pick from your Chambray & Co. right now?
And why?

My personal favourite is ‘Jane’ from our ODE collection. I personally love the statement sleeves with and the intense fagoting detailing in this style.
What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart.

We are showcasing our trans-seasonal resort collection ‘ODE- Some people are artists, some themselves are art.’ A collection of easy separates made using fabric manipulation and delicate detailing.

 

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


 

Meet The Maker: Simy Arun, Siloam Artisan Soap, Kochi

Today on the blog, we feature Simy Arun; artisanal soap maker and founder of Siloam Artisan Soap, a homegrown soap label based in Kochi. Meet the maker at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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Tell us a bit about yourself.  

I, Simy Arun, and a MCA graduate was an IT professional. My work experience revolves around computers, at the moment I am pursuing  my passion to become a wellness entrepreneur, I was always interested in home remedies and natural products but was not sure on where to focus for my business, I am an ardent soap lover and  happen to buy a soap from a well known store and my husband  encouraged  me in to soap making.

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Why did you become a maker?  Why is making so important to you? 

 

Because I came across many handmade artisan soaps in foreign countries and could not find much here so I wanted to innovate and make them available here in India, I can buy different molds and make soap but I prefer hand designing soap which brings a personal touch to each soap.

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How did you begin your business?

Initially my husband helped me with soap making and later I started on my own, I started with simple ingredients like coconut oil and the response I received was positive I took a break as I was pregnant and then got busy with the little one. However 6 months later I decided to resume soap making, bringing an element that would persuade people to buy my soaps with quality the instant they look at it was very essential.

What is the story behind your brand name?
I always wanted a biblical name this was when my sister found a name for me.
The pool of Siloam was used as a ritual for cleansing and purifying.

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How has your business evolved over the years?

I started with basic oil soaps, and I saw the interests was different according to seasons like  for summer it was cucumber soap, people with dry skin preferred goat milk soap, people with normal to dry skin preferred coconut milk soap so I started making varieties in small batches, now I make artisan goats milk soaps, customized soaps for wedding and parties with orders received in 2 months advance, the challenging part is the waiting period as it is cold processed  it needs minimum 4 weeks time to cure so patience is a key here for both customer and the seller.

 

Your work space & your favorite work tool.

My kitchen. My favorite work tool would be my hands with a blender.

What is currently on your work table?

I am currently making bath truffles and bath butter scrubs.

What is your personal favorite pick from your label right now? And why?
Personal pick would be vanilla goats milk soap, I have received good reviews for my first batch itself; its moisturizing properties, fragrance has my heart. Its my personal favorite bathing soap.

 

What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart.

I will display Handmade artisan soaps, whipped sugar bath scrubs, bath truffles.

 

 

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


 

Meet The Maker: Kasturi and Viidhi, Oleum Cottage, Mumbai

Today on the blog, we feature, Kasturi and Viidhi, founders of Oleum Cottage, an artisanal apothecary brand, based in Mumbai. Meet the maker at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

 

Tell us a bit about yourself.

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Kasturi – Founder
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I am an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur and IIM Calcutta. But in my heart I have always been the girl from the small town of Durgapur. And as I grow older, am even more keen to nurture that part of me. I want to focus on creating something truly valuable for myself, and people around me; and living simply. It brings me a smile when I think that I truly find value in old school parenting, natural remedies for hair, skin and general well-being. My mother always said, “One day…” and well, the day did come.

 

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Viidhi – Co-Founder:

My friends often say am an old soul. Maybe I am. I have always believed in the magic of alternate therapies, meditation and healing. There was something very calming about it, in a non-intrusive yet holistic way. Honestly, if you ask me, it all started with tackling my own acne – at first experiments with dermatological peels and treatments, and finally coming a full circle, embracing the power of natural oils for healing from within.

 

How did you begin Oleum Cottage?

Kasturi: Back in 2014, I was a young mother with twins, and my baby girl was diagnosed with a rare metabolic disorder. At that point, I was reading everything I could, trying different approaches to simply increase her immunity when someone mentioned aromatherapy might help. This was my first step into understanding, and studying it. And also, perhaps therein lay the genesis of Oleum Cottage. My first trial ever was a blend of basil, eucalyptus, clove, sesame, soybean and neem, to work on simple coughs and colds. It worked so well that it paved the path for our first formulation – Immunity Boosting Body Lotion, and till date remains one of our fastest selling products.


What is the story behind your brand name?

It’s a combination of two words really close to our hearts – ‘Oleum‘, which is Latin for oil. A word that forms a big part of any aromatherapy manuscript – and we live by this script. Cottage, for us is the personal part of the experience we want to curate at Oleum Cottage – an artisanal apothecary, which is warm and welcoming, where you can find natural, handcrafted solutions to your skin problems.

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How has your business evolved over the years?    

We launched Oleum Cottage in October 2017 with a small, boutique store in Powai, where we started making fresh, artisanal, apothecary-style skincare. Our products are freshly hand-blended from cold pressed vegetable oils, therapeutic grade essential oils and unrefined butters with a carefully curated list of over 80 rare ingredients from around the world, each one historically known for its therapeutic benefits.

Two years on in 2019, we launched our flagship store in Bandra, where we made a few changes – our packaging for instance, which stays true to the apothecary origins of the brand, taking inspiration from typewritten medicine labels, using copper accents and botanical illustrations. We have curated the store to be an experiential space where people can interact with our products, and perhaps also order something uniquely theirs from our Fresh section.

Your work space & the artisans you work with.

We have 2 beautiful cottages in Mumbai that are handled by certified aromatherapists. We create our products in a FDA certified facility and pride ourselves in the massive human contribution that goes into their making. We believe love and good vibes, from the motley group of makers, are our best ingredients.

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Your favorite work tool

We love working with virgin cold pressed oils and steam distilled essential oils. We love primitive ways of using raw plant ingredients for beauty, and are always striving to find more of those.

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What is currently on your work table?

Currently, we are researching 100% plant based ingredients for hair cleansers. We want to offer our users a convenient way to use ancient methods of haircare to save themselves from the use of chemicals like surfactants and silicones.

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What is your personal favorite pick from your BRAND right now? And why?

Well, there are so many! It is difficult to pick one. But if we have to, we love our Face Crèmes. They are a brilliant mix of cold pressed oils and extracts that make them so soft in texture, highly effective and so unlike the mass-produced ones. We have 5 different cremes for different skin types, and each one is unique in the benefits it offers.

What are your displaying at By Hand, From The Heart.

We will be displaying our entire range of 29 products that falls in the following categories:

  1. Kids Care
  2. Face Ritual Kits
  3. Hair Care
  4. Body Care
  5. Lip Care
  6. Foot Care
  7. Men’s Grooming

 

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


Meet The Maker: Nisha Arora, Ishaavi, Gurgaon

Today on the blog, we feature, Nisha Arora, principal designer and founder of Ishaavi, a sustainable fashion label for women, based in Gurgaon. Meet the maker at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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Tell us a bit about yourself.   

I’m born and brought up in Gurgaon and youngest amongst my siblings, with an elder sister and 2 elder brothers. I did my schooling from Gurgaon and graduated in Bachelors of Art from University of Delhi. After my graduation, I pursued my fashion design and development studies from IIFT and NIFT Delhi.

Being an alumni of NIFT Delhi, I have a very strong and persuasive voice when it comes to design. Since my childhood, I knew I wanted to be a designer and after completing my studies, I started working as a freelance creative designer and later joined my family business ‘Ambika Aesthetics.’ With an extensive designing experience of 21 years, I co-founded ‘Ishaavi’ with my support system and husband Lovi Arora.

 

Why did you become a maker?  Why is making so important to you?   

Since my childhood, I always aspired to be a designer. I have been fascinated by fashion and admired the beautiful weaves & textiles of our country. The major inspiration came from the women around me, like my teachers, mom and aunts who were impeccably dressed all the time. Fashion has always been my first and last choice. It’s like another child to me which I’ve been nurturing with my full attention and patience.

 

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How did you begin Ishaavi?

In my quest to conserve the tradition of hand-woven textiles, I envision Ishaavi and for it to be a part of collective efforts towards eco-green. My aim is to be able to do even more for our environment and reach our fashion forward audience in a creative yet classic way through my true practices and through Ishaavi.

Ishaavi begun to stand for everything sustainable and takes a full life cycle approach – it looks at everything from fabric to dyes and finishes, to ethics during the production process and to the waste at the end. Through Ishaavi, we honour handlooms by conceptualising our self in creating end- to-end sustainability. We bring back local craft technique in a contemporary avatar and encourage people to embrace conscious fashion.

 

What is the story behind your brand name?

Ishaavi is another name of Goddess Durga. We started this label with a belief that modern clothing should symbolise all that is good and harmonious in the world. Being authentic and to produce responsibly, we focus on homegrown fabrics, heritage textiles, indigenous silhouettes and artisanal techniques to create clothes that have a long and valuable life.

How has your business evolved over the years?    

Although we are still at young stage of our business but since we started we have had the opportunity to work with different weaving communities along India’s regional craft belt. These weaving communities are majorly based out of Hyderabad and Maheshwar. We have also worked with the weavers from Kolkata on hand-weaving technique of jamdani. We have worked with organic and rich Indian fabrics like 100 counts cotton, handwoven handspun yarn, Muslin and Khadi.

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Your work space; the artisans you work with.

As an own label maker, one thing I have learned is that you have to depend on many, many people to make things happen , so you need to assemble a great team of people to do things well. Thus it has always been my endeavour to have a team on board which has the same goals as I do and provide my team with a comfortable and familiar environment with their own personal space in order to bring out the best in them which I feel is clearly represented in their work as each product has its makers personal touch.

Your favorite work tool.

The classic work tool for a designer are my most favourite, they are sketch colours & sketch books.

 

What is currently on your work table?

Gearing up for Ishaavi’s spring summer 2020 collection, I have been toying up with a lot of out of the box ideas. At the moment, I have lots of colour pens, notepad, fabric swatches, my water bottle & my laptop at my work table.

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What is your personal favorite pick from your label right now? And why?

My personal style and my wardrobe beholds the designs and the garments that I design for Ishaavi. My personal favourite is Bella Bamboo. Its a pale champagne over-lap fine cotton dress. It has delicate hand embroidery motif on side panels along with handcrafted smocking details. I like to wear it as it personify my sense of style and elevates my personality. I also have a sense of nostalgia attached to the smocking technique thats used in this piece. Above all, its sustainable, comfortable, simple, elegant and suits every body type.
What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart.

We’ll be displaying our upcoming collection (Spring Summer’20) at the By Hand, from the Heart. The collection is going to be a mix of Sarees, Kurtas, dresses, tops & pants.

 

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

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Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


Meet The Maker: Darshna Lal, Teori, Chennai

Today on the blog, we feature, Darshna Lal, principal designer and founder of Teori; a clothing label for women that captures the essence of purity with a contemporary take on heritage. The label offers the finest Indo western silhouettes made from hand woven textiles. Meet the maker at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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Tell us a bit about yourself.  Why did you become a maker?  Why is making so important to you?   

Darshna Lal – Creative Director & Founder of Teori. Passion for clothes is whats driven me to start this brand. Always wanted to create clothes for women coming from different paths of life, I did not want it to be just basic shirts & kurtas, adding elements of style & functionality to the apparel is what we as a brand are working towards.

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How did you begin TEORI?

TEORI as a brand started its humble journey with a basic workshop come retail space and then we ventured into online operations which now constitutes a major portion of our workings.  As a brand we want to focus on something which is limited & sustainable. We want to give classic international style a Indian touch with our authentic handwoven fabrics.

 

What is the story behind your brand name? 

TEORI – The brand name means HANDWOVEN in Japanese Language. The concept of the brand is based on Garments sourced from natural fibers which are predominantly handwoven. Teori feels that cotton or any handwoven fabric is still underrated in terms of designing glocal silhouettes and patterns due to apprehensions of it being way too subtle, not shiny which has become a nomen-clature of any party or outings. Teori as a brand is trying to redefine the styling by using all natural fibers making it very comfortable and trendy and easy to carry ensemble for all occasions. 

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How has your business evolved over the years? 

Teori is a startup venture. It has been 2.5 years now since, we have made a beginning. We are growing steadily and working towards our fore-casted targets which we feel will be achieved shortly. 

 

Your work space & the people you work with.

We have our own workshop to design and manufacture our clothes. We work with around 3-4 tailors and inspire them to make clothes as per our projected design and desired quality. 

 

Your favorite work tool.

I’m totally old school always prefer Paper & Pencil. 

 

What is currently on your work table?

Laptop, Swatches of fabrics.

