Saturday, July 14, 2012

Interviewed by POOL Magazine

I was interviewed in June by POOL Magazine. I've avidly followed/ read the magazine since its debut. So, it was an immense honor to find an interview request in my inbox on what was until then an ordinary day in May. 

Please go here, to read the interview online in the June 2012 issue of POOL. 

I missed the deadline and turned in the interview a little late, so I'm pretty much at the very end of the magazine. Weak perhaps, but in my defense it's years since I've answered so many written essay-form questions!

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

SHP Feature's: The 2012 Roundup

Last summer I came across a quirky clock, very similar to the one below, at a friend's home in Seattle. Upon enquiring, my friend mentioned that she bought it in Pune and didn't remember the artist's name.

A few months later, I received a notification that a 'Nobodyelse' had liked SHP's Facebook page. My interest was piqued and I clicked on the notification which led me to a Facebook page with the same clock! I dropped a note letting the owners of the page know that I had come across their clock in Seattle and adored their simple yet attractive design style. And that's how I 'e-met' Mangesh Todkar and his lovely wife Leena. 

Mangesh and Leena are inspired by their everyday lives in India. Here are a few of their inspired designs. 

Nobodyelse also makes earrings, nameplates, murals, wall hooks and have recently branched out to lamps and tea light holders. Please go here, to see more of their quirky products.

Loud and Spirited... that's Shor Sharaba for you!, so runs their tag line. Trsha Jhaver and Rasshi Ganeriwal, the founders definitely live up to their motto. Throw the mundane 'Best', 'Regards' or 'Cheers' out of the window. Bah! Here are a few ways in which Rasshi signed off all her emails to me, 

Make some Shor oye,

Bling, BLASH, Bright, SPLASH.. Jhataaaaak mataaaaak, Razz MATAZ!!

Being loud,

Her emails definitely made me smile. Quite a few firms can take a note out of Shor Sharaba's book on  inculcating brand spirit so thoroughly. Here's how the girls describe themselves and the brand,

Welcome to Shor Sharaba! We do things that we love! 
We make things for the young and urbane who love to live life to the fullest. Shor Sharaba is where Uma Thurman meets Meena Kumari and Gabbar catches up with The Godfather! Super Heros in new avtaar, Filmigiri’s newest sansaar!! Moo Moo, Bow Bow, Oink Oink, its loud and laajawaab! We are Bright, HAPPY, Quirky and bindaas!!  We are two crazy sisters; Trsha, the Shor and Rasshi, the Sharab(i)a.

The lotus diya/ mug holder is a definite fave

On a serious BIJNIS note, we do Super cool cushions, laptop bags, Laptop Sleeves, Coasters, iPad bags, Fun trays, photo frames, Wooden boxes, Sling Bags, Mouse Pads, Fridge Magnets, Clocks, beer/ coffee mugs, just to name a few.

O.K. So go check out the super cool stuff from the crazy fun sisters here

My apologies to Mangesh/ Leena, Trsha/ Rasshi; both their features were due in January/ February.

Aporv stands for Unique in Sanskrit and the online shopping site does do justice to it's name by carrying a unique portfolio of products by partnering with several artisans in India. You can learn more about the organization by listening to its founder Sudip Dutta's TEDx talk

A few of their artisan-made products,

Every products has an elaborate description of the traditional process by which they were made. You can visit them on their website, Facebook page or Pinterest page to check out more of their products.

Here's wishing the Aporv team a belated Happy B'day! 


I received an email recently from Saurabh Srivastava and Rajeev Jha the founders of a rather interesting site. If I understood it correctly, is an Indian take on Pinterest, where one can post images and follow/ meet folks with similar interests. sounds terribly exciting and I'm glad to see innovation in the online space in India. Here's a snapshot of their website

Do go explore the site.

Saffron Hue is the vision of two Stay-at-home moms, whose dream is to bring a fresh new perspective to the traditional textiles and techniques of India by using them for baby bedding and accessories. 

Saffron Hue makes hand block printed children textile products using traditional methods from the Sanganer region in Rajasthan, India. Summer 2012 was the launch of their first collection, here's a peek.

I loved the fact that the products come in lovely pastel shades and the prints have awfully cute names like Mango Mantra, Royal Parade and Monsoon

The collection comprises of quilts, lightweight blankets, swaddles, burp/ bibs and snuggle bags made with Azo free dyes on 100% cotton. Please visit their website here, to see the creative output of the wonderful moms.

Team Shopick describe themselves as a marketplace to discover 'unique' Indian handcrafted/handmade/handpainted products with beautiful designs from designers and creators all over India. They connect designers and artisans to customers all over the world looking for amazing products. Here's a look at some of their amazing products,

Please visit the Shopick website here for viewing more of their product range. 

Indianmyra is a site that features beautiful jewelery and apparel from India. Their collections are inspired by the various corners of India, from artisans to high end designers. Anwesha, an NGO based in Orissa and  several AIACA members have been showcased on their site. 

Indianmyra also has delicately crafted pieces from the Mughal era. Here's a glimpse into the Mughal era,

For a closer look at their lovely products, please visit their website here

A note of apology to Divya and Rohit, Indianmyra's PR team for the delay, as this post was due in May. Thank you for your patience!

To India, with Love....

fabulloso! is an online store that was launched earlier this year. The store is the brainchild of Gaurav Taneja, ex-Partner and Business Head - Technology, Communications and Entertainment with Ernst & Young, and Anupma Taneja, a graphic designer and entrepreneur with a successful handmade paper business - Kaagaz Exports - to her credit.

fabulloso! offers a curated selection of beautiful things for wardrobes and homes - exquisitely designed and meticulously crafted designer wear, wardrobe essentials, shoes, accessories, home furnishings and accents.

fabulloso! seems like a fun, refreshing brand; please head here to check out more of their fabulous stuff!

Thank you Shobana & Pallavi, fabulloso's PR team, for all the enthusiastic and fun emails.

Craftsvilla is an idea conceived by Manoj and Monica Gupta in 2011, as an online marketplace selling unique Indian handmade and handcrafted items. In India crafting is the second biggest profession in rural villages after agriculture. Each region is identified by its ethnic craft and it is a rich tradition that has survived the ages.

I absolutely loved these antique Tanjore paintings from Vrindavan Home Shoppe owned by Kannan Kuttappan. These definitely beat the shiny, gaudy new Tanjore paintings that seem to have flooded the Indian market in recent years.

However, many of these crafts are under serious risk of extinction because crafters are leaving their professions in search of jobs of better pay. The problem occurs because these crafters sell their items to middlemen at very low rates who in turn sell it at inflated rates in the market. If this scenario continues, a time may come when our next generation may become bereft of these arts.

All the products featured here are from Vrindavan Home Shoppe. Craftsvilla also has several other lovely stores. Please go here to explore!

Craftsvilla is aiming to change this by bringing these crafters directly online and helping them sell their creations directly to a global audience. Good luck Team Craftsvilla, I really hope you guys bring about the change you are aiming for. Please head here, to check out and support the platform. 

A shout out to the guys from Team YellowTrunkThey are soon launching an exclusive curated online portal with unique products from India. Sign up here for exclusive deals for when they launch. 

Here's wishing all you guys a great deal of luck in your design ventures and a successful 2012!