Featured Designer – Aditi Gidh

We had a great month showing you some great cookware and tableware, and now its time to move on…! Yes, we have our next Featured Designer of the month – Aditi Gidh, fashion graduate and founder of C A S A  O M Y A A.

Casa Omyaa creates home furnishings that are neo classic, contemporary and rooted. Designed by blending traditional crafts and textiles with modern contemporary designs. The products are therefore truly classic, pieces that will never run out of style! Aditi also makes sure that they create a sustainable livelihoood for all the people involved with them in the manufac
 
Team Zaarga is happy to introduce Aditi Gidh to you – read on to find out more about this lovely lady! 🙂

Aditi Gidh

 
 1. Can you tell us something about yourself?

I have always been the moody, creative kid who excelled at sketching and art through her school and college. After graduating in Fashion Design from School of Fashion Tech. – (NIFT), I started out as a wardrobe designer in the fashion industry. I am always in search of creating something innovative and unique and have dabbled in clothing and accessories before starting out with Casa Omyaa. My parents and well wishers have been the driving forces in constantly motivating me and being my support through the difficult times.
 

2.  What inspired you to work in the area of Soft Furnishings?

Home furnishings actually happened to me by chance! 
After working in the clothing line for over 5 years, I wanted a creative change. My colleague and dear friend Krishnendu Datta was instrumental in convincing me to start with a line of exclusive handcrafted home furnishings. My love for Indian handloom and handicraft is also another big inspiration for entering this area! I love using beautiful hand woven fabrics and Indian craft techniques keeping my designs simple and elegant, which is a reflection of my personality.

Pure silk pin tucked collection of cushions


3. Can you tell us about your Design journey so far?

I have always tried to design and create something unique and elegant. My designs reflect my personality which highlights two important aspects – simple and elegant. I constantly try to evolve my designs based on my observations and the suggestions of my well wishing clients. I have been happy with my designs so far, but there is still a long way to go!

4. What/Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspiration comes from observing the simplest of things around me! I look for the most unusual colors, textures, shapes and sizes and I get all this by observing the beautiful things nature has bestowed upon us.

5. Who is your Number One  my fan?

It has to be my friend Krishnendu Datta! Jokes apart, I feel we still haven’t reached our fans to the extent that we should have.
6. What are the aspects of your work that you enjoy the most?

Brocade & poly silk placemats and coasters

I enjoy conceptualizing and sketching out random design ideas on my mind. And when these ideas turn into actual products, it gives a sense of immense satisfaction and joy to me!

7. What do you consider the biggest challenge you face today related to your work or design in general?

The biggest challenge I face today is the marketing of our products domestically and internationally. Unfortunately I am not blessed with a great marketing acumen, hence it becomes a challenge to market my products in an effective way. On a positive note, we are working towards it and would hopefully have a great marketing team soon enough! 🙂

8. What is your fabric of choice and why?

I absolutely love Indian handloom textiles! I love working with a varied variety of silks and cottons & usually don’t prefer blends / artificial fabrics. I stick to natural fabrics for their pure feel.

Corded khadi silk cushion covers


9. How often do you add new designs to your catalog?

I only add new designs when I feel its required. On an average, I work on a new collection once a year, but if it sells well, then I may continue it further as most of my designs are classic and won’t go out of style.

10.  Do you offer customized interior solutions? Can you tell us a little more of the kind of projects that you undertake?

Yes, we at Casa Omyaa work on customized Interior Decor projects. Our area of specialization is customized furnishings and furniture for homes and commercial spaces. In addition to this, we also work on themed based apartments, bungalows, restaurants, etc from the concept to the entire execution, which involves working closely with the architect.

11. What is your vision for your work and design? Any exciting plans for the road ahead that you can share with us?

We plan to expand into handcrafted home decor & lifestyle products in the near future. We have already started our work with focused Women Self Help Groups (SHGs) from the rural areas in creating our products. We strive to provide them with a sustainable source of income whilst producing a range of products for our clients across the globe. We hope to have Casa Omyaa run by a strong women force in the near future, as they are the biggest strength in shaping the future of our country!

12. Can you share with us a dream project in your wish list?

Our dream project is to start a unique lifestyle store that houses rooted yet contemporary products made by Indian artisans and the underprivileged women of our society, by way of providing them better means of Income whilst producing exclusive handcrafted lifestyle products for all our clients. 

Handwoven Jute placemats & coasters

 
13. Your thoughts on Zaarga.


Zaarga is the perfect launch-pad for creative artists and designers of today! Not only is the entire team highly professional, but they share a caring relation with all their designers that puts all our worries about selling our products at rest. I would love to be associated with Zaarga for a long time ahead! I wish them all the luck for their future endeavors!

May all the dreams and aspirations of Aditi Gidh & her team at Casa Omyaa come true! It is indeed a matter of pride to be associated with Designers who are working towards inclusion of artisans and creating sustainable livelihood for them.We would love to be part of all their endeavours!!

And for all of you, we have a great month of fun and retail therapy on home linen!! Here we go!!
Cheers!
Team Z

Featured Brand of the Month : arttdinox


Stainless Steel used to be a household favourite until melamine and microwavable crockery took over. But with growing concerns about the health hazards posed by melamine and various kinds of plastic ware, people are increasingly turning back to their good old Stainless Steel.

The Hungry Caterpillar Dinner Set


But Stainless Steel is no longer passe, thanks to the house of Jindals who launched “arttd’inox“, a premium brand for designer made Stainless Steel cookware and tableware, by marvelously blending high grade steel with ceramic, wood, brass and glass to create stunning and stylish designs.

Zaarga is proud to present “arttd’inox” as the brand of the month. We caught up with the team at arttd’inox to get you closer to this highly popular and sought after brand.

1. Can you tell us something about the origin of the brand arttd’inox? 

arttd’inox was started with an idea to promote stainless steel, a material which was not considered high end, with a whole new look and feel. We make it with a global touch and flair as it is internationally sold.

2. Who is the driving force behind the brand – defining its vision and steering it to success?

Ms. Deepikaa Jindal, the visionary who saw the potential of lifestyle designs in Stainless Steel slowly and steadly moulded her dream into reality.

Enchanted Cups

3. What is the USP of arttd’inox?

We create spaces that speak of you. Touching each aspect of your home and office with our contemporary designs and products, arttd’inox has products which are specially for ‘you’.

4. How do you define “high grade premium stainless steel” that is part of your product specification?

There are different grades of stainless steel which are available in market. Coming from the house of Jindals, we work with the highest grade of stainless steel, well established with properties like high on food grade, high on luster and finish and corrosion resistance.

Sequence Collection

5. Are arttd’inox brands sold/going to be sold outside India?
arttd’inox is already being sold outside in New York, Libya, Hong Kong, Korea, Ecuador.

6. Can you tell us something about the arttd’inox range of modular kitchens

arttdinox modular kitchen

arttd’inox is into Stainless Steel modular kitchens, the only brand in the country making 100% stainless steel kitchens. Further, we work on complete kitchen manufacturing cycle in-house design, production and ours is the only kitchen to give AMC. Being Stainless Steel in material, our kitchens are have unique properties:
a. Water resistance and thus corrosion resistance and fungus free
b. Very easy to clean and maintain
c. Made from 100% stainless steel so no problem of pests and termites
d. No problem of cabinets sagging and collapsing as there is no wooden content
e. Extremely hygienic as there are no fumes from Varnish/laqor
f. Comes in all colors, textures and finishes you can dream about including wooden finishes which look absolutely like wood
g. In India we are the only modular kitchen which provides preventive maintenance for first 2 years and AMC thereafter.

 



Cookie Tray

8. What do you consider the biggest challenge faced by the brand?

We are the category creators in lot of areas like lifestyle tableware and cookware and modular kitchens therefore all the challenges which a first mover has, we had that.
           Further, in India Stainless Steel as a material was considered old, boring, cheap. We are the ones trying to change that concept which we are still doing. In a market dominated by Wooden modular kitchens we are trying to bring in Stainless Steel kitchens.

9. Which is the most popular design/collection under the arttd’inox brand? 

Mushroom Nut Bowl

All our collections have done well. Mushroom collection has brought a lot of awards and accolades back home. There are collections which are naughty and interesting like See no evil mugs, Pink panther collection.
Then there were products ergonomically designed like the Geometric Planter.

 
10. How often do you add new designs to your catalog?
Variety and change keeps the product offerings fresh and new. We keep coming out with collections every quarter. Single products can be monthly or event specific e.g. Pooja Thali during Diwali or calendar during New Year.
11. What is the vision for your work and design? Any exciting plans for the road ahead that you can share with us?



No Evil Mugs


 
Our Vision is to consistently ‘WOW’ our customers with new products and designs.

12. Your thoughts on Zaarga.
Zaarga is an excellent platform which has brought together great designs and designers. It’s a one point shop to buy home and décor related products.

We wish Deepikaa Jindal and the Team at arttd’inox success in all their challenges and new endeavours. So what are you waiting for, open up the shopping bag and grab some of the best cookware/tableware you can lay hands on! And rest assured that your guests would go gaga over your new crockery collection!!

Cheers!
Team Z

Featured Designer – Tejas Soni

Tejas Soni

Tejas Soni, a graduate from the Indian Institute of Crafts and Design, was the first to sign up with us on Zaarga. When Tejas’ love for Nature, sculpturing expertise and creativity  come together, what results are timeless pieces that design conossieurs would love to collect and cherish forever.  By resurrecting the forgotten craft techniques, Tejas makes craft a viable livelihood for the craftsmen and reminds us of a cultural heritage that we need to sustain, promote and be proud of.


Team Zaarga is proud to introduce you to the creative genius behind the much acclaimed Lily and Banana bowls

 1. Can you tell us something about yourself?


I belong to a family of goldsmiths in Gujarat. I have always had a strong inclination towards crafts and was always motivated by my parents and well wishers to do new things. Since my father had a jewelry and casting workshop I was always found there experimenting and making sculptures! 



 
2. Much of your work is based on the traditional Dhokra craft. What drew you towards Dhokra?


Dhokra happened by chance! It was a project that I did for the Chhattisgarh Government and when I started the project I wasn’t very sure myself if it was going to work! But I fell in love with the craft form and skills of the craftsmen. That is what drew me towards it. Then gradually I started to experiment with the craft form. I decided to design against the normal products and create a new range that made the world notice the art form with more respect. I wanted the art form to be more than just a decorative piece of work.
 

3. Are you experimenting with any other traditional craft?

Oh yes, of course. I am making products with the traditional crafts of Jaipur. You can see the products made with the traditional Naqqashi and Chetai crafts of Jaipur on my Zaarga Store itself. Few examples of the products are the Lily Leaf Platter, Banana Leaf Platter, etc.

 

Clockwise from top- Lily Bowl, Lily Platter, Fingerprint Coaster, Peepal Leaf Coaster and Banana Leaf Platter

4. What was the first product that you designed?

My first product was a sculpture that depicted a peanut that had been blown 5 times of its usual size. It was an art piece, a decorative form casted in Bronze metal with a oxidized finish. The product also won “The Innovative Application of Existing Material award”, by Living Etc in Association with RSA (Royal Society of Arts, London) 

5. What/Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?
Dona Bowl

Nature! It’s my biggest inspiration. The flora and Fauna around me inspires me to create my collections. I take notice of the small things around me, things that you would miss to notice.

6. Who is your Number One fan?


Wow! I have never thought about it. I would say for me all those who value and take notice of my work are my fans!

 7. What are the aspects of your work that you enjoy the most?

I think it has to be all the aspects. This may sound a little clichéd but truly it is. I love sitting with my sketching book to create concepts, I love sitting with a cup of chai with my craftsman when we discuss the concept. I like taking care of entire process that goes behind making the product. Also I enjoy being my own boss! Its fun to have your own design studio and work as and when you want.

8. What do you consider the biggest challenge you face today related to your work or design in general?

The biggest challenge today is making genuine crafts available to the people.

9. Is there any design of yours that you consider your best? Which one is it and why?

The best is yet to come! But the design close to me and I am very fond of it is the Peanut dry fruit bowl.


Peanut Dry fruit bowl
10. How often do you add new designs to your catalog?

I add few products every year but I don’t do season collections like my contemporaries. I design when I feel that there is a need for a new product. I design when I feel that all my previous designs have reached my audience and now they look forward for more! 

11. What is your vision for your work and design? Any exciting plans for the road ahead that you can share with us?

Dhokra Wine Holder

My vision is pretty simple- create timeless pieces that find their way into the lives of both contemporary and classical people around the globe.


 12. Can you share with us a dream project in your wish list?


My dream project is to create limited edition products that everyone desires and wants to own.

13. Your thoughts on Zaarga.

Zaarga is an amazing platform to share and connect with like-minded craft lovers. It has been an amazing support for Tejas Soni Design as well. I am proud to be associated with Zaarga and wish Zaarga and the team many more glorious years ahead. Cheers!
 


We wish Tejas great success and fulfillment in his creative journey. And we hope to showcase several more of his amazing products…

Cheers!!
Team Z

Featured Designer: Mukul Goyal

His men have been at Zaarga right from the start…and everyone admires them! Sometimes they are holding your books, sometimes your serving bowls; they make merry with you by stirring your drinks and at times when they are really tired, they just flop on a Stapler and take the much deserved break!!


Yes!!! We are talking about the “ID Collection” of home accessories by the ingenious Mukul Goyal, and now we are really happy to bring to you the man who created them! 🙂 Here’s what Mukul had to say to Team Z and all of you out there who adore his work!

1. Can you tell us something about yourself?

I started my professional life as an IIT Engineer but found my true calling in Design. My first few products were jewelry pieces made out of scrap materials. I have worked in a tractor industry before I began my explorations in Design.

2. When did you start designing? Can you give us a small glimpse into your design journey from a graduate designer to becoming“Mukul Goyal” the popular brand?

I always had an inclination towards art and creativity.
If I were to be honest I am still that graduate designer that I was when I started! The brand Mukul Goyal happened because somewhere my products connected with people and became popular. Even today I am apprehensive about my new products and concerned about their interactions with people.


3. What was the first product that you designed?

I do not remember the first thing I would have designed ever but I do know that creating stuff used to be an all consuming exercise for me. The first product that I designed for the brand Mukul Goyal was the ID Bookends and to my luck they still continue to be amongst the bestsellers of the range.

4. What/Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?

My inspiration is the world around me – it is a madhouse of people and I am one of them!

5. Who is your Number One fan?

Do I have fans?

6. What are the aspects of your work that you enjoy the most?

Being my own boss, deciding my own work regime, designing what I want to rather than working on someone else’s brief gives me a huge kick!
I derive huge amounts of gratification from the sales of my product as the products do seem to be connecting to people both in India and abroad!

7. What do you consider the biggest challenge you face today related to your
work or design in general?

The biggest challenge is to remain focused and true to one’s beliefs!

8. Is there any design of yours that you consider your best? Which one is it and why?

Strangely, the designs which I am fond of may not have found much favour commercially but they are still close to my heart. Long back I had done some nut shell bowls which were reminiscent of the coconut shell but they did not do well in the market.
The ID series of products in my range is my eternal favourite as I see a little bit of myself in each of those!

9. How often do you add new designs to your catalog?

I refresh my catalogue once a year. At that time, new products are added, some old products may be dropped or tweaked and balance continues status quo.

10. What is your vision for your work and design? Any exciting plans for the road ahead that you can share with us?

I have never been much of a planner and live each day as it comes! My products have done a great job of marketing themselves and I hope it stays that way! Now I would like to dabble in non-product design – when I figure that one out, I shall shed more light on it!

11. Can you share with us a dream project in your wish list?

An installation on the city scape

12. Your thoughts on Zaarga.

Zaarga is a great partner to have on my side! Apart from ensuring a great positioning, Zaarga reaches out my products to the right audience.

We wish all success and glory to brand Mukul Goyal and its creator in his various endeavours. And we definitely hope to have his more of his men around to do our chores!

Cheers!!
Team Z

Featured Designer: Vaishali Sinha

Vaishali Sinha officially stepped into the world of design when she graduated from NID. She set up her dream child ‘Vaishali Design Studio‘ in Delhi in 1997 to provide Home Furnishings & Decor market in International & domestic market. Today, the studio today designs primarily for the international home furnishings market – VDS being a registered design vendor for Jo Ann (USA); Corelle Worldwide; Bharti Wal-Mart Easy Day (India), besides an array of exporters that it services in India as well as other smaller importers abroad.



Vaishali Sinha

With a finger on the pulse of international design trends,Vaishali launched an exclusive design brand, ‘V Living’, in 2011, which catapulted her into the upper echelons of Indian home textile design. The studio has become a Mecca for chic cushions, kitschy kitchen towels & elegant bed linen. We are glad to introduce this creative persona to you as our Featured Designer for October 2012.  Her responses to the Z Questionnaire…
 

1. When did you start designing ?
Informally I used to design my dresses / suits on my own even as a kid & fortunately had a very talented mother who helped me create whatever I used to visualize…Formally, NID trained me as designer and 1992 is when I started my career as a designer. Till 1997 I worked in export houses which got me tuned to shop floor; production; costing & all those important departments which help convert your creative ideas into practical, functional reality. In January 1997 I got pulled into starting my own Vaishali Design Studio where we developed designs for primarily home furnishing clients in domestic & international market. But it was only in 2011 it dawned on me to start my own brand V Living.



India Series Linen Cushions – A Class Apart!

 2. What led you to start designing home décor accessories/furnishings?
Well that was what I was professionally qualified to do & somehow fashion did not attract me much.

3. Did you ever dream or think of being something else other than a designer?
Yes ! if not a designer than I would have pursued singing.  

4. What is your favourite colour or theme?
I think every concept or theme has so much to explore; you just need to imbibe it. Holding a particular theme or colour can be limiting to your creativity.

Folk Tale Series – Vibrant and full of life!

 5. What / Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?
Every little idea that shapes a concept is a big inspiration
 
6. Who is your Number One fan?
Is anybody out there…looking for ONE !


 

7. What are the three words you would use to describe your brand.
Can’t think of specific 3 words but yes the idea is to ADD VALUE without being loud.


 

8. What are the best aspects of your work that you enjoy the most ?
The process of visualized designs converting into actual pieces.

Embroidered Kitchen Towels


  
9. What do you consider the biggest challenge you face today related to your work or design in general?
Need to learn the ropes of marketing & PR which are important aspects of brand development.

 

10. Is there any design of yours you consider your best? Which one is it and why?
Difficult to say so because a design may feel very good for the time being, but then one moves on to do the next thing with the same passion and then the next & the next……


  
11. What is your vision for your work and design?
For my work I just wish to do good work & be respected for it. I also have a wish & vision to be able to create a platform where DESIGNERS for HOME furnishings & décor are as well recognized as designers of fashion industry & have their own unique place.

  
12. Your thoughts on Zaarga…..?
Lovely team to be associated with & am so glad that they have created the platform for the designers for home which is so required today.


India Series Trays

We at Team Zaarga believe that the V Living products are a class of their own, so unlike and superior to the run of the mill products that are flooding the malls!! Wishing Vaishali and her team great success and popularity in the field of home furnishings & decor!

Cheers!
Team Z
 

Featured Designer: Ahalya

Ahalya – the Creative Head of Rasvihar (Jewellery for Life) & Sarangi (the Kanjivaram Sari Store) recently launched Cleosara – a fresh, new and completely different looking brand of Sterling Silver jewelry using natural gemstones. We caught up with Ahalya to know more about her passion for jewellery making and her thoughts on people, design and more…

1. Can you tell us something about yourself?

I grew up surrounded by a lot of artistic influences – I am trained in dance and I’ve always loved watching things being made. I am a big fan of beauty – in any form: art, interiors, furniture, jewellry. I am a believer in the merger of form and function and endeavour to always incorporate this belief in my work.

2.  When did you start designing?

Although I have stayed and worked with artists of different kinds, I really started designing as a professional about 8 or 9 years ago. However, before that my training and studies in Arts in a traditional way and my early influences have somehow stayed right with me and culminated in my choice to become a designer.

3.  Did you ever dream or think of being something else other than a Designer?

My childhood ambitions have ranged from wanting to be a Veterinary Doctor to a Make up Artist ! To this day, I am an animal – lover and I do still have great passion for ensuring visual presentation of a person is well done and make up is a big part of that. Becoming a jewellery designer has been an evolution for me – an evolution that has somehow combined many of the early influences in my life. It was not really an idea that I had decided early on or in my childhood.

Salma: Silver Dangling Earrings set with Mariam Disc Stone

4.  Is there any specific reason you chose jewellery designing over other areas of design?

I have always loved beautiful things. But my love for creating jewellery is what I find most fulfilling. I really love seeing how people use jewellery and I think the process of creating a piece of jewellery – starting from conceptualising it, visualising it on someone and then designing it on paper and then seeing it getting crafted into reality is what I find very fulfilling.


5. After developing a fine jewellery brand like Rasvihar, what prompted you to develop a silver jewelry line like Cleosara?
Traditionally a lot of silver jewelry from here looks ethnic. While I love traditional jewellery forms, I’ve long perceived a gap area in the silver jewelry available. I wanted to create a line of jewelry that is neither vintage nor futuristic but is bold, colourful, fuss-free and will be relevant for women in a contemporary social setting and can be worn anywhere in the world.  Working with sterling silver and natural gemstones in the Cleosara line has been great to create that look for every day smart casual dressing.



6. What is your favourite colour or theme?

Personally I love gold and silver, white and pink. But the best part of my work is that I can keep changing my favourites although I am sure these four elements do influence my design work at some level.

7. What/Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?

People and the way they wear their jewelry and also how social norms of presenting oneself keep constantly changing. This is what inspires me.

8. Who is your Number One fan?

I feel really blessed and fortunate when people love or appreciate my work. There are several people ranging from close family, colleagues or even clients whose love for my work makes me happy. I really don’t think it would be fair to just pick one person because they all mean so much to me.



9. What are the best aspects of your work that you enjoy the most?

For me it is clearly two fold and both somehow relate to the people I get to meet and interact with in my line of work.

Firstly, as a person designing jewelery – I get to see how the people it is designed for actually wear it and how it influences the way they present themselves to others in a social sense. In that context, you relate to these persons in a very different and special way. Finding my work becoming an important part of someone’s life is really a great motivating aspect of my work.

Secondly, I truly enjoy working with some of the best talent in craftsmanship who are so passionate and committed to their craft and their work. Some of them are so enterprising and rooted in their work that it is inspiring to work with them. It is also about keeping alive some of our best traditional crafts albeit in a very contemporary and relevant context.


10. What do you consider the biggest challenge you face today related to your work or design in general?

The biggest challenge is to reach out to the right set of people or audience for a particular line or design I have developed. It is really about getting more people to accept my design philosophy and aesthetic sense for their own.

Another aspect is that culturally, here in India we are so used to things being made by hand that at some level we don’t always recognise or appreciate the effort and cost involved in making something that is still handcrafted at the highest level of quality. Especially when a lot of talent has moved away from such traditional crafts to other avenues. Some people don’t easily get the economics of this effort.

Katie: Sterling Silver Ring with Caribbean Larimer Stone


11.  Is there any design of yours you consider your best? Which one is it and why?

Thankfully NO ! I don’t think of any one design as my best. Maybe the day I start to think I’ve done my best work would be a good day to call it quits !!


12. What is your vision for your work and design?

To continue making jewellery that is socially relevant to people. Jewellery is often expensive and rather than consider it a financial investment I would like more people to start considering it a personal or social investment that helps establish who you are rather than what you are worth.





Rihanna: Sterling Silver Pendant with Red Onyx and Silver Tone Disc

13. Your thoughts on Zaarga…..?

It is nice to see an e-commerce portal that gives importance to designers. I think good design has great value in any area: personal accessories, jewellery, furniture, home art, décor. Those who know me, know how much I love beautiful spaces – be it a home, a store or any space. What I like about Zaarga is the passion to put together great designer products and make it available to more people through online medium. Good luck to Zaarga to reach more and more people and spread beauty through their growth.

Team Z is also a huge fan of the Rasvihar and Cleosara range of jewellery! On behalf of our readers, we thank Ahalya for doing the feature for us and giving us a gimpse of the her superbly creative mind and vision. We wish Ahalya all success and glory in her design journey…

Cheers!
Team Z

Featured Designer – Shuba and Padmaja

Team Zaarga believes that its not enough to just bring beautiful products within your reach; but we also need to introduce to you the creative minds that work behind the beautifully designed products.  Our monthly ‘Featured Designer’ project has been one of our initiatives towards that goal.

Padmaja Venket Ram and Shuba Kuila of “The Indian Twist”

This month, we are happy to introduce to you Shuba and Padmaja, two advertising professionals in Chennai, who wanted to capture all that is uniquely Indian in “THE INDIAN TWIST” – unique Indian gifts with a twist – philosophical yet melodramatic, artistic also kitschy, superstitious & cynical, quiet, sensitive and loud all at once!  Read on to get to know these creative minds!

1. When did you start designing ?

We’re a team of two ad-professionals. Shuba Kuila is a copy writer basically & Padmaja Venket Ram is a graphic designer. Shuba founded & runs a design hot house, The Inkpot. Padmaja joined The Inkpot in 2003. We have been working together since then.

2. What led you to start designing décor accessories/stationery ?

During a really long lull time in work, we decided to do something together. Tossed around a few ideas & we finally had this brainchild – The Indian Twist. We design various accessories for the home and people with a quirky Indian twist. And we lean a bit more towards Chennai & it’s various quirks.




Are you a Sapattu Raman? Then, prove it! We dare you with these coasters that can drive you to gluttony!”  – Sapattu Raman Coasters by The Indian Twist

3.What is your favourite colour or theme?

Since we’re about all that’s quirky Indian, we tend to use bright, kitschy colours in our designs. 

 
4. What / Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?

India! Especially South India. The vibrant colours all around us and the crazy stuff that people do…

   5. Who is your Number One fan?

We have lots of people who are always on the look out for new products from us. There’s this lovely lady for whom we put together a set of crazy, quirky stuff for her brother’s nalangu function (traditional custom in Tamil Brahmin weddings) – Specially painted Bakasura Tissue Box, Nala Damayanthi Apron, etc which are not usually part of a Nalangu set. She keeps in touch with us still and often gets a sneak preview of our new products too. She’s undoubtedly our number one fan! 

Somehow Ravana didn’t quite make a mark with Sita. In his new Avatar with the Indian Twist, he does try to make a mark with you. Go ahead, try his mug. it isn’t so bad after all!”  – Ravana Mug from The Indian Twist


6. What are the best aspects of your work that you enjoy the most?

We enjoy every part of it. Brainstorming on ideas, designing them and the high of the design resulting in something tangible…  all of them are thoroughly enjoyable. 

 
7. What do you consider the biggest challenge you face today related to your work or design in general?

For us, the biggest challenge is executing ideas. For instance, when we started off, we had so many ideas in metal. We couldn’t execute even one because we just didn’t find someone who could work with us & even when we did, they wanted huge orders… So lots of our good ideas are shelved only because we couldn’t get someone to execute it for us. 

You have to gift this one to your bearded, broken-hearted friends. But don’t forget to fill it up and watch his spirits soar! ”  – Devdas Beer Mug from The Indian Twist

 8. Is there any design of yours you consider your best? Which one is it and why?

It’s very difficult to choose a favourite! We’ve put in so much of thinking into each one that it’s unfair to choose just one! 

 
9. What is your vision for your work and design?

Every Indian Twist product should be something colourful, fresh, irreverant, Indian and bring a smile on the person who picks it up.

 

“Hey! Jalebis, Samosas and Chaats can wait. Feast your eyes on our delicious Dieter’s Coasters. That way you can stick to your Diet and still have a blast!” – Dierters Coasters from The Indian Twist!

10. Your thoughts on Zaarga…..?

A credible online portal for designers like us who are not big, yet tend to be selective about where our products are seen…

Check out “The Indian Twist” store on Zaarga to see all their quirky products, and we bet it will bring a smile on your face or even make you burst out in laughter! We wish Shuba and Padmaja a great innnings with The Indian Twist and hope to see all their great ideas take shape as great products!

Cheers!
Team Z

Bead Magic!

What we love about beaded curtains is that they not only allow for a play with color, light and texture, but also enable us to create natural connectors between spaces. They have the ability to create privacy without disconnecting an area from the rest of the house, office, bar or restaurant...” shares Sreeti Mondol, Principal Designer of “Memories of a Butterfly” an exclusive brand of customized bead curtains



MOAB Bead Curtain in a Moroccan Restaurant

Team Zaarga caught up with Sreeti to find our more about her design projects, how these wonderful curtains get conceived for a space and most of all, to find out how our readers can bring some of that magic into their own spaces! Read on to find out what we have discovered for you!

1) What kind of spaces do you generally design for?

We do all kinds of spaces. We have done homes, restaurants, spas, bars, lounges, model flats. Our bead curtains have been designed for temple rooms, living and bedrooms, rooftops, kitchens and dining areas; doors, windows walkways, bedposts…the list really just goes on and on..

MOAB Bead Curtain at a famous SPA


2) In a domestic space, what are the typical areas where a Bead Curtain would fit best?

Typically……dining kitchen separators, dining living separators, entrance areas, temple rooms, stairways, bedroom entrances, bed posts…..

3) Can you share your experience on one of your most challenging/interesting projects?

MOAB Pomegranate Bead Curtain

Oh my, it would be really hard to single out any project, it can’t be done, but I will say this, each type of client has their own charm but the consistent thing that comes out of any interaction, whether it be a serious and stoic client or an enthusiastic one…. the minute they see their curtain they melt like butter. Bead curtains bring out in all of us that same feeling that we felt when as kids we stared into a deep glass marble wondering how the universe could fit into such a small little glass ball 🙂

Just a few other things come to mind… when couples come to choose a bead curtain for their new house, I have experienced every extreme of emotions between them, they fight for what they think is best for their new house, to show their individual tastes…I love coming up with something that suits a man and a woman…. when the piece is done and up, they will often call to say how much they love it and how it represents them both, which is what matters the most.


Architects/interior designers designing for SPAs, hotels and restaurants love that bead curtains keep the spaces undefined yet private…. open spaces are are so important…

Often I’ll have architects and interior designers order curtains for their own private spaces which is a great compliment to me.
 

4) How is MOAB different from others?

MOAB is different, as much as any company or brand that has a clear prespective, in that it knows who it is.

We like to keep things simple and straight and an environment like that brings about most joy and creativity for all involved. If business goals, design goals and most importantly people goals are kept straight, things stay true and smooth.

People who come to us will find openness in terms of design and idea and we will deliver to a clients contentment. So in a word, we truly customize not just our design, but our service as well. That’s where our perspective is.





Possibilities with these beads are endless…few beads from MOAB collection.

5) Once a client gives a requirement, what is the creative process that happens from your end? How do you go about choosing the right beads and design for that space?

MOAB Champagen Bead Curtain at a Temple Room


Firstly the process is extremely customized, so it works differently with different clients, depending on their needs really. Our priority lies in being flexible not only in design but also in process for the client and for our own satisfaction on any project….

But a rough process:
Once an inquiry comes in usually by mail or call, I’ll ask for a brief from the client in terms of:

– purpose of curtain
– pictures of surrounding area
– their aesthetic (with reference to curtains on our website or otherwise)
– the look and feel of their house
– area size
– budget indication
– walk through or not

– area where curtain is coming

I always prefer speaking to clients as it gives me a better feel for who they are, their taste etc. With international clients images are most helpful as calls are not always convenient.



MOAB Capiz Shell bead curtains
in the entrance area

Once we have reached some direction aesthetically, design-wise, timeline-wise and from a budget point of view, I send clients a few samples. From here on usually withing days clients gives the advance and in the due time, post payment, the bead curtain is either picked up by client or packed and couriered to them as per their preference.

Just a few more words on designing – if a client doesn’t show a clear preference for something on our website (which they do 99% of the time) then I will design based on my understanding of their aesthetics and the images of the space they send me. 
If they have indicated liking something from the website, then that gives a more clear starting point for me to customize a bead curtain for them. From there on, we play around with the already existing design but change bead density, color etc to perfect the curtain for the clients space.

Most of Memories of a Butterfly (MOAB) curtains can be reproduced in other color mixes and textures. So the scope is pretty endless.
 

6) How can a customer customize his/her bead curtain requirement through Zaarga?


Through Zaarga we have created a rare platform of a few retail pieces, although these pieces are also the ones that clients often want off our website as well as is without any changes, except in size dimensions. We already offer the opportunity to customize the pieces up in Zaarga for size and color.

Dining Kitchen Separator ordered by Z Customer from MOAB

For any more specific customizing, clients will need to touch base directly with us (through Zaarga in the loop). They would be asked to see Memories of a Butterfly website, to narrow down the creative process and then I would follow the same process as above.

This process would be available for larger units.


We sincerely thank Sreeti Mondol for giving us a glimpse of the wonderful world of beads and what goes behind the marvellous curtains! Reach us at team@zaarga.com for any queries on getting the right bead curtain for your space! We wish Memories of a Butterfly all glory and success!!

Cheers!
Team Z
Images Copyright and Courtesy: Memories of a Butterfly



Featured Designer – Tanisha Sonpal

Team Zaarga is happy to introduce you to our Featured Designer for June-July –  Tanisha Sonpal, the doting mother behind the gorgeous designs of Jorie Bazaar.

Her goal was to provide customers products of great quality and also designs with an edge. A different approach to style! We at Zaarga think she has achieved exactly that!
Visit the Jorie Bazaar store on Zaarga to add some old world charm to your life, be it her fashion jewelry, traditional jhumkas and balis, designer pouches or ipad bags!
The Zaarga Questionnaire:

  1. When did you start When did you start designing? 
I have had an interest in jewellery for long time now, but I actually  started designing two years ago.
Mirage Ring
  1. Did you ever dream or think of being something else other than a designer?
Honestly, no. Designing allows me to experiment with various ideas and it’s quite a fulfilling experience.
  1. Is there any specific reason you chose to become primarily a jewellery designer and not other areas of design?
It is my personal knack for creativity and passion with jewellery that has prompted me to get into jewellery design. The variety of options to try in jewellery is simply phenomenal.
  1. What is your favourite colour or theme?
Aquamarine Blue or Shiny Silver. Theme is generally fusion of ethnic and Trendy/Fashion.
  1. What / Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?
Collections of the Maharajas/Maharanis in Indian History. The jewellery of that level of beauty/elegance is yet to be seen among the more contemporary jewellery designers.

Dhara traditional earring
  1. Who is your Number One fan?
Our darling 8 year old daughter, Anusha, is my biggest fan, model and the biggest source of Inspiration.

  1. What are the best aspects of your work that you enjoy the most?
The flexibility to work whenever I want to, to apply my creativity in my work and the joy we get when we see some of the famous people like Gauhar Khan, Farha Khan and Kangana Ranaut wearing our creations, is incomparable to any other work.
  1. What do you consider the biggest challenge you face today related to your work or design in general?
The speed, with which fashion trends change these days, makes it really difficult to keep pace. Also, the user base is so huge and divergent, that their needs are also very diverse.. It is a challenge to have something for everyone!!! The quality of material is also a constant challenge. With growing prices of raw material, it is difficult to keep the costs in check and we end up having to pass on the same to end customer 😦

  1. Is there any design of yours you consider your best? Which one is it and why? 
I love all my designs. They are all my favourites. Would surely love to hear from others on their favourite and why they like it.
  1. What is your vision for your work and design? 
Malaaga Ipad Bag

We would love to always be at the forefront of jewellery designing. We would like to constantly come out with designs which can set new trends in the industry and are liked by one and all. Our business vision is fairly simple.. We want to make a difference in lives of our customer…

  1. Your thoughts on Zaarga…..?
We appreciate that Zaarga is doing its bit in being in the forefront of Women’s accessories market in India. Zaarga brings with it, a new approach to this market and we wish it all the best..

We at Zaarga love Tanisha’s ethnic jewellery and her trendy personal accessories. Coming soon are her exclusive Table Accessories! We wish Tanisha Sonpal a fruitful and fulfilling career in Design!

Cheers!
Team Z

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