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What is your personal favorite pick from your label right now? And why?

Interstellar from Andromeda collection, because it’s a perfect LBD.

 

What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart.

Assorted pieces from Andromeda, Yugen & Deglam Collection. Also Kurtis and few separates too.

 

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

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Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


 

Meet The Maker: Mons Selvam, Chennai

Today on the blog, we feature, full time artist, Ar. Mons Selvam. Meet the maker at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I come from a village near Erode from an ambitious family of high performers. I had a very vivid rural childhood, yet there was a clinging passive melancholy growing up during my adolescence. After a bumpy journey, I finally found a route to rebuild myself over all the trauma of my growing years and manifest something to build my confidence. I drew three hundred and fifty meters of cartoon strip on the story which I always celebrated – my vivid rural childhood of happiness and togetherness. And I proved my inner world and beyond, that ambitions with compassion and humaneness can still stand high. From there I looked forward to fill the world with happiness, compassion and unconditional love through my art and beyond.

From learning architecture to experiencing life in Cuckoo school, from learning compassion in Seva Cafe to selling self made goodies on the streets of Bangalore, from working with St+art India to starting my own design studio ‘Masala Pencils’ with my closest friends, from parting ways to making way for a Guinness World Record, I have redefined my reality.

 

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Why did you become a maker?  Why is making so important to you?   

I am a maker ever since I was born. More than a maker, I was and am a doer. Doing or manifesting, if we may call so, is so important to me because I am a person full of energy. I go unstable if I am not making/ manifesting my high energy in some form. By making art I just transcend myself to a more divine space.

How did you begin ?

Four years back, I thought that I cannot draw. And today, here I am drawing portraits, cartoons, comic strips in colour pencils, acrylic paints and digital. Everything started because of my best friend who believed in me when I could not believe in myself. I drew and I only shared them with him but it was him who posted them on social media. To my surprise, people loved my work and that gratification gave me the confidence to make more and it still does.

What is the story behind your brand name?
 
I make art under my own name because I see my work as an extension of myself and they grow as I grow and I evolve as they evolve.

How has your business evolved over the years?    

From illustrations being made to share on social media to sell them on different product range today, me and my works have come a long way.

 

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Your work space & the artisans you work with.

I work alone in my home studio with my few plant babies along. My studio has a huge cupboard for all my tools and books, a table corner with my vision board on the wall, an Easel with a stool and all my artworks lying on the floor and leaning on the wall, all ready to be shipped.

Your favourite work tool.

I love all my tools. I am a proud stationery hoarder.  But my colour pencils top them all, second being my Easel. Sitting and painting in my Easel is a different level experience that I cant put in words. I enjoy it.

 

What is currently on your work table?

I am having a personal project in mind where I will be painting faceless portraits of people and tell their untold stories that they feel shameful off and that makes them to stay anonymous and keep it as their deep dark secret. The mission of the project is to make others who have undergone the same thing in their life to feel that they aren’t alone. By 2020, I am looking forward to start working on this project and my vision is to make 100 such artworks and tell 100 such stories in the next 2 years. Fingers crossed.

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What is your personal favourite pick from your brand right now? And why?

I put all my energy and mind into any work that I do. But for a teeny tiny little bit, ‘Sigappi’ is more closer to my heart. That work is about a woman with rage and peace, with ever-flowering thoughts growing her mind and ever-creeping thoughts chocking her neck. This piece showcases the balance of two contrast temperaments of women.

What are you displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart.

My wide range of Wall art, Notebooks, Posters, Tote-bags, Pins and Magnets and am so excited.

 

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

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Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


Meet The Maker: Richa Tikmani, Earthy Allure, Chennai

Today on the blog, we feature, Richa Tikmani, principal designer and founder of Earthy Allure, a homegrown studio pottery label based in Chennai. Meet the maker at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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A bit about yourself.

I am  Richa Tikmani  the creative force behind ” Earthy Allure” an  art and design studio   focusing  on  establishing a relationship between artisans and the end user. Under the guidance of  Jane Mavelski, while exploring the process of  Raku  firing and glazing, I realized what started as an inquisitiveness to explore a new medium, transformed into an evolving investigation into  the mystique of clay.

Making its way through many  meticulous process each hand crafted piece  emerge as a spectacular creation with its subtle, unique variation, surprising you and leaving  the marks of its making.

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About your label.

EARTHY ALLURE  has its roots through its crafts men who make pottery  a fully involved process combining elements of nature , individuality, creativity, and tradition. Each piece is a handmade, heartfelt, labor of love and designed with inspiration from nature in all its glory .

Earthy Allure pottery is unique and are one off or limited edition. It is an original work of art and no item are ever same. Our pieces  come with their own certificate ,stamp, and artist signature., Showing  our love and appreciation for each piece, making it  a treasure to be passed down to generations .

At Earthy Allure, we strive to draw a parallel between functionality and aesthetics. We aim at creating distinctive pieces  of art , that connect  to the lives and daily rituals of the people who use them. Each piece is handcrafted to perfection and customized to once  preference.

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Why is making important to you?

Being naturally attracted to practical items that are as appealing to touch and hold as they are to look at. I seek to design objects which offer a perfect balance of the functionality and aesthetics. Every piece I create is a simple, honest expression of art that connects to the lives and daily rituals of the people who use them and is there to last, be cherished and whose story and beauty grows through time and use.

I believe that craft is all about the senses and the transference of deep energy from one person to another. Handling a creation is like shaking hands with the maker and everyone else who has held it. Thus establishing a relationship between artisans and the user.

How did you begin your brand and how has business evolved?

A brand  built from our love for art and our passion to create objects that connect  to the lives and daily rituals of the people who use them. Today, as a leading  stone ware brand we have customized  unique dinner ware and serving pieces for many well known national high street pubs and restaurants. We also delight in a completely rewarding experience of creating  bespoke ceramics for celebrity chefs .

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What is your personal favorite pick from your brand right now? And why?

Each piece undeniably an individual. Each artifact  created in  our studio tells its own winding, flowing tale through its textures. Once fired, the slip and glaze, are transformed into gloss three dimensional paintings.

 

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What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart.

We will offer a whole range of table ware finished in variety of led free glazes. Each piece from our collection with its unique characteristics is a magnificent canvas in its own right. Our domestic earthen ware  are dishwasher, microwave and oven safe reflecting our motivation towards utility.

 

 

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

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Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


Meet The Maker: Prabha, TIYSHA, Bangalore

Today on the blog, we feature, Prabha, designer and founder of TIYSHA, Bangalore; a home grown label for silver jewellery. Meet the maker at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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Tell us a bit about yourself. Why did you become a maker? Why is making so important to you?

My name is Prabha, I am a software professional who loves and hoards a lot of silver jewellery. Crafting was always my passion; even if it is simple idea I love to design; especially traditional south Indian designs.

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How did you begin your business?
I come from a family of jewellers. Tiysha was started as a home brand more than a year back and we explored business possibilities through social media.

What is the story behind your brand name?
Tiysha – Named after my two daughters, Tiya and Sasha.

Your work space & the artisans you work with.
We have our own team of karigars who make silver and gold jewels in Tamil Nadu.

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Your favorite work tool.
Pliers

What is currently on your work table?
We are working more on fusion jewellery that gives a modern and yet a infusion of traditional look. We do love working on the traditional designs as well.

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What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart.
We would be displaying finely crafted pieces of temple jewellery, fusion jewellery which includes Earrings, Jhumkas, Necklaces, Bangles and Nosepins.

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


 

Meet The Maker: Vidya Mecheri, Varna, Chennai

Today on the blog, we feature Vidya Mecheri, founder of Varna; an accessory label based in Chennai. Meet the maker at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am from Chennai and started Varna 7 years back. I love working with Indian fabrics. From the cotton Ikats to the rich Benarasis, we have such a beautiful variety to choose from. I live in Dublin and my sister in law helps me in my work here.

 

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How did you begin?

While we started in Dec 2012, we made potlis in raw silk with contrast borders and brocades. We made strings with tassels and beads and they looked very pretty. It was a slow start, thinking back we have come a long way. We supplied to boutiques and the response was good. We went on to make clutches, wallets, sling bags and totes.

What is the story behind your brand name?

“Varnam” means color and we got Varna from that. We wanted to add our products to the name. And ‘Varna clutches and totes’ was born 🙂 Varna is a passion to design and to reach people who appreciate it.

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How has your business evolved over the years?

The Indian weaves and handmade embroidery takes time and effort. We source fabrics from artisans and our suppliers. We like to mix and match fabrics and they look good. We keep looking for new fabrics that will be nice in our products. Response is good and we have done some wedding orders in India and abroad.

Your work space.

I work from home in Dublin, Ireland. Working from here has its challenges. I coordinate with my team and it is worth my time when I see the finished products.

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


 

Meet The Maker: Astha Patel, Dhaga, Vadodara

Today on the blog, we feature, Astha Patel, founder and principal designer of Dhaga, a slow fashion label for women. Meet the maker at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am Astha Patel founder of Dhaga. I am an Accessory designer and love to work with textiles.

Why did you become a maker?  Why is making so important to you?

Since my childhood I had this fascination for textiles and making little things out of it. I used to design my dresses and try to explain it to my tailor, it used to be a funny conversation between me, my mom and the tailor. As I grew up I started realising I can make things aesthetically more beautiful. And I chose to do designing.

How did you begin your business?

I was studying accessory design, but as I said I always had a thing for fabrics. I started reading a lot about textiles and exploring with textile in my projects. Met few weavers during college time, saw their craftsmanship and their working environment. Craftsmanship inspired me and working environment pushed me more towards collaborating with them. I just knew this what I want to do I want to work with traditional technique and Indian weavers.

 

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What is the story behind your brand name?

It takes so many threads to create a beautiful fabric, same way I believe we as a brand are that one thread who can make this world much more beautiful with our organic/sustainable choices. So I chose to name my brand Dhaga (Hindi word for Thread).

How has your business evolved over the years?

It hasn’t been so long yet. But its really great seeing people moving towards sustainable lifestyle.

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Your work space & the artisans you work with.

We work with weavers from Kutch. We have a small team of local tailors and women with amazing embroidery skills.

Your favourite work tool.

I love to do embroidery so needle and a cotton thread. And of course my water colors I enjoy making illustrations of the collection.

What is currently on your work table?
Laptop, few books, one little plant, few fabric samples, stationary

What is your personal favorite pick from your brand right now? And why?

My pick is The Untamed Pocket Tunic and Cloudy Pants. Because it is a very clean and minimal design with little embroidered details. I love to style these two pieces together.

What are your displaying at the By Hand, from the Heart.

I will be displaying Khadi and Hand woven kala cotton clothing rage. The designs are timeless and comfortable for every season.

 

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


 

Meet The Maker: Poongkothai Chandrahasan, Serendip – Chennai.

Today on the blog, we feature Poongkothai Chandrahasan, founder of Serendip a jewellery brand in South India. Meet the maker at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

 

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Tell us a bit about the brand’s founder.

Ms. Poongkothai Chandrahasan FOUNDER/ MANAGING DIRECTOR SERENDIP BOUTIQUE SOCIAL ENTERPRISES PVT LTD.

Ms. Poonkothai Chandrahasan comes from an illustrious political family from Sri Lanka. She studied in Chennai for her schooling and college. After completing her Masters degree in communication, she spent time on the Harvard University campus to do a diploma in film making from NYFA. She has also directed many documentaries on refugees and human rights. She has been working for the upliftment of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees and vulnerable Indian women and children since 2003 with NGO offer http://www.oferr.org and is currently a DIRECTOR & Management Committee member. She is very passionate about social work and giving back to the society. Poongkothai was also an actress in the Kollywood industry and has been in the fashion industry from a very young age. She started Serendip in 2016 to help rural women and underprivileged children of Chidambaram village in Tamil Nadu. A dog lover, she has two rescued INDI dogs, Bambi and Ronaldo who are the apples of her eye!

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Why did you become a maker? Why is making so important?

The Inception of Serendip boutique Social enterprises Pvt ltd was inspired by the need to help Sri Lankan Tamil refugees and vulnerable Indian women & children in rural villages. The ethos of Serendip Boutique is ‘Indulge in sustainably handcrafted luxury products while empowering and educating.’

When asked about Serendip’s origin and inspiration, the founder Ms. Poongkothai said, “One of the programs I had pioneered at our NGO OfERR, was a TOMS Giving Partnership (https://www.toms.com/impact) Through the many years of partnership with TOMS we have distributed almost ONE MILLION pairs of school shoes to children in government schools in India, to children who have never owned a pair of shoes in their lives. In this journey of partnership with TOMS, I realized that a for-profit company can make a huge contribution to the less fortunate. That’s when I started learning more about the concept and impact of Social enterprise. I’ve been working to help marginalized communities for more than 17 years, and I’ve regrettably come to see that aid is drying up. Setting up a for-profit social enterprise, where we train our women to make exquisite sustain-ably crafted products and utilizing those profits to empower and educate the vulnerable women & children, seemed the best way forward because today its all about sustainability ”

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Genesis of the brand

Serendip embarked on its journey of empowerment as a social enterprise with the aim of improving the lives of vulnerable women & Children. The core idea was to generate livelihood opportunities for the Sri Lankan refugee communities living in rural India. We trained women from the Sri Lankan refugee women and vulnerable Indian rural village women in Tamil Nadu to make ethical and exquisite jewelry. Furthermore, it is sustainable crafted, which adds to its charm! The proceeds of sales go towards our ‘Be the change’ initiative.

Serendip boutique is a social enterprise which aims to provide fair wages and sell their products at a fair price. Serendip believes in fusing its exquisite jewellery with ethical fashion, social causes and traditional culture. Each piece is sustainable crafted by women from marginalized communities, while being designed & packaged by our Serendip team. The proceeds from sales go towards our ‘Be the Change’ initiative which funds education centres in 25 villages, empowering 1500 children in rural Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. Furthermore, it also funds livelihood training programs, as well as income generation schemes. Our goal is to empower and ultimately transform the lives of women and children in these vulnerable communities, and to be the change we want to see. Every time you make a purchase from us, you transform a life, you become a part of ‘Be the Change’ initiative.

 

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SERENDIP’S ‘BE THE CHANGE’ INITIATIVE

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”- Mahatma Gandhi

EMPOWERING through through EDUCATION

Every piece of jewellery is intricately designed and proudly handcrafted with love by the Serendip Boutique Team. Proceeds from the sale of this product goes towards funding education centres in 25 village Empowering 1500 children in rural Chidambaram, T.N. The village tuition center teachers are graduates who are from the same village. They devote their evenings to teaching children and they earn from it. This helps them with funding their postgraduate degree. Apart from the tuition center, we conducted training and set up a children’s parliament (we conduct a proper election in schools and set up children parliament in schools that’s similar to our Indian parliament) in every village, an effort by us to make students to socially conscious and to become leaders, representing their village needs to relevant government authorities and organizing cleaning drives, health awareness exhibitions. Apart from this 10,000 free school shoes and 25,000 free school notebooks were distributed.

POVERTY ALLEVIATION through LIVELIHOOD TRAINING & INCOME GENERATION

Vulnerable women are trained in income generating activities. This includes tailoring, handicraft making and jewelry making. As we sell more our dream is to employ more and more rural & refugee women giving them livelihood and thereby impacting their families and alleviating them from poverty. We strive to maintain a relationship of togetherness and mutual support in the history of war and destruction. Some real-life examples: Sumathi and Nagalakshmi both came to India as refugees in 1990, fleeing the devastating Sri Lankan civil war. They have since lived in the Sri Lankan Refugee camp in Tamil Nadu , and have had to overcome many struggles in their life. Today they are empowered women trainers, who are working full time at the Serendip Boutique Social Enterprise Pvt. Ltd. They create prototypes of the products serendip sells and also train other groups of marginalized women who work with Serendip Boutique. Their training is very valuable to us and it also gives employment to numerous women in the rural villages.
To know more about OfERR’s Education programmes or to donate to OfERR’s click here

TRANSFORMING LIVES

By purchasing this product you are taking us one step closer to transforming the lives of underprivileged women and children! The women no longer have to depend on their husband for their livelihood. They get a new sense of freedom and empowerment through this. They are then able to nourish and feed their children and protect themselves. This education for their children enables the children to find good jobs in the future and this will further push them out of the poverty sphere.

 

What is the story behind your brand name?

Our Brand name SERENDIP is the ancient name for our beautiful emerald Island of Sri Lanka. Serendib, also spelled Serendip, Arabic Sarandīb, name for the island of Sri Lanka (Ceylon). The name, Arabic in origin, was recorded in use at least as early as AD 361 and for a time gained considerable currency in the West. It is best known to speakers of English through the word serendipity, invented in the 18th century by the English man of letters Horace Walpole on the inspiration of a Persian fairy tale, “The Three Princes of Serendip,” whose heroes often made discoveries by chance.

The name Serendip is a corruption of the Sanskrit compound Siṃhaladvīpa (“Dwelling-Place-of-Lions Island”). The Arabs are thought to have borrowed the name from Indians with whom they traded.

How has your business evolved over the years?

Serendip boutique has certain core principles it believes it and follows diligently. Poverty alleviation is of utmost impotence and this is achieved through livelihood training and income generation. The products at Serendip are made under fair wages. You, as a consumer, buy the products at a fair price which further helps us generate employment for the women in marginalized communities. The proceeds received go back to the community in the form of funding for entrepreneurial trainings to women groups as well as funding our after school tuition centers in rural South India. Not only does this help the vulnerable community, it also creates a path of giving back to host communities, which the Sri Lankan Refugees are doing through Serendip. Another important principle is that we believe in sustainable development. The boutique is strictly organic and is always environmentally friendly. These principles guide Serendip into being what they strive to be- a source of empowerment and education.

We believe that when you empower women, she can endure anything and become self- sustained without having to rely on anyone. When a man earns, many a time the earnings are spent on drink, whereas a woman also educates and nourishes her children.

We try to use recycled material and use sustainable materials as much as possible. We strongly believe in environmental protection and we try to impart the same philosophy to our employees while making the jewelry.

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Your work space & the artisans you work with.

Serendip blog_5 Makers photoMs. Gandhimathi Head of productions at Serendip, is a Sri Lankan Tamil who came to India in 1990 as a refugee due to the devastating civil war. She was only 19 years old when she was forced to leave her country. She lived in Thenpallipattu Refugee camp which is in Tirruvanamalai for the longest time. then she relocated to Chennai in 2006 and joined OfERR. Currently, she is the head of productions for Serendip Boutique & Serendip Be the Change, designing and handcrafting the collections. Adding to this she also trains other Refugee women and vulnerable Rural Indian women to become Serendip producers.

“I have faced a lot of difficulty in my life since I was young. I had to ee from the violence in Sri Lanka and start a new life here. Adjusting to life in a refugee camp, as a refugee was a struggle, and I underwent a lot of suffering. through Serendip I learned to make jewels, to do accounts, dealing with retailers and giving training for rural women in Chidambaram etc. It gave me nancial stability and it helps in me to pay the school fees for my son. Serendip completely changed my life!” – Gandhimathi

serendipblogNagalakshmi Head Trainer at Serendip, came to India as refugees in 1990, fleeing the devastating Sri Lankan civil war. She comes from the Kilinochchi area and has since lived in the Sri Lankan Refugee camp in Tamil Nadu. She was only 18 years old when she came and has had to overcome many struggles in her life.

During the 2004 Tsunami she helped the affected women gain income by giving them tailoring and handicraft training for more than 1,000 people. She makes bags and jewels for Serendip Boutique. Her training is very valuable to us and it also gives employment to numerous women in the rural villages.

 

Your favorite work tool.

Our answer is a little different. We interpret the word tool in a slightly different way. For all of us at Serendip Boutique our favorite tools are EDUCATION AND EMPOWERMENT

What is currently on your work table?

A whole lot of semi precious beads, a lot of planning spreadsheets and the dream to impact more women and children by opening a free training Center in rural villages in Chidambaram.

What is your personal favorite pick from your brand right now? And why?
Stabaka from the Sanyaasi the Yogi collection- Part of the SERENDIP ‘BTC’ Be The Change unisex collection, this piece is earthy and karmic.

What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart.
Products proposed to be displayed: Please see the product described in detail below

VASTHA THE CLOTH Necklaces: UPCYCLED & ELECTIC, this collection of cloth necklaces are ethically & sustain-ably crafted with eco-friendly materials (cotton cloth covered wooden beads & brass) up cycled into vibrant neckpieces.

BTC: Be The Change unisex collection:

SHABDKOSH THE TRIBE collection: BOHO & PSYCHEDELIC, this Unisex collection is , ethically & sustainably crafted with eco-friendly upcycled bone& semi- precious Lava, the 4 neckpieces in this collection are artistic expressions of Agni the fire, Bhumi the earth, Chandramukha the mask, Kudja the tree.

KSHATRIYA THE WARRIOR collection: This Unisex collection is Alpha & Bold, ethically & sustainably crafted with eco-friendly wood & metal beads.

SANYAASI THE YOGA collection: KARMIC & EARTHY, This Unisex BTC collection is ethically & sustainably crafted with eco-friendly wooden beads & eco-friendly cotton/ silk thread tassels)

SUFFE THE SURFER: This Unisex BTC collection is ethically & sustainably crafted with eco-friendly wood& up cycled bone and is perfect for the beach.

LOMBASS The JAGUAR: Urban chic & Upmarket, This Unisex BTC collection is ethically & sustainably crafted with eco-friendly semiprecious stone, lava beads, & metal tassels.
SERENDIP BOUTIQUE COLLECTION: exquisitely & sustainably crafted women’s collection.
Dhariya: inspired by the sea, a collection of tranquil blues whites and yellows, handcrafted with semiprecious stones ranging from Opal, moonstone, citrine, crystal quartz, turquoise, Aquamarine, Agate, and crystal.

Cashmere mist: inspired by winter mists, this collection is subtle and elegant, handcrafted delicately with smoky topaz, smoky quartz, snowflake obsidian, black obsidian, hematite etc.

Isya pastel: inspired by water colour paintings this ethereal and serene collection is: rose quartz, morganite, amethyst, jade onyx etc

Margali – inspired by the Indian Autumn- this collection is vibrant and stunningly handcrafted with semiprecious carnelian, citrine, yellow topaz, garnet & coral.

Gulabi gardenia: inspired by a flower garden, – this collection is sensuous and serene, crafted with emerald, green jade, green amazonite, moss agate, and accentuated with florite, amethyst, rose quartzetc

Mehek – Say it in style! Combining bold colours and unique design, this collection will make you stand out and truly make a statement!

SERENDIP BOUTIQUE SAMRAJI THE EMPRESS COLLECTION: A recreation of royal renaissance, this high-end collection is regal and grandiosely crafted with kundan, pearl, agate, garante & Jade onyx. Jewellery fit for a queen, perfect for wedding and special occasions.

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


 

Meet The Maker: Akshaya, FACE’ing Things, Chennai

Today on the blog, we feature Akshaya, a  practicing architect, illustrator and founder of FACE’ing Things – a homegrown art & craft label. Meet the maker at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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Tell us a bit about yourself.   

I am Akshaya C.R, Architect. I am fond of drawing portraits right from my young age. My room used to be fully scribbled by me. After schooling I took up Architecture. My education widened my knowledge about design and drawing. As soon as I finished college I started my own firm along with 2 of my other close friends. We were exploring in art and architecture field. It was then I found out about this illustration and later started my own firm. Right Now am taking care of the firm and working as a professor in a Design college in Coimbatore.

Why did you become a maker?  Why is making so important to you?   

I like DIY things and always wanted to start a store for gifting personalised things even when I was a kid. With the due course of time, my dream started to take its shape. After my college I started making illustrations and found out my core strength – To doodle characters on photos. This strength and my long lost dream combined together and made me start my company.

How did you begin FACE’ing Things ?

It was just an other  normal day when I suddenly came across an old antique clock, I felt like it was sitting there with a sleepy eye. I found that funny and shared it with my friends, but they couldn’t understand what I was talking about, so I did a quick doodle on the pic that I took. It was then I thought, Hmm! Why don’t I doodle imaginary faces that I see in all the pretty things around me. Just then I started doodling photos of objects. Within a year’s time I started exploring this idea in making products.

What is the story behind your brand name?

The name Face’ing Things came from the idea of imagining faces in different things. Also, I like to explore and experiment things “Let’s Face it” has always been my attitude. So I why not “Face’ing Things” be the name.

How has your business evolved over the years?   

Over  the 2 years of FACE’ing Things, I have done a lot of custom orders including personal invitations and Wall paintings. I have also taken around 6 workshops for kids on the same concept. In the second year of FACE’ing Things, I had my first ever stall for my products which included illustrated frames, doodle kits, character wrappers, expressive clouds,  starting from there it has been gradually evolving and expanding.

Your work space & the artisans you work with.

I run a home office. All the DIY products that I make is crafted in my home office. Apart from this I get help from carpenters, printers and Laxmi Akka  (construction worker) who helps me in my cement products.

Your favorite work tool.

