"Nevertheless, I was still keen on doing something different. Something that no one else had done before. My mother, Anu, shared my interest so we teamed up...."
"Hello, I am Smita and was born in Haryana but brought up and studied in Delhi. I graduated in Mathematics and studied a MBA at the FORE school of Management. However, I was always inclined to something creative and I wanted to pursue something related to interior design or architecture. So, I complemented my previous studies with a course on interior design. I took on some freelance interior designing projects which were really interesting and I loved every bit of it.
"Nevertheless, I was still keen on doing something different. Something that no one else had done before. My mother, Anu, shared my interest so we teamed up and explored many options, from wrought iron to blue pottery. Still, we weren't satisfied. We then met artisans that specialized in zardozi embroidery, who complained of how their work had been restricted to only designing wedding attires. We thought of trying our luck here and started with wall pieces, and still this type of work didn't satisfy.
"Our quest for something totally innovative and different continued until one day out minds clicked. 'Why not apply the exquisite work of zardozi in products like coasters and trays?' This would make for utility and classic home décor. We had finally found what we were looking for!
"We are proud to acknowledge we have reached good quality standards with our work, and that we have remained true to our initial conception, which was to make innovative and unique products. Initially we sold very few items and only through direct contacts and small exhibitions, but as the good response motivated us further we added more products and the public's response has been encouraging.
"Right now we are concentrating on products range like, trays, coasters, planters, photo and mirror frames, jewelry boxes, wall hangings, etc. We are now in a position to offer employment to other artisans and we work as a team. The fact that we have been able to offer employment to more people fills us with a great sense of satisfaction.
"Zardozi is such an amazing art form. It is romantic and its shimmer takes your breath away. The origin and history of Indian embroideries goes right to the days of the Indus Valley Civilization. The bronze needles found at Mohan-jo-daro and some sculptures found at Harappa indicate and depict that the art of embroidery was practiced during that period. Megasthenes, the Greek Ambassador to the Court of Chandra Gupta Maurya, in the late 4th century B.C. mentions in his diaries, the lovely garments with work of gold and silver on them. Most of the pieces that are now available are from the Mughal period in India. The current form of embroidery in India is based on the traditions that were followed during the Mughal period.
"We have participated in various exhibitions held in embassies such as Australian, Indonesian, the British High commission, the Society Exhibition for Art and Craft, etc. My mother has been associated with an NGO for a long time so definitely in future we would like to set up an NGO to support more artisans involved in this art. We are also very happy and thrilled to be introduced to Novica. The idea that we would be able to reach out to customers throughout the world is wonderful!"