By Hand From The Heart: One Show, Many Stories!

By Hand From The Heart is a curated makers market event in Chennai, South India. UPCOMING EVENT: 24th – 25th, AUGUST, CROWNE PLAZA, CHENNAI

Meet The Maker: Rashmi Prithviraj, Artisan Soap Maker


Tell us a bit about yourself.

Dreamer , crafter , yoga teacher, nature lover , daughter, sister, mother,  lover of all things intrinsically beautiful ….that’s me.  Rashmi Prithviraj. I was born in Chennai and spent most of my formative years in the Gulf.

I love silence, enjoy quiet walks, the company of peaceful people and also time spent by myself. I enjoy listening to soothing music and love baking.

I have always believed that nature has everything to satisfy all our needs.. we just have to look a little harder. My journey into yoga and natural skin care makes my belief in this all the more strong and real.

How would you describe what you do; and how long have you been making and creating?

So what is it that I do now? … well, I make natural soaps and skin care using a combination of a few simple yet potent natural ingredients in such a way that it draws their best onto our skin. For me its a way of drawing the essence of  nature into our being. My motto –Put onto your skin only that which you would eat. Skinfood.

What/who inspires you? Or how do you find inspiration?

I remember , as a little girl when we’d come to Chennai for our summer vacations my grandmother would have bowls of  herbal concoctions ready to use on our skin and hair. As she applied them on us amid screams and complaints, she would keep saying how good these would make our body. Those days were sheer relaxing, so pampered. Soon vacations would come to an end and we would head back and the concoctions followed too and everybody who would come visiting us from Chennai would have a parcel from my grandmother with…yes..concoctions! We lived in the Gulf then where the local women had wonderful skin and took extra care of themselves with all sorts of herbal pastes. There would be numerous articles on skin care in the daily papers and tips from well-wishing local friends on their ‘secret’ skin care regime. I guess, one could say my foray into natural skin care took root sometime during these days.  3But I actually first started making skin care when I was in school, many, many years back.  When I finally moved back to Chennai, adjusting to Chennai climate was a struggle. Developed skin issues that subsided only with my own mixes.  I finally  decided to sell these products about 4 years back. I have my loyal clients from over the years but  I’m really quite a hermit, so there are a lot of people who have no idea I do this!

Tell us about your recent works and your proposed showcase at the By Hand, From The Heart.

Yoga introduced me to the wonders of  Ayurveda. I’ve used some of its herbs in new formulations that I will be launching at the By Hand, From the Heart Artisan Market this August…massage oils, facial serums and speciality soaps, with more in the anvil.

Can you describe your work place / space?

2My workplace is part of my home which is surrounded with mango and plumera trees with the constant chirping of birds and the occasional loud barking of my dog at a passing friend. When I look up from my work I see lush green leaves amidst beautifully white-washed homes, plumera blooms with the constant  hipnotic hum of the ceiling fan.

What/who inspires you? Or how do you find inspiration?

Inspiration is all around me…in nature, the people around me and the stories I overhear at the market places. I may just pick up one little part of this, read more about it, research and I’ve got hundreds of possibilities. Most often its the simplest herb thats most amazing as an ingredient. And when I see the effects… just amazes me more.

What’s the best thing about being a crafter / designer?

The best part about being a crafter is that you can create whatever comes to mind. The freedom to make what you want, in the way that you want.

What would you say to someone thinking about selling their work?

A lady I admire a lot, once commented about a product that we saw at a store which seemed was there forever. She said – its just not found its right customer yet. To me it sounded terribly profound and changed my way of thinking. So if you have something to sell, go ahead and give it a shot… you never know who’s waiting for it. You cannot make everyone happy but you will many or it may just take you on another journey .

Anything exciting on the cards for the coming months?

Today is for certain, tomorrow is another day. But I have lots of ideas.. I’m curious too as to what will emerge next.

Rashmi Prithviraj, will showcase her hand-crafted artisan skin care collection at the By Hand, From The Heart Artisan & Farmers Market | 7- 8 August 2015 | 10 a.m – 8 p.m | Hanu Reddy Residences, 41/19, Poes Garden, Teynampet, Chennai.

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