My Ipad Pro and Ipencil.

What is your personal favorite pick from FACE’ing Things right now? And why?

Everything is my favourite; but I am drawn to my magnets. Because these are completely made by hand; from scratch to the final illustration on the magnets.

What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart.

Illustrated frames, doodle kits, handmade magnets, character wrappers, expressive clouds, kid’s activity kit.

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


Meet The Maker: Avantikka Raghunandan & Ritikka Raghunandan, Avnii, Pollachi

Today on the blog, we feature, eco-entrepreneurs Avantikka Raghunandan & Ritikka Raghunandan, Co-Founders, Avnii Eco-Products LLP . Meet the maker at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

 

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Tell us a bit about yourself.

We were born in Pollachi but brought up in boarding schools in Ooty. We have always looked up to our parents for the work they do and how they have changed the lives of many people over the decades. Growing up we were taught the importance of living in harmony with nature and that we have to leave behind a better version of the earth for our future generations. Apart from what we do, we take time off to trek into forests, for wildlife photography and animal care and rescue.

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the lady holding the coconut shell explains the mission of our company and it is also the hand of our older worker, she is 80 years old. 

How did you begin Avnii? 

Avnii is an extension of the mother company Green India Exports. We wanted to make available value added, up-cycled coconut shell products for the people in India. Initially, the response was very lukewarm as the raw material was a coconut shell that was available in every kitchen. With the increased awareness towards the planet and replacing plastic with more Eco-friendly options, we started Avnii towards the later part of 2019. At Avnii, we focus on creating products that can be recycled and reused.

What is the story behind your brand name? 

Avnii meant a the ‘Earth’ and we couldn’t think of a better than this to go with our mission. ‘Av’ from Avnii is from Avantikka and ‘Ni’ is from Narayani (a part of Ritikka’s name) and the extra ‘i’ Is for brand identity.

How has your business evolved over the years? 

We tried starting this company a few years back but the response was very underwhelming. We faced a lot of challenge in trying to make people understand that though the raw material is coconut shell, a lot of intricate work goes into making each product. Today with the menace of climate change and the with more people turning towards Eco-friendly options, Avnii has more chances to grow in the forthcoming years and in the process change more lives.

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Your work space & the artisans you work with. 

Our work space is the terrace of our house. We are working on a Eco-friendly studio where we are using re-cycled material as well as refurbished wood and solar energy. The artisans we work with are local women, a lot of them are old and as this work requires them to sit and use ply their hands, they are able to support themselves by working here with us. We also encourage them to go back to the basics of living in harmony with nature and use sustain ably grown organic produce. We also educate them on growing their own produce.

What is currently on your work table? 

We have our planters and candle shades on work work table. It is very exciting to work on creating new designs.

What is your personal favorite pick from your Avnii right now? And why? 

Our personal favourite would be our colourful planter and our soy candles. We like the planters because they are so beautiful and they add a very aesthetic vibe to the area they are placed in. The candles because we use soy wax instead of the regular paraffin wax or bee wax, both of which are not Eco-friendly. These candle have a longer burn time and produce very less carbon and the fragrance too are unique and made from organic sources.

What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart. 

We will be displaying the following products: Oval coconut bowls, round coconut bowls, coconut shell spoons, coconut shell planters, wind chimes, lamp shades, candle shades, soap trays, coconut shell candles and coconut palm leaf crafts.

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


 

Meet The Maker: Chanjeev Kaur, Crochet and Colours, Bangalore

Today on the blog, we feature Chanjeev Kaur, crochet enthusiast and founder of Crochet & Colours; a  homegrown crochet label; well known for her handcrafted blouses. Meet the maker at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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A bit about yourself. Why is making so important to you?

I am Chanjeev Kaur, a crochet enthusiast turned craft entrepreneur. I have been crocheting from the age of 8. I  learnt the craft from my aunt in 1978. Since then I have been constantly learning and practicing from Ondori crochet books. Back then in Chennai, availability of crochet supplies was limited; every thread was a precious gift. I used to carefully use my limited supplies to practice different stitches I diligently followed from my collection of pattern books. 

 

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How has your business evolved over the years?    

Crochet is usually associated with white or cream laces or bed sheets. Breaking from the stereotype laces to everyday practical things was not easy. I have introduced colour in different materials ,threads, and created a different look to something delicate and dainty to something in everyday use.

For the last five years I had been exhibiting consistently in a few selective craft platforms in India. Every exhibition was a learning process ,the feedback and suggestions are noted and worked upon. With the help of my daughter I started my page on Facebook; this has helped me a lot. 

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Your work space and people I work with.

I work from home and do all the work by myself especially my crochet saree blouses – my signature product that has been widely appreciated. For simpler work I create a pattern and get it done from my friend. 

Your favorite work tool.
My favorite work tool are my clover crochet needles which have been gifted to me by my brother and sister.

What is currently on your work table?
My current work is crochet saree blouses  and matching potlis.

What is your personal favorite pick from your  line up? And why?

I enjoy making the saree blouse and during my exhibitions I wear them too, each blouse is different and gives a total new look when the wearer tries it on.


What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart.
I will be displaying  saree blouses, jackets, frocks. And in home decor I have glass covers made with custom glass beads,doily and clocks.

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


Meet The Maker: Savita Iyer & Shwetha Narayanan, Urbankala- Art of Gifting, Mumbai – Bangalore

Today on the blog, we feature Savita Iyer & Shwetha Narayanan, jewellery – artist duo & founders of  of Urbankala- Art of Gifting. Based out of Mumbai and Bangalore; the team specialise in handcrafted jewellery & home decor. Meet the makers, at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

 

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Tell us a bit about yourself.  

Savita & Shwetha; we are the face behind the brand #Urbankala. We are sisters in law and we run Urbankala on a long distant relationship. Savita is your quintessential Mumbaikar who is the brain behind Urbankala. Savita conducts workshops regularly, across Mumbai. She is the artist who works on all the painted merchandise at Urbankala.  Shwetha creates beautiful wire jewellery and home decor. A few years back she was oblivious to her inner artist until Savita came along. If you love our wired nose pins and crave for more, she is the one you should reach out to. 

Why did you become a maker?  Why is making so important to you?   

Urbankala started of as an idea to make gifting more personalized and unique. Savita’s passion to create new things is what pushed her to start something unique. Moreover the gifting market had become so monotonous, the need to create more personalized and unique gifting products was what helped kickstart Urbankala. Shwetha started off handling Sales and marketing and was later on inspired by Savita to work with wire art. This has created a wide range of products both in Handpainted and Hand wired home decor, accessories and jewellery.

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How did you begin the brand?

Savita’s passion to create new things is what pushed her to start something unique. Moreover the gifting market had become so monotonous, the need to create more personalized and unique gifting products was what helped kick start Urbankala.

What is the story behind your brand name? 

We always wanted something that was Indian and would reflect with our designs but was also appealing to the Urban crowd. Kala means art and resonated with what we do. Hence the name Urbankala just felt right for the venture

How has your business evolved over the years?   

We started off with just word of mouth gifting and currently have a set of regular customers and an impressive online presence that gives us regular business. 

 

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Your work space & the artisans you work with.

Savita and Shwetha work from home while have also set up a studio space in Mumbai. All products are handmade by us and we also have Shekhar Narayanan (Savita’s husband) help us out with wire accessories from time to time 

Your favorite work tool.

Paintbrush for Savita Iyer, Jewellery Pliers for Shwetha Narayanan

What is currently on your work table?

Our jewellery making tools and products in the making for the By Hand from the Heart Makers Market.

What is your personal favorite pick from your label right now? And why?

Our Resin and wire nose pins. It is so much fun to make them and the colours just pop out. Moreover we also feel that nose pin is a versatile accessory that can pep up any outfit  and look.

What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart.

Handpainted, Wired and Resin Jewellery, Accessories and home decor.

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


Meet The Maker: Maria, QALB, Kochi – Chennai

Today on the blog, we feature, Maria, Creative Artiste at QALB; a homegrown label for chikankari apparels. Meet the maker at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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Tell us a bit about yourself

As a little girl, I always curiously watched how my mother’s eyes would eventually reach out to an elegant piece of fabric and how she would explain with much calm and clarity about what she saw in her mind’s eye. This rather unorthodox and thoughtful task would religiously repeat itself excitement and planning, every time we caught the air of celebration around the corner. Almost organically, I not only picked up this practice at once but most importantly, found so much joy and passion in putting together a new style and making something true to my identity. In hindsight, my style today is an ode to a memory of the soft palettes and textures I was exposed to, growing up.

 
Why did you become a Maker? Why is making so important to you?

We live in a day and age where almost everything is readily available. This applies to the clothes we wear, too. I realized I could pick a gorgeous ready to wear outfit off any store and conveniently ignore digging into its making. The question that occurred to me was: Am I purchasing responsibly. This fueled my quest into Making. I was fascinated by Lucknowi very early on. However, the alarming increase of machine made pieces at retails served a glaring reminder of the many Karighaars who have lived a life, painstakingly weaving this story for so many years. Reviving their purpose (hand embroidery) has been a dream, since.
How did you begin QALB?

My quest into making led to a lot of research and effort focused towards understanding how the craft has evolved over the years. This metamorphosis highlighted how authentic Lucknowi hand embroidery had become a rarity today and how it was crucial to re-write that. QALB therefore is a result of a creative, thoughtfully handcrafted by thread in needle & heart, deeply set in Art: Mindful, Minimal & Rare.

 

Your work space and the artisans you work with?

My primary work space is the mind that is always tying every idea with accessibility, aesthetic and affordability at the fore. Ideation and design is done in a quaint corner at home followed by many discussions prior to sampling and creating at Lucknow.

What is currently on your work table?

A bunch of Chandheri all set to be dyed for our ready to wear line.
What is your personal favourite pick from QALB right now? And why?

QALB don’t just make a garment, it revives a memory. On that note, every piece is curated with a lot of love and care. Nevertheless, with Summer slowly setting in, I am excited about our new Cottons and soft Chandheri for its effortless chic and tastefully done palette.
What are you displaying at the By Hand, From the Heart?

We are working towards an interesting line up and playing around Chikankari in Cottons, Georgettes, Kotas and Chandheris in an array of interesting designs.

 

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


 

Meet The Maker: Ruchita Singh, AMAR KOSA, Bangalore

Today on the blog, we feature Ruchita Singh, textile designer and founder of AMAR KOSA; a clothing label based in Bangalore. Meet the maker at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I belong to a small town called Barabanki, near Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. I have grown up in a place which is rich is art, culture and heritage. As a kid I was always fascinated seeing the ladies around me doing Lucknavi Chikankari embroidery. Even though my mother was a doctor, but I knew my passion was in arts and textiles. I’ve done my schooling from Scindia school Gwalior and later went to NIFT Delhi.  I’m a fashion designer from NIFT, Delhi and a textile designer from Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai. I’ve worked in the garment industry for over a decade before starting my label.

 

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Why did you become a maker?  Why is making so important to you? 

I like to dirty my hands…this is always been my way of doing things. I feel I did not get this joy and sense of satisfaction ever earlier in my entire career till the time I started my own label. I live and feed on creativity, it’s not just limited to designing and creating clothes or bags. I work a lot on other things as well.

How did you begin your label?

After the arrival of our 2nd baby, I didn’t want to get back to the corporate grind again and that’s when I conceived the idea of having my own label. After a lot of thinking and research AMAR KOSA was born in Oct 2016.

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What is the story behind your brand name?

AMAR KOSA is a Sanskrit word which means eternal collection. The story behind this name goes way back to my college days. AMAR KOSA was the name of my final garment collection in year 2000 when I passed out of NIFT and won the 3rd prize for my collection at that time. So when I thought of my label and started doing the ground work, I felt the same passion and feelings which I did during my college days, hence nothing more appropriate than going back to my old collection name.

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How has your business evolved over the years?    

Over the last few years, we have grown from a team of 1 resource to 7. We started with garments and have added, bags to our collection. When we started we did suits shirts, pants, dresses, tops etc but over the year our focus and specialization has narrowed down to dresses and bags.

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Your work space & the artisans you work with.

We have a very informal and a different kind of work set up. I started my work with one tailor, Kitabul, as work progressed he called over his wife Mehnaaz, who does all the hand hemming and finishing job for us. Further on, my tailor’s younger brother and elder brother also joined in. Last year when we decided to step into bags,  Mehnaaz’s brother Musharraf joined us. So now we have this entire family from the interiors of Bihar who works with us. This year Kitabul’s sister will get married and the parents will relocate here as well. This family’s needs are totally supported by AMAR KOSA. Kitabul also has a 2 year old baby Shaan, who was born here and is also staying with team AMAR KOSA.

Your favorite work tool.

I’m a very hands on person. I like to explore and experiment with different things. However working on block printing and exploring different techniques has always intrigued me.

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What is currently on your work table?

I’m exploring lot of different art and craft forms right now. Last October I visited and stayed with an artisan for 3 weeks in Rajasthan to understand the proper technique of block printing and Shibori. Currently I’m working on tie n dye, Shibori. lots of indigos and blues for the year 2020.

What is your personal favorite pick from your label right now? And why?

Right now the block printed indigo linen bags are my favorite. We have laptop bags, totes, sling bags, gym bags and lots more in this category.

What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart.

We’ll be showcasing our latest collection in By Hand, from Heart. This will be our first opening show of the year 2020.

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


Meet The Maker: Nikhil Kunnath, KOL, Thrissur

Today on the blog, we feature Nikhil Kunnath, designer and founder of KOL,  a sustainable slow design studio in Thrissur; specialised in designing bamboo utilities and accents. Meet the maker, at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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Tell us a bit about yourself. 

A designer, engineer, craftsman. Striving to build a sustainable and green world around us.

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How did you begin KOL?

The love for bamboo began with my graduation project at IIT Bombay to design a bamboo bike for children. KOL took birth when I decided to bring those prototype models to life, in order to make it available to the people.

What is the story behind your brand name?

‘Kol’ in Malayalam, simply means a piece of stick. The impact and diversity such a simple piece of stick (bamboo) can have is something which is we at KOL strive to bring about.

 

How has your business evolved over the years?   Your work space & the artisans you work with.

We are a small but growing business.  We have our studio based in the cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur. With a team of two industrial designers and three skilled local carpenters.

What is currently on your work table?

Our product range extends to bicycle frames, furnitures, jewellery, installations, interior decor, lifestyle products and we are currently experimenting in all the possible directions where bamboo can be introduced.

What is your personal favorite pick from your brand right now? And why?

Right now, ‘Veyil Table Lamps’. With a rich mix of local materials , they make a sustainable statement piece of interior decor.

What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart.

A wide variety of products ranging from earrings, pendants, bangles, bangle stands, necklaces, pens, books, quills, table lamps, eye wears/shades, hangers, bowties, low stools, stationery, incense stick holders, festive hangings etc.

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


Meet The Maker: Sujata & Taniya, Suta, Mumbai

Today on the blog, we feature, Suta a sustainable sari label based in Mumbai. Meet the team at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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Our story

Suta is the coming together of heartfelt love for sarees, a fondness for simple elegance and immense reverence towards makers, weavers and artisans. Suta literally means ‘thread’ and true to the name, every product is crafted consciously with utmost love for every single thread. Suta also stands for Su and Ta, Su for Sujata and Ta for Taniya. The story of Su and Ta started way before they became Suta. From playing shop-shop with cousins and pretending to be entrepreneurs, running around their grandmother’s soft sarees drying in her garden to spreading that love to thousands of Suta Queens, the journey of these two sisters is endearing. Every product at Suta has a story behind it, an inspiration behind it. These stories and inspirations can be about entities as little as fireflies to ones as all-encompassing as the universe!

 

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From the masterful hands of the weavers to the wardrobes of Suta Queens, a Suta product sees multiple million-dollar smiles. The Suta Queens describe the comfort that a Suta product gives them in the most loving manner and sometimes they can’t help but burst into poetry! Together, the stories, the sarees, the authentic origins, the sustainable ethos and the ‘dipped in love’ feel is what sets Suta apart. Today, the small yet fierce flicker of positivity has brought all of us together and the Suta family is growing bigger and closer, bound by our affinity to authenticity and of course, great taste!

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About the founders

An alumnus of IIFT Delhi, Sujata always felt something was missing in her job. Whenever she went back to visit her parents, she came across a lot of traditional weavers with whom she used to end up chatting and they used to pour their hearts out about lack of work and menial wages. Their amazing skills were awe-inspiring but she came to know that their livelihoods were a question mark in many cases. These conversations were etched deeply in her heart and prodded her on to a path of working to improve the livelihood of these disempowered communities. Taking a plunge into an industry with no prior experience or knowledge was one of the biggest risks she took in her career. But what drove her to do the same was her passion and belief in the weavers and the urge to make a difference in the lives of many such communities across India. ‘The idea isn’t about working with a single weaver or a couple of weavers but adopting the entire family of weaver and empowering them. Thereby, making our own family bigger, one weaver at a time’, says Sujata Biswas

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Taniya, an engineer and IIM Lucknow graduate, worked for almost three years with the Tata group and IBM. A voice within her drove her towards entrepreneurship and she took the bold step of listening to it. She calls herself an observer and loves to watch how everything in life is so beautifully intertwined with nature and the world around us. This kindled the creative streak in her to paint and to take photographs.  After quitting her cushy corporate jobs, she grappled with many ideas, even tried her hands at product photo-shoots, before realizing that her true potential was not in the pictures but in the products itself. “I had designed a few clothes and had posted them, but instead of getting requests for shoot we were asked about the products,” Taniya says. She found that her affinity for simple, minimalistic, nostalgic sarees that reminded her of a bygone decade, which were very rare to find in the market, was loved by people. What followed next was a quick pivot where she went on a hunt for the right fabric and skilled weavers across the nooks and crannies of rural India. The search took her to the remote villages of Madhya Pradesh; Meghalaya; the home of Banarasi sarees – Varanasi; Maniabandha in Odisha etc. There has been no turning back for her since then.

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The sisters take pride in complementing each other’s skillets while having the same vision. Sujata says that she is the brain and Taniya confesses to being the heart. Together, the beautiful symphony of their energies plays out perfectly to become Suta.

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


Meet The Maker: Megha Jain, Studio Pause, Bangalore

Today on the blog, we feature Megha Jain, product designer and founder of Studio Pause, a homegrown interiors label based in Bangalore. Meet the maker at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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Tell us about yourself.

I am an interior designer by profession who loves to style spaces and make things with my hands. Did my Bachelor’s in Interiors from Bangalore and Post Graduation in Styling from Mumbai.

How did you begin?

STUDIO PAUSE – Creating and making things by hand is meditation for me and gives me immense joy. I have been trying to make my passion my profession for the past year and turns out that’s all I needed to do to uplift myself and my life. I began from home and still continue to work from my Home studio. Soon wish to establish a Studio space for the future.

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What is the story behind your brand name?

Megha Jain, the artist behind Pause. An interior designer from Bangalore following her passion for handmade craft.  What brought together Pause is a dream that was wished upon since childhood. Accessorizing a space to create a vibe that connects people. Making things with hand and giving it a personal touch has always been something that has interested her. Every piece of work has been made patiently and hence pause to feel it , pause to admire it, pause to hear the story behind it.

How has your business evolved over the years?
It has not been more than a year that I have started. I am still growing and learning about the market and consumer needs.

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Your work space & the artisans you work with.
Currently I work from my Home Studio by myself.

What is currently on your work table?
Laptop, sketch book and a zillion ideas and plans for the future.

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What is your personal favorite pick in your line up right now? And why?
My personal favourite is one of the Plates I made from Ceramic that has a very smooth transition from white to a brown. Love how the colors merged and formed such a beautiful piece.

What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart.
I will be displaying all my macrame work & pottery work like Curtain rings, keychains, Wall hangings, Plant Holders, Plates, Bowls, Planters etc.

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


Meet The Maker: Nayantara Quader, Trove Craft India, Hyderabad

Today on the blog, we feature Nayantara Quader, Creator-in-chief of Trove Craft India, a design label based in Hyderabad; specialising in hand painted functional art. Meet the maker, at the February 2020 edition of By Hand from the Heart Makers Market in Chennai.

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Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I’m Nayantara, and I’m 40 years old. Growing up, I had the privilege of travelling across the country, thanks to my being in the army. Now I’m married and settled in Hyderabad.

I’ve had 13 years of corporate sales experience. My last job was with a real estate MNC, where I was heading the commercial leasing division.

I decided to quit my job in 2015 and focus entirely on Trove. It was a tough decision but I’ve never regretted it, and have never looked back since.

I’m passionate about design, even though I have no design background, and I’m a compulsive DIYer and décor enthusiast

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How did you begin Trove?

I think of myself as a hoarder or a collector of sorts, constantly on the lookout for anything handmade that is both interesting and tasteful. Trove was never a ’plan’; it wasn’t a well thought-out venture. And I think it’s just as fluid now as it was before.

Starting Trove wasn’t a planned move;it was just something I woke up to one morning. It started when I participated in a local art fair in 2014. I displayed all my hoarded treasures, including some that I sourced from across the country. The response was exceptional; people liked what I had collected! And that got me thinking. I realized that I needed my own in-house range to be able to design products that were exclusive to Trove. So, from sourcing merchandise initially, I slowly shifted to making my own.

Manufacturing control gave me the flexibility to cater to clients’ requirements and also to plan my inventory better. I consciously try to not repeat my designs, to keep the store fresh and new. It also keeps the clients coming back for more.

When I started out, I had one Kashmiri artist on board. Now, I also have seven Pichwai artists, and recently brought a Patachitra artist on board as well. I also work with freelance artists for one-off exclusive projects. Luckily, most of the artists I have engaged have stuck with me through thick and thin.

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What is the story behind your brand name?

Trove was a name that my husband came up with. I wasn’t sure what products I wanted to do when I started out, so the name was meant to cover everything that I hoped to source or create at the time: a treasure trove of handcrafted products. However, now I have mostly streamlined my range to focus only on hand painted products on unusual canvas styles.

How has your business evolved over the years? 

Its been slow and steady. I am not sure I can call it a ’business’ yet, but it sustains itself. It provides employment to all my artsiest, and gives me enough income to keep it afloat

Like for all start-ups, the initial response was slow. I operated only from my Facebook page at the time. When I later discovered Instagram, that really helped my business evolve, and now I have a website, too.However, I have consciously decided to be conservative in marketing my products,because they have a long lead time and I can’t scale up the process without compromising on quality. For me, design is more important. Scale is necessary too, of course, but I would any day prefer organic growth to exponential growth. In this world of consumerism and volume-based businesses,I rely on word-of-mouth the most. That is the strongest form of advertising for me. It’s slow, but it’s steady, and it’s healthy for my set-up. People who understand how I operate are far more patient with me. And I prefer to work with clients who allow my artists the luxury of time.

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Your work space & the artisans you work with.

I work out of home. I’ve built myself a small studio, which is primarily where all my inventory from various parts of the country ends up. There, we do the finishing, quality control and labeling, before listing it on the website. I do not have a physical store,so my products are only sold online.

I have a team of three who help me with administration, billing, packing and shipping.

I have artists who specialize in three main styles of folk art: Kashmiri, Pichwai/Rajasthaniand Patachitra. The Kashmiri artist is based in Hyderabad, the Pichwai artists are in villages close to Jodhpur and Udaipur, and the Patachitra artist is in rural Odisha. I have managed to scale up my Kashmiri and Pichwai range a bit over time. But for Patachitra, I have only one artist at the moment, and even he has a full-time government job and only works for me in his free time.

I prefer to build up a team of artists under one master artist who understands me. It makes my life easier and the main artist stays motivated to manage the team, and feels accountable. Also, there is no conflict on prices because I pay them on a per-unit basis, rather than a salary. Lastly, I also do not interchange canvas styles so my artists don’t compete with each other. For instance, my Pichwai artist only paints on plates and wall décor items, and my Kashmiri artist on steel ware. Similarly, the Patachitra range will also have a unique canvas style.

What is currently on your work table?

I have so much on my plate right now! I have Patachitra-style bull heads in the works, as well as lots of wall décor items in different shapes and sizes. I am very experimentative, so chances are you will see something absolutely new every quarter!

What is your personal favorite pick from Trove right now? And why?

I can’t pick a favourite, because I don’t make anything that I wouldn’t want to buy myself. I have trouble selling some of my products because I am never sure when I’ll do them again and I’m tempted to keep them for myself. And that’s why I have no personal favourites.

What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart.

I’ll be a displaying a bit of everything from my ranges. From  some absolutely exclusive, never to be repeated again pieces to some that have been popular and that are synonymous with Trove designs;products like the Patachitra bull heads, wall décor accents in Pichwai style, Kashmiri painted kitchenware and lots more.

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Meet the Maker @
By Hand from the Heart: Makers Market – 29th Edit
7 – 8 February 2020, Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog


Makers can apply to participate in our makers market events; to apply, click link


 

Upcoming Event: Makers Market & Cyanotype Workshops at Poes Garden, Chennai

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Your favourite makers market in Chennai will pop up again in February 2020! This time the curation will also feature a Cyanotype Workshop.

