1. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF (PERSONALLY AND CREATIVELY).
Describing myself personally would answer the creatively part as well, as I strongly believe that one's art is an extension of one's personality. Personally, I am people oriented, emotional, travel loving, and like to bask in the warmth of family and friends. Creatively, my work represents my primary target audience – Children and their Beautiful world - a world filled with Colour, Magic and Belief.
- WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL MOTTO?
My personal motto is to live life with passion and dedication and do small things with great love. We don't need to be revolutionaries but small acts of kindness and love without any return expectations can make it magical for us to live our lives.
- YOUR STORY. HOW LONG ARE YOU CREATING? WHAT IS YOUR PRIMARY JOB? ARE YOU SURVIVING JUST WITH YOUR WORK?
I began creating for Princess Handmade Accessories in December 2012. The story of my business is similar to that of many entrepreneurs. I looked for interesting handcrafted hair accessories for my four year old daughter, my very own Princess. What I found in the shops, I did not like and what I liked and ordered online, they were very very expensive and did not resemble the photographs !!! That was the seed that germinated into the business idea. The first thought was to create good quality, exclusive yet affordable Hair Accessories for my daughter and this built into a business idea.
My primary job - is being a Mother and a Life Partner to my husband.
Do I survive just with my work ? Not as yet,since the business is in it's infancy/fledgling state but yes, I do hope to get there soon enough.
- WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST HAND MADE PRODUCT? WHEN?
Leaving aside the crafts classes we had at school (Yes! We had one hour of handcraft workshops a week) , the first handmade product I did was when I was in College. It was a Hair Accessory – a hair scrunchie made of silk fabric, embellished with tiny pearls. I made them in different colours for myself from my mother's old silk sarees and then later for my friend who had lovely long hair.
- WHAT IS INSPIRING YOU TