Remember my post on SHP's new avataar? As promised I have been constantly updating the 'Favourite Indian Designers' and 'Shop Indian' pages. In keeping with the new avataar, there are going to be monthly roundups of all the new creative talent and new design stores added to the pages.
Here's debuting the series for the all the new additions in the month of November. I apologize to all the retailers listed below, I was supposed to do the post in the 1st week of December and I'm doing it now, almost a month later. Please blame it on the leisureliness/ laziness of the holiday season :)
If the logo happens to be so beautiful, isn't it a given that the folks behind the site have an eye for beauty?
Rashmi Daga, an IIM Ahmedabad alumnus, is the founder and the force behind afday. She bid adieu to her successful corporate career to engage in her passion, which is to "find and appreciate “Art” in our day to day lives in millions of forms."
She strongly believes that Indian designers and craftsmen - professionals and amateurs alike, are creating the widest and most unique range of Art. Her goal is to make these artistic products easily accessible for Indophiles around the world.
Here's a look at the result of Rashmi's passion,
The little ceramic autorickshaw on the right bottom, happens to be a favorite as it reminds me of my hometown of Madras and is one of the few instances where I found a piece which isn't colored green- more reminiscent of the autos that ply in Northern Indian.
Please visit afday here, to check out more of their lovely wares.
Indya Kaleidoscope, is a recent venture of Preethi Prabhu, a fellow blogger turned entrepreneur. An IT professional, Preethi has a passion for Indian culture and heritage, which resulted in her giving up a secure job to start on this colourful journey.
From making candy jars from the age old lacquer technique of Channapatna to incorporating traditional materials into contemporary lifestyle products, IK is on a grand mission. 90% of their products come from artisans, rural self help groups, organizations working to preserve traditional arts and crafts and NGOs. Good quality and affordable prices are their USP.
In Preethi's own words, "The journey has just begun and there is a lot to accomplish." Here's a teaser on what she has accomplished so far.
How awfully cute are those wine stoppers? The image on the left is an authentic chai server turned into a candle stand!
MyMela was founded in 2010 in Florida, USA; by Navroze Mehta and Sonali Mehta-Rao. It employs an interesting model, MyMela’s unique Integrated Micro Advance Funding model (IMAF) offers visitors to the site an opportunity to make zero-interest loans to artisan groups while shopping on the site. Such an innovative platform provides hope for struggling artisans in India to counteract their dependence on high interest loans from local moneylenders. 20% of MyMela’s profits will be reinvested in community improvement projects in India. I wish The Mehtas all the very best in what they are trying to accomplish and sending them some goodwill their way.
A few of my favourites from the artisans listed on the site,
The Ganjifa playing cards set on the top left corner deserves special mention. Ganjifa cards are a set of ancient hand-painted playing cards influenced by both the Mughals, the Birtish colonizers and the local rulers. It has only recently received a revival.
Please go here, to see My Mela's lovely online catalog.
SOIO features over 30 artists and designers, including Palani Mohan, renowned photographer for National Geographic, President’s Award winner artist Amitabh Sengupta, Award winning Visual artist Madan Meena, Rachana Reddy, graduate of Cordwainers - London College of Fashion, amongst many others.
SOIO: Quirky, colourful and fun
In the past month all of these lovely stores have added several new products. For example, SOIO now retails the Nina Paley's Avataars of Vishnu calendar by Gnaana that I had blogged about before here on SHP.
The 'Favourite Indian Designers' and 'Shop Indian' pages on this blog are constantly updated. Please do check the pages often for new online stores and designers. There were quite a few added in December, the December roundup will be coming in a week- stay tuned!
It's the long weekend here in the US. I had a lovely weekend watching Zubin Mehta Live conducting the New York Philharmonic. Hope you had a lovely weekend too!