For workshop schedule & bookings – visit: https://cyanotypeby56thday.home.blog/

By Hand from the Heart Makers Market is back at Hanu Reddy Residences in Poes Garden; with a fine edition to welcome the new year. The curation is dedicated to feature all things original, handmade and wholesome in art, lifestyle, fashion and food. Discover new and emerging homegrown labels at the makers market.

Mark the dates!

7 & 8 February, 20202, Friday – Saturday, – 10 – 9

Hanu Reddy Residences,
41/19, Poes Garden,
Teynampet, Chennai 600 086

Free Entry | Paid Workshop | Cards Accepted | Street Parking

Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/539587810193825/

Follow us on Instagram & Facebook  –  @byhandfromtheheart

Makers Market & Craft Workshops at Whispering Stones, Coimbatore

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By Hand from the Heart back in Coimbatore with its 28th Edition. The event will present a makers market, a series of craft workshops and a Cafe. The 2 day event is open to all & the entry is free.

Explore the event for all things original, handmade and wholesome. Every label at the market has a story. And, there’s no better way than to hear it from the makers themselves.

Mark the Dates: 13th – 14th September 2019,  Friday – Saturday,
Timings: 10 a.m to 8 p.m
Venue: Whispering Stones
Address: No.1 BRCF Perks, Arch Road, Rajiv Gandhi Nagar,
Uppilipalayam, Coimbatore – 641015.

Free Entry | All Cards Accepted | Free Parking

Makers Market: Shop from the makers of sustainable, artisanal and homegrown labels in the category of art, lifestyle, fashion and gastronomy.


 

Craft Workshops Schedule & Online Booking: All the craft workshops are charged. The workshops are hosted by, 56th Day – Delhi, The Bicyclist – Delhi & Kavin Art Gallery -Tirunelveli.

13th September – Workshop 1: Leather Craft Workshop 

Click here for workshop 1 details & to book a seat.


13th September – Workshop 2: Cyanotype Print Workshop – Quick Dip 
Click here for workshop 2 details & to book a seat.


13th September – Workshop 3: Cyanotype Print Workshop – Immersive Stroll
Click here for workshop 3 details & to book a seat.


13th September – Coconut Shell Craft Workshop 1
Click here for workshop 1 details & to book a seat.

Make & Take a utility object (Bowl / puttu maker / pen stand) or,
a decor. object: Wind chimes / bird nest / plant holder / bird feeder.
11 am to 12:30 pm | 5 seats | Fees:Rs.400/-


13th September – Coconut Shell Craft Workshop 2
Click here for workshop 2 details & to book a seat.

Make & Take a utility object (Bowl / puttu maker / pen stand) or,
a decor. object: Wind chimes / bird nest / plant holder / bird feeder.
2:30 pm to 4 pm | 5 seats | Fees:Rs.400/-

14th September – Workshop 4: Leather Craft Technique

Click here for workshop 4 details & to book a seat.


14th September – Workshop 5: Cyanotype Print Workshop – Quick Dip
Click here for workshop 5 details & to book a seat.


14th September – Workshop 6: Cyanotype Print Workshop – Immersive Stroll
Click here for workshop 6 details & to book a seat.


14th September – Coconut Shell Craft Workshop 3
Click here for workshop 3 details & to book a seat.

Make & Take a utility object (Bowl / puttu maker / pen stand) or,
a decor. object: Wind chimes / bird nest / plant holder / bird feeder.

11 am to 12:30 pm | 5 seats | Fees:Rs.400/-


14th September – Coconut Shell Craft Workshop 4
Click here for workshop 4 details & to book a seat.

Make & Take a utility object (Bowl / puttu maker / pen stand) or,
a decor. object: Wind chimes / bird nest / plant holder / bird feeder.
2:30 pm to 4 pm | 5 seats | Fees:Rs.400/-

Important Links:

Official Event Page: Facebook Event Page 

Craft Workshop Registration: https://www.instamojo.com/thebicyclist/

To exhibit with us – submit your info here: https://goo.gl/forms/WdJRrYlTkVhe3rRi2

Our Social Handles : Facebook | Instagram | Blog

Meet The Maker: Shashank, Murtle, Hyderabad

Today on the blog, we feature Shashank, Founder of  Murtle, a sustainable footwear brand based in Hyderabad.

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Tell us a bit about yourself.   

I am Shashank, founder of Murtle Modular Fashion. I am a Mechanical Engineer by education and Innovator by passion. I always wanted to do something at the intersection of design and engineering and hence the founding of Murtle. Murtle is a Modular Fashion outfit whose present set of products is in footwear. Its innovative mechanism lets you change the look and feel of the footwear in under a minute. The patent pending mechanism is one of the most reliable ever in footwear segment to achieve changeability. 

    
Why did you become a maker and why is making important to me?

A little back story, My friends from college and I started off with printing quirky designs on t-shirts as a side income soon after college, this business later went on to officially merchandise for Baahubali and other Tollywood movies. The success of t-shirt business convinced me to innovate further in fashion industry. While printing t-shirts what I realized is that, we are forcing customers to consume more and more hence contributing to landfills. I started to think on the lines of addressing the consumption needs sustain-ably.   

How did you begin Murtle?

The shift from t-shirts to footwear was natural but the approach changed completely. We wanted to now build a product with certain IP around it and as well address the pressing wants of the user. After 2.5 years of R&D we stabilized the changeable mechanism in Murtle and it was time to innovate on materials and designs. The focus mainly is to bring materials which were not used earlier on footwear due to the fear of durability. With Murtle, due to its Modular nature, fabrics could easily be introduced and hence making it more sustainable.   

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What is the story behind your brand name?

Murtle Stands for Modular Turtle, Turtle to signify longevity of the products we build. If you closely look at the logo, the shadow takes form of feet and the ‘turtle’ shell has different colors signifying possibilities.

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What is currently on your work table?

Another market we wanted to address sustainably is the wedding footwear. They are worn just for the occasion and then it ends up rotting in the shoe rack till one builds up the courage to dispose it off. Did you know that footwear is the biggest contributor to landfills among all the fashion accessories? We are innovating on that front. It is under wraps as of now but you can get a sneak peek from the image below. We will try and get this out in future editions of By Hand From the Heart.
   

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What is your personal favorite pick from your brand now? And why?

The idea of having wood on footwear enthused me always; I tried to get in touch with various artisans to pull it off for us but failed several times. Finally we found an artisan from Ettikopaka ( a rural place which is famous for making wooden toys) through a mutual connect. He agreed to experiment with us and make it happen. You can now see the output in “Orange Bliss Strap” and “Cutie Birds”. You can check them out in person at the event.          

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What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart Makers Market.    

We plan to bring a varied range of straps from Fabrics to hand painted leathers to hand carved wood- all to go on a single pair of footwear. Murtle Mid sole is made in cork, which is not just naturally renewable but also pain relieving, shock absorbing and at the same time arch supporting.   We are displaying the Ikat collection of straps for Eazys and around 8 designs of hand painted padukoids for Murtles. These are intricately painted designs and are sure to blow your minds.   

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Meet the Maker @
27th edition:  By Hand From The Heart Makers Market
2 – 3 – August 2019 , Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog

Meet The Maker: Janhavi Kulkarni, Kale Nele, Bangalore

Today on the blog, we feature textile revivalist Janhavi Kulkarni, Founder of Kale Nele, based in Bangalore.

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The Brand Kale Nele

Kale (meaning art) and Nele (meaning shelter) in Kannada put together, is a venture aiming to shelter, nurture and grow the demand for various fabrics and handicrafts that have been an integral part of the Indian culture and livelihoods for thousands of years which are sadly very rare and exclusive now.

With signature collections of Guledgudda or Khunn from the northern parts of Karnataka as well as a mix of other colorful weaves and hues, Kale Nele aspires to grow to adopt other forms of crafts from India and bring them to you in unique interpretations and contemporary designs to furnish your homes!

The Founder:

Kale Nele was started by Janhavi Kulkarni with a curated collection of her exclusively handcrafted items aiming at contributing to the betterment of the lives and livelihoods of the traditional weavers and artisans. A 1998 Gold medalist from SNDT Mumbai, Janhavi has always had a passion for textiles. Embroidery, patch work, applique, crochet, have all been her forte. Colours play and come alive in her ideas to create a plethora of designs that she brings forth in her unique products and collections.

Janhavi Kulkarni was born in Dharwad, the cultural capital of Northern Karnataka. A town that is famous for its Hindustani music stalwarts, educationists, poets and art forms very local to the households in that region.  Art forms like the delicate yet highly technical embroidery technique Kasuti, vibrant weaves of Guledgudd, intricate bead, mirror, cowrie detailing of the Lambani’s, indigenous quilting of Kaudi that judiciously reuses fabric end bits, the quintessential Jamkhanas of Nurgund and many, many more traditions. It is this culturally rich milieu that shaped her sensibilities. 

Her Journey:

Born to parents who are both passionate physicists. Father an educationist who has been teaching religiously for the last 50 years and continues to inspire and guide students to this day at a college he runs. With both her parents having a science background, the general expectation was for her to go down the path of fundamental science/technology. But her calling was textiles. Delicate Embroideries, intricate patterns, vibrant hues always excited her. It brought out the best in her. Made her happy. This desire to make a career in Textiles took her to SNDT Mumbai, where she graduated with a Gold medal in 1998.

She started her career at an export house in Mumbai that creates high end products using Linen and Silk, the products differentiated by including different weaving techniques and use of intricate surface embellishments.

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Products – Kale Nele:

Kale Nele offers a wide range of traditionally handcrafted yet unique cushion covers, table and bed runners, table accessories, bed sets, home accessories like torans and kite hangings, personal accessories like bags, batuas and jewellery, bespoke wedding trousseaus, corporate gifts and more!

Mission:

The journey of Kale Nele is a true amalgamation of our love and respect for the art and techniques used by our weavers and kaarigars and that of the best wishes of our wonderful clientele. We hope and aim to not only showcase our products and collections here but to also bring the talent and hardwork of our weavers and artisans to the fore.

Birth of “Kale Nele”

The desire to provide an un-contested identity to the arts and crafts of Karnataka, particularly the Dharwad belt had always been a latent life goal. The confidence of a successful career, a happy family with two growing boys, a maturity one attains with what life teaches over the years and the experience of fully running a small-scale-enterprise for the associate finally triggered the decision to make a small beginning of her own. A decision that would define her identity to the world. A decision that would chart what she would do for the years to come.

She started Kale Nele in September 2012.

 Kale Nele a shelter for all forms of arts and crafts is the literal meaning in the language Kannada. This is exactly what it espouses to be. Kale Nele is a  humble effort to adopt a few traditional forms of craft, source indigenous fabrics from our hinterlands, provide a new interpretation to them, design products of lifestyle  so that they can be made a part of our day-to-day lives to add that touch of color, and vibrancy.

Uniqueness of “Kale Nele”

The uniqueness of ‘Kale Nele’ is the ability to design contemporary products whose form and function fully cater to the core needs of the customer using a pallet of techniques very rooted to our traditions. A satisfied customer, collaborative vendor eco-system, a happy purposeful workplace, and a healthy financial prudence are all very important for ‘Kale Nele’.

A fabric that has always excited Janhavi is the Guledgudd Khunn. This is a fabric used to make bright choli of the women of Northern Karnataka. With very few takers for this fabric today, the looms are shutting down, a sad reality. Here at ‘Kale Nele’, this is reinterpreted to create a variety of products including Cushions, Runners, Torans, Hangings, Bags, Totes, iPad Covers, Sarees and Jewelry.

Other than the Khunn, Janhavi at Kale Nele has created a range of home furnishings with the Pasiely Brocades of Benaras, Maheshwaris, Mangalgiris and Chanderies, Lace fabric. Employing a variety of techniques including Appliqueing, Embroideries, soft-embellishments. The ability to dip into the richness of what this country in particular has to offer and yet present them in a manner that is refreshing and palatable for today’s market is a big differentiator.

Just as in a family, a sense of peace and happiness is very important in the work environment too. The work culture at ‘Kale Nele’ is positive, purposeful yet not over-bearing. It is very important to have the continuity of the ‘karigars’ and sourcing partners that we work with, which is only possible if the dealings are fair and transparent.

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The joy of working with a fabric and form of art that is so resplendent in both its form and color, with its unmistakable grandeur, intricate weaving is truly an art to be treasured. However it is unfortunately slowly fading away. Janhavi at Kale Nele is giving a new interpretation to it, with a hope that this little endeavor will keep those looms alive with the creative spirit with which they once started. Some of the varied design techniques that are applied include:

Basket Weave: Strips of fabric of varying widths are finished. Fabric colors are carefully chosen. The fabric lengths are then woven to reveal a mish-mash of pattern. The lengths are then topstitched to ensure that the weaves remain in place. This technique has been applied to cushions and curtains.

