By Hand From The Heart is a biannual Makers Market held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Graphic designer and stamp maker Varshitha Cholaprakash started her craft supplies business a few years ago in Chennai, knowing it had grand scope. Today she has the credit of establishing, India’s first stamp craft company. Here, we get to know more about this creative entrepreneur and also take a look at her creations.
A bit about yourself.
I am Varshitha, an ambitious craft entrepreneur, passionate designer, craft enthusiast, graphic freak and the mother of two adorable boys!! I chose Ddesigning as my career path pretty early in life. That’s right! I didn’t choose to follow the conventional path of education. Instead, I did a Digital Media Technology course right after my Senior Secondary . Since then, it has always been a never ending thirst for crafting and exploring Graphic Design.
How did you start making stamps?
A random search for paper cutting methods helped me discover the whole world of paper crafting and stamping! Being a Designer with business aspirations, I decided to learn more about stamping and slowly ventured into the world of stamp making. In India, Stamp makers follow a typical Stamp making process and Craft Stamp making is way too different from it. We were not able to source any stamp makers who could do photopolymer stamps for craft. Hence with strong backing from my husband and some more research, we decided to take up the manufacturing ourselves. We did a lot of Research and Development to get the perfect stamps before the official brand launch of Mudra Stamp line. And I am proud to tell that we are the first craft stamp manufacturers in India.
Tell us about your proposed showcase at the By Hand, From The Heart.
The art of stamping is relatively new to India. We have probably a few thousands of stampers out of which a very less number are professional stampers. The idea behind showcasing at By Hand, From The Heart is to spread the word about stamping and give fellow craft enthusiasts a hands-on experience on stamping with the aid of a small kit, before they invest in buying the stamping products. A demo session on stamping will be conducted in the stall and cards/projects made with our stamps will be displayed for inspiration/promotional purpose. We will have our stamps and stamping tool for sales too. A pre-launch of our August Release would be the highlight of the show!
How do you make a stamp? What’s involved?
Craft stamps are made with high quality photopolymer. These Photopolymer stamp surfaces have superior ink transfer properties, which gives a crisp impression every time. We start with a rough sketch for each stamp design and plan few designs for different genre every month. We digitally design and take it for mould making and from there it goes to our stamp making unit, where the stamps are made by trained staff. The process of making Clear Photopolymer Craft stamps from Photopolymer Gel happens in our unit. Yes our awesome stamps go through a lot of messy rubbery sticky times at the production unit!! From there it gets transported to our work place where we perform the quality check and then forward it to sorting and packing.
Where do you get your inspiration? And what is inspiring you now?
Inspiration! I find it everywhere, in everyone and in every single thing. I love to implement ideas to a productive design in my own style.
Describe your work space and what’s it like?
I have a compact home studio where I have a dedicated crafting space and dedicated space for my designing and office use. Other part of the room, with cupboard with craft supplies and another small cupboard with office use. Being a night owl, And this what I do, new stamp testing and some crafting!
You make custom stamps for customers; what’s was the most interesting stamp you’ve had to make?
Yes, we make custom stamps and that’s what we started with. Well, we get lots of interesting designs for custom stamps, as custom stamp is mostly needed in cases here people cannot get the exact greetings/wording for some project/cards or some unique elements which is not available with any brand. One of the most interesting stamps I had to make recently was that of a “Best Wishes” stamp with the image of a hugging Panda. That was a really cute drawing for a stamp!
What’s the best thing about being a design entrepreneur?
The best thing about being an entrepreneur is that you can pursue what your heart says. That feeling on seeing the cards and projects made with my very first stamp design was a top of the world experience. Cannot explain how exciting it was to see something like that take form. Designing itself is awesome, imagine seeing your designs in a variety of projects. Crafters do come up with brilliant stamped projects!
What advice would you share to those who want to take on their hobby/ passion into a career?
I would like to quote “Choose a job you love, and you never have to work a day in your life”. “Follow your passion” is what I would tell!!
Born and have lived here most of my life! Wish to be here for rest of my life. Chennai is a distinctive city with a mixed crowd. Chennai Market is open for catching up with new things. As a design entrepreneur, I am taking my first step in BHFTH to spread the word about stamping art. Felling positive that this journey of mine will be fruitful.
Meet, the design principal and founder of India’s 1st stamp company, Varshitha Cholaprakash of Mudra Craft Stamps, Chennai, at the By Hand From The Heart: MAKERS MARKET – 18th Edition
Friday – Saturday, 5th – 6th August, 2016
10:00 a.m – 8:00 p.m
Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park
132, T.T.K Road, Alwarpet, Chennai – 600018, Tamil Nadu. India