Patch Puzzle: The beauty of patchwork is in its execution.  Geometrical patterns of fabric; rectangles, squares, triangles, hexagons, arches, circles perfectly assembled like a jigsaw to create patterns that are one of the kinds. The color tones of fabric, and the direction of its cut are a studied decision made with the vision of how the complete product will look, feel and last after years of use.

Potlis – Stuffed Trinkets: Janhavi created a range of accents called as ‘Gubbi Play’. Here she gives a new interpretation to ‘Gubbi’s’. Gubbies or little sparrows were made of fabric and grouped together to make charms for babies. These adorned the cribs as dangling. The colorful Gubbies, transported the babies to the world of little birds keeping the baby entertained, and allowing the mother to cook the meal for the day!! Janhavi take these ‘Gubbies’ and plays them on the cushions!!

Kasuti: A very delicate form of embroidery. Motifs created by simple stitches, representing every objects; diyas, elephants, lanterns, chariots, birds. The technique if done properly; one would wonder which is the right side of the fabric.

Kasuti panels with motifs sandwiched into Guledgudd panels create the touch of elegant embellishment to the product.

Applique: Here the Guledgudd fabric is used as the base fabric. Patterns are embroidered on this. The fabric is carefully cut and then appliqued onto the cushion. The contrast of the applique and the base fabric adds to the drama.

End Bits Beauty: Janhavi in this technique repurposes left over Guledgudd fabric. The colorful yarn and end bits used to make the Guledgudd fabric has been spread across the desired pattern, evenly and then secured by the deft hands of the embroiderer.

 

Doddaballapur Silk

For thousands of years Doddaballapur produced some of the finest silk. It is the count of the yarn they used to twist and make the thread used for weaving that set them apart. Added to this beauty was the imperfections of the slubs characteristics to the Indian Dupion. The slub in a silk dupion produced by using a fine thread in the warp and an uneven thread reeled from two or more entangled cocoons in the weft.

These looms that once made this town a heaven for silks have fallen quite today. Janhavi toured the heartlands of the state, visiting the farmers, reelers and weavers with him. Interacting with the ladies and their families made Janhavi’s resolve even stronger to work for them. Do her little bit to protect their livelihood in the secure moorings of their villages. To not force them out into the cities to only bear the brunt of sand and cement and help build yet another concrete structure. 


Kale Nele is sourcing its fabrics directly from the weavers of this town. Creating exquisite products of a table runner, mats and a mysore-teak-tray. The rich jewel tones of the Indian dupion in the hands of the deft karigars form the patch mosaic. It is these colourful, vibrant, rich, fine silk products that dress your dining table and uplift your ambience and experience to a much greater heights. 


The farmers that hatch the eggs, grow mulberry, feed and rear the cocoons to the fine fingers of the women that eek out fibers from the cocoons dancing in the boiling hot waters, to the reelers that then spin the yarn from these fibers to hand it over to the dyers, who again pass off the dyed yarns to the reelers that roll the yarn into bobbins and hand it off to the weavers who first lays the length of the weft allowing the artisan to weave in the warp and create the mesmerizing patterns to the fabric, this then is envisioned by a designer to make the products that are realized by the deft execution of a tailor. It is this eco-system that comes into play to create a piece of art. Little big contributions of a thousand actors. It is these livelihoods that we must protect. Allow them to do what they were born to do. Yet have a life that is beautiful, enriching and sustaining.

 

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Beyond Home-Furnishing

Beyond Home Furnishing, Janhavi has designed multiple products in the Accessories space. Accessories to add the touch of detail to both your-self and your home.  A range of Personal Accessories and Home Accessories. Personal Accessories that include Handbags, clutches, wallets and Home Accessories such as Torans, Hangings, Tissue Box covers, Bottle Huggers, Coasters and Mats.

 

Torana – One interpretation to this in Hinduism is, ‘sacred gateway’. Torana also refers to the decorative door hangings. Most festival preparations begin by making hangings of Mango leaves that are folded delicately and strewn through coir. Torans are made using fabric too. Here Janhavi reinterprets them using the ‘Guledudd’ fabric. The vibrant color pallet of this fabric works beautifully for this product. Each leaf of the Toran is adorned with a ‘Rudraksha’ or a ‘Bell’.

 

Gujari Bells – Bells have been tied around the necks of livestock all around the world. The purpose being very simple, the animals have to be heard if they happen to go helter skelter. Civilizations around the world have improvised to make these bells look prettier by working intricate crochet, colorful coir, fabric, et all. The works getting so adorable that they started moving from the necks of cows and goats to the walls of our drawing rooms!! Here is Janhavi’s take on the ‘Gujari Bells’. 

 

Chappali: Kolhapuri Chappal, our very own Indian leather footwear, created way back in the 13th century with buffolo hide and vegetable dyes has been a cherished possession for one and all to wear during the hot summers just before the impending monsoon.

Tumminkatti a handloom weaving town in Haveri district, North Karnataka was established in 1959. They have for generations reeled out pure cotton towels, bedsheets, kerchiefs and Devatha Vastra. The products created are 100% cotton, super absorbent, tough and last a lifetime.

The Kolhapuri Chappal and the Tumminkatti fabric are brought together in the product the shoe keeper, a utilitarian product from Kale Nele. A miniature Kolhapuri Chappal created by a National award winning artist from Kolhapur acts as the draw on the zipper fastner. A novel, functional, apt tassel. Tummikatti fabric based shoe/footwear keeper breaths and keeps the precious insides intact for a long time.

Sarees, Stoles and Duppatas

Sarees will never go out of vogue for Indians. Sari in so ingrained into our culture that this will continue to awe its patrons for generations to come. Khunn Sarees has been patronized by Janhavi. She relentlessly worked with the weavers of the region to specially create her designs. Designs that are refined, using colors that have a universal appeal and an aesthetic quality that is muted and sophisticated. Khunn and Ilkal sarees have effortlessly moved from the mandi’s and markets to the corporate board rooms.

Duppatta’s and Stoles created with Kasuti and ‘Gubbi’ embellishments is another emerging range.

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Jewelry

The inspiration was a ‘Rudraksha Mala’ that a Sadhu would wear to chant and transcend from here to there. The need was that of a lady with a spirit that we would all envy. The setting was Goa. The celebration was her 40th birthday. The desire was to wear a flowing, supple white dress at the breezy beach party with just one striking piece of jewelry by her neck.

It is when such a requirement was presented to Janahvi that resulted in the creation of the range of Khunn Jewelry. The inspiration of ‘Rudraksha Mala’ was married with her muse, the Khunn fabric to create the stunning neckwear.

This range of Jewelry has been a rage with her customers, fueling further innovations.

Janhavi travelled all the ways to the “tandas’ of the Lambanis’ to source the indigenous metal pendants from these artists. These pendants are next embellished with intricate fabric work that is possible by karigars with close to 2 decades of tailoring experience. The result is a very unique offering of Jewelry.

 

Punarapi

“Punarapi Jananam, Punarapi Maranam’; a fundamental of the Hindu Mythology. Be it at home, or at work the deliberated use of resources, repurposing every end bit of fabric has been an innate value system for Janhavi. The need to repurpose and extract the maximum from every resource investment made has pushed the designer in Janhavi to create several products, embellishments. Be it the Gubbies as embellishments on an accent cushion, dupatta, saree, little Pillow Torans, fabric-flowers, embroidery with fabric-chindi and may more such innovative application.

 

It is taking this cause further and underscore the importance in today’s world that has been a driver to launch a separate vertical ‘Punarapi’. In this vertical, anything old that has served its purpose is given a new life, rejuvenated for a new purpose. A re-birth if you may.

This could be for an old sewing machine stand that is upcycled into a chic console table, and machine transformed into a corner Khunn light. An old bead-work panel housed in a LED lit teak side table. Jari’ bordered silk sarees that are more than 70 year old, re-in forced and fixed into a frame to adorn the living room walls. 

Socially Responsible

Kale Nele continues to execute on its social responsibilities by making its small contribution in the form of a continuous association with CMCA by supplying finely executed products at cost price, working with several NGOs including an NGO based out of Belgaum that makes wire-bags all out of a workforce of blind men and women. By the start of this summer Janhavi will lend a percentage of her time weekly in the support of NGOs creating hand-finished products, by providing design inputs and market positioning rules.

Such are the initiatives that Janahvi continues to support and over the years their count will only increase.

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Meet the Maker @
27th edition:  By Hand From The Heart Makers Market
2 – 3 – August 2019 , Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

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Meet The Maker: Anjali Rao, Anjali Couture, Chennai

Today on the blog, we feature Anjali Rao, clothes designer and founder of Anjali Couture, a clothing studio, based in Chennai.

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1. Tell us a bit about yourself.   

I am Anjali Rao, and hold a doctorate in Literature and Spirituality. My work experience spans teaching, writing and editing. At the moment, I am pursuing my passion in designing, creating and re-creating western couture, with an Indian touch. I am an ardent believer in slow fashion and would love to see my clothes adorn women of style, who believe in creating joy and responsible living, and breathe a sense of freedom through them. 

 

2. Why did you become a maker?  

Always a maker, it was but a sure step towards becoming a brand that would fill the gap in the market that only saw volumes, instead of unique pieces of elegance. I believe in one design, one fabric.

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3. Why is making so important to you?    

I have realised that the market is large for fast fashion, and there is a mindless urge to possess. My clothes will hopefully help them breathe some fresh air and bring in responsible buying.

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4. How did you begin Anjali Couture?

Only six months old, I am fortunate enough to have friends who believe in me and allow me to explore and create. The circle is ever expanding!

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5. What is the story behind your brand name ? 

My designs are created keeping people like me in mind! It was necessary therefore to 
state that with my own name!

 

6. What is currently on your work table?

I would dearly like to work more with Khadi, Bandini and printed linens and create a new story on its own!

7. What is your personal favorite pick from your Anjali Couture right now? And why? 

I buy my own fabric and create the designs with a personal touch. All of them are close to my heart!

8. What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart Makers Market. 

I will display my western outfits and the sarees that I have curated at my store.

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Meet the Maker @
27th edition:  By Hand From The Heart Makers Market
2 – 3 – August 2019 , Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog

Meet The Maker: Monica Pandian, Sea & Me, Chennai

Today on the blog, we feature Sea & Me – makers of plant based soaps. The founder, Monica Pandian, shares her brand story.  

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As humans we all go through tough times during our existence. Such is life. One such event in my personal life was loss of loved ones. My best friend and my father, both whom I have always admired and sought after for help – passed away due to unfortunate incidents that happened in the same year. I was deeply distressed from the absence of their physical form. They moulded and shaped me in difficult times and now when I was in dire need of their presence, I couldn’t reach them. I fell into this dark space of sorrow and bet myself into depression. I never hoped to overcome it. But after days passed, my mind did something magical. It ignited me to create and change. I wanted to do something using the energies of my friend and my father of what they wanted me to be. My friend was a very beautiful artist, my father was a successful entrepreneur, and I a furious nature lover. I just wanted to combine all three and give back to mother earth and its beings. Boom! I made soap one day. It all started there.

 

Then, I made more soaps – all organic and natural with fair-traded ingredients, in micro batches. I gave away to families and friends to try out and there was no one who disliked it and so I shared my creations to the world. This whole blissful process slowly started to heal me from inside out. I named my startup as Sea & Me, to denote the relationship between the ocean and soap that we use everyday. It’s very pristine and let’s keep it that way.

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Though I haven’t completely recovered from it, I at least don’t hate myself for what has happened. That is when I wanted to pass on this energy to other women who are fighting within themselves to feel worthy of something in their life.

Thus, Sea and Me is powered by strong women and empowering organic farmers who grow and make our cold-pressed plant oils for soaps, all while protecting the ocean and you!

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I am really excited to display my soaps and shampoo bars at By Hand, From The Heart Makers Market. I have to mention our signature body bar ‘The Mighty Green’ made with home grown Aloe Vera, Neem and Karpooravalli herbs! Another customer favourite is ‘Lustrous’ hair bar made with flax and home grown hibiscus flowers and leaves! Can this get any better? Loaded with fresh local ingredients and love, we are set to share it with you!

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Meet the Maker @
27th edition:  By Hand From The Heart Makers Market
2 – 3 – August 2019 , Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog

Meet The Maker: Ranjini Nair, Ta.Da, Bangalore

Today on the blog, we feature Ranjini Nair – Founder & Design Director  of ‘Ta.Da’,  a homegrown tableware brand based in Bangalore; specialised in illustrated tableware. A woman of few words, she is not. But Ranjini makes sure that every single word she tells, brings a world of change in how we perceive things — be it a good idea or a simple ‘what’s for lunch?’ conversation. Her MA in Art & Design from Manchester landed her with jobs in Grey, JWT, Mudra Salt and Happy mcgarrybowen She had the experience of working on brands like Myntra, Wipro, Kingfisher, Chennai Super Kings, Boroline, RainTree Hotels, GRT temple bay, Nippon Paints, The Purple Turtles etc. This wannabe Interior Designer has also made her mark at the Abby’s with a Bronze to her credit for Reynold’s Highlighter campaign. But an art aficionado at heart, she soon decided to channel her energy to pursuing her own creative expression. Ranjini’s art stems from her own whimsical views of life. It appreciates the beauty in the ordinary and the humour in the routine. A freelance graphic designer, yoga enthusiast, amateur gardener, Mother-of-two, and a passionate homemaker, she draws inspiration from everything around her as she continues exploring new canvases for her designs.

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As child I have always wanted to be just about everything any child would, from being a doctor, teacher, model, pilot, hairdresser and even being an assistant to A.R. Rehman. And then finally my mother realised that my interest was in art, but I had no formal training back then. As I grew up, I knew I dint want to do the regular courses but ended up getting admission for BBA although I knew I wanted to do a course in art. In just 15 days I was restless and totally freaked out looking at the big fat books. That’s when I decided this is not for me. I was in an evening college for BBA so I would leave during the day and go to the college where they had officially closed admission for Bsc. VISCOM and it was 15 days since the classes had begun. I stood every day in front of the HODs room  till I had to leave for evening college and finally one day they decided to talk and took me to meet the principal , where I sobbed and said this is where my heart is and do give me a chance. I said I want to give an entrance exam and only if I do well, they can take me. Even then they were not convinced, I continued to go stand there until they agreed. The admissions reopened and few other students also got a chance to write and that’s how I took my first step into the design world. My first victory as I call it. After my course completion I worked for a few years and completed my MA Design & Art Direction course from UK. (Manchester Metropolitan University) MMU.

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Having worked in advertising for 14 years now, and the last few years of freelance has made me realise that more than adverting my interest was in graphic design. I started doodling more during my freelance days and put them up on social media. I have a doodle page on Fb and Instagram called Jini_ism. Surprisingly the good response turned into many requests, rather new business ideas. I took the plunge and started a t shirt company called urbankart, ran it for a year and then kind of lost interest more because I was a new mom and I didn’t want to do anything that will keep me away from my little cub. Although did continue to freelance. In all that time I knew t-shirts are not my thing, but I also knew I wanted to use my hand drawn doodles in some form. I began exploring options and mediums. Since I am a huge craft junkie, I took summer camps for kids and in one of the classes we had a tiny shot glass and I had asked the kids to paint or draw whatever they like the results were amazing.

That for me was the first sign , and began researching on tableware design and potters, and pottery for me was one of the things I have always wanted to learn , so took this chance and went to Goa last June and met Thomas Louis and spend a few days to understand the nuances and possibilities . one thing I clearly knew was if I had to make it myself and do hand-drawn doodles on them it’s going to take me years to master the art. which is when Thomas and a few other suggested I should do decals , that way I don’t have to worry about making the ware myself , but I will need to concentrate only on the designs and it was all about procuring it from the right person .This definitely was the easy way out

But I still thought it was worth giving a shot and also know some day I will make the wares and do hand drawn design on them and that will definitely be my exclusive collection. When I went to meet Thomas, I had all my sketches and designs ready and knew these are the ones I want to work on first.  Post a lot of discussion with my husband, we finally decided that we had to give this a shot. We found some nice vendors and finally our prototypes were ready. we knew we wanted to stock in one store in Bangalore which is our favorite store for home decor. we both went and presented it to them, and we were pleasantly surprised by the immediate yes from them.

That YES was a definite confidence booster for us. We both knew our brand must look and sound young. Quite a few brain storming sessions on the name of the brand and finally ta. da it was. The sound of it excited us and what was more special was it was the starting of our kids names, (Tasha & Darsh) , as cliched as it sounds , but it works !!

We exactly knew who our target audience was, they are people who like offbeat stuff/ contemporary / quirky stuff , they are people who love change, they are people who can throw in fuchsia colors into one room and still make it aesthetically appeal, they are people who understand and appreciate art and who know how to make anything look great with their space.

The story of ta. da starts with all of us.  We humans are all obsessed with all things perfect. It’s like an OCD cannot see a pile of mess, but what if that mess is an organized mess, it’s still okay.

Why can’t we as humans embrace imperfections. To us there is no such thing as perfect, imperfections are most often beautiful, we fail to see it only because of one’s perceptions of all things perfect and that is obviously subjective. Here we are trying to make all rugged edges, wavy lines, thick and thin strokes, not so perfect circles all come together to aesthetically appeal. Therefore, we decided BEAUTIFUL IMPERFECTIONS will be our tag line.

Our next step on brand expansion is to customize tableware for pubs, hotels, restaurants, wedding and corporate gifting.

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The Philosophy – Brand

Jagged mountains. Knobbly stones. Spindly trees with veiny leaves. The ocean is rough, the river winds and gurgles, and even the raindrops fall in an out-of-sync pitter-patter. Nothing in nature is what you’d call perfect. But, nature still is unanimously beautiful.

These sights and sounds of nature make us appreciate similar imperfections in everything around us. The idiosyncrasies of a friend, the minor niggles of a relationship, and even our own flaws.

tada draws inspiration from these imperfections that make our world so special. The designs here seek harmony in chaos and form in the shapeless. Crude blobs, dense hand-drawn lines, and other curious motifs adorn its various collections. But behind the seemingly arbitrary is a grand celebration of Beautiful Imperfections.

THE COLLECTION AT TA.DA

Stories Told Under an Incan Moon (An Incan Moon)

If you find plating to be an art, then this set is a perfect choice for your gallery of a cabinet. With dense hand-drawn lines set in a black-and-white palette, it brings equal parts whimsy and elegance to your table.

Sailing a Sea of Blue Croton Leaves (Sea & Blue Leaves)

A tribute to the legendary Cobalt Blue pigment, the colour lends this collection a keyhole view into a different form of nature. A parallel universe where the veins of a leaf meet the swells of an ocean.

Clouds Part Over a Marigold Field (The Marigold Field)

The flower is perhaps the most complex and captivating part of a plant. Its beauty provides a vibrant energy in this set. Here, its intricacy is dissected, not with a scalpel, but with the delicate perspective of an artist.

Sand Dunes Moved by the Westerly Winds (Winds & Dunes)

The endless desert might seem oppressing at first sight. But give it some time and you will witness the wind playing tag with the dunes; manifesting into beautiful patterns of the desert which is the inspiration for this set.

Walking Along an Inky Black Stream (Inky Black Stream)

Words. From private outpourings to bestselling page-turners, they have captivated you, enchanted you, and even moved you to tears. The motif in this collection is an homage to the nib — from which flows a stream of endless magic.

The Marvels of a Prussian Blue Star (Prussian Blue Star)

The subject of everything we see is light. But our perception is limited to only a small spectrum of it. Often, we look around and wonder about the hues that escape us. Even then, some shades seem ethereal — and we are blessed to use one such in this collection — the Prussian Blue.

Ripples on a Tranquil Oasis

We crave for peace at the centre of our tumultuous lives. But as life winds on and on, we learn to enjoy the little bumps and knots that invariably appear along the way. As the adage goes, ‘what’s life without a few ups and 

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Meet the Maker @
27th edition:  By Hand From The Heart Makers Market
2 – 3 – August 2019 , Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog

Meet The Maker: Nirjari Shah, Kitsch by Nik, Ahmedabad

Today on the blog, we feature Nirjari Shah, jewellery designer and Founder of Kitsch by Nik, based in Ahmedabad.

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Tell us a bit about yourself.   

After finishing my graduation, I started working at corporate sectors and that went on for 8 years. Though it was completely a different field, I gained a lot of experience. During my last job at an online media company, I met many artists and interviewed them which made me realise that I can be an artist as I have always loved art. Thus with the job I started Kitsch by Nik and how successful idea it was to start one of its kind foot jewelry in India.

I am a self taught designer who has always learnt from experiences and grown really well in these 5 years. Today, we are one of the known sustainable jewelry brand and growing really well everyday because of our unique ideas.

Why did you become a maker?  Why is making so important to you?   

I was always an artist by heart. I used to sketch and paint really well, I was a dance choreographer and performer and I had always loved designing my own outfits/jewelry.

Developing jewelry is the most important part because it has brought Kitsch to where it is today. I love challenging myself with new techniques and ideas which help me grow as an artist. Imagining one idea and then one piece is made after lot of trials and errors. But the happiness of creating that masterpiece is beyond words. 

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How did you begin Kitsch by Nik?

I was working at an online media company and had interviews a lot of artists and makers which made me realise that now is the time to achieve your dream of an artist. I started kitsch while I was working in that company which was greatly supportive.

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What is the story behind your brand name ?

I love the Indian culture and traditions. I make all my jewelry keeping old Indian traditions in mind that gives a nostalgic feeling. Kitsch also is considered for nostalgic art or art with sentiments and hence the name is Kitsch by Nik. Nik is my nick name.

 

How has your business evolved over the years?   

Business has evolved drastically. From start itself we had great response due to unique product. And then we added lots of jewelry using textile, real wood blocks, ceramic and old metal which made us a very unique label. We achieved a lot of milestones such as BBC radio interview, Lakme fashion Week, New York fashion week etc. And that kept on motivating to develop more and more designs.

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Your work space. 

My workspace is a small room consisting loads of textiles, beads, metals, ceramics, tools and not to forget the vintage storage cupboard.

 

Your favourite work tool.

All the tools that I use are my favourite. Needle and thread, weaving board, metal cutter etc.

 

What is currently on your work table?

It’s the laptop, few of the rakhis that we are desiging for this season, material for the rakhis such as beads, textile, threads etc.

 

What is your personal favorite pick from your Kitsch by Nik right now? And why?

Person favourite is our khat work neckpiece as I feel it to be the most unique design we have ever made. And the way it is loved by all our customers make us very happy.

 

What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart.

Textile, metal, ceramic, wooden neckpieces, textile earrings and rakhis.

 

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Meet the Maker @
27th edition:  By Hand From The Heart Makers Market
2 – 3 – August 2019 , Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog

Meet The Maker: Priyamvatha Ramani, The Happy Shop, Chennai

Today on the blog, we feature Priyamvatha Ramani – designer and founder of  The Happy Shop, a stationery and design studio based in Chennai

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  1. Tell us a bit about yourself. 
    I am a designer by education and a crafter by heart working in the printing industry.  
  2. Why did you become a maker?  Why is making so important to you? 
    Everybody is a maker in their own way, not all things made are tangible. Making tangible objects provide a way to bring out the intangible ‘happy’. When I say that I’ve made something, I’m the maker of something both tangible and intangible.   

  3. How did you begin The Happy Shop? 
    Apparently, we can’t buy happiness. We can however, buy things that make us happy. You can buy a piece of ‘happy’ at the happy shop.

  4. What is the story behind your brand name ? 
    ‘Happy’ is a very heavy word. An emotion to strive for. The Happy Shop is an ambitious venture, a space to shop for the ‘happy’.

  5. Your work space. 
    My work space consists of all the printing and miscellaneous equipments a designer could dream of.  

  6. Your favorite work tool. 
    Paper and pencil.

  7. What is currently on your work table? 
    A lot of samples and prototypes.

  8. What is your personal favorite pick from your The Happy Shop right now? And why? 
    My favourite pick would be as cliche as it sounds, the notebooks. To me, having a notebook apart from the ones we used to do our classwork or homework during school time was a sign of growing up as well as a luxury to be privy to my own thoughts and a way to focus them. And apart from that, a notebook in hand also makes a person look intelligent, what better way to show the world that intelligence, is a style with a designer notebook.

  9. What are your displaying at the By Hand, From The Heart. 
    I will be displaying stationery, wall art, clocks, coasters and boxes.

 

 

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Meet the Maker @
27th edition:  By Hand From The Heart Makers Market
2 – 3 – August 2019 , Friday – Saturday | 10 a.m – 9 p.m
Hanu Reddy Residences, No. 41/19, Poes Garden, Chennai 600086, India.

Follow us on : Facebook Event Page | Facebook | Instagram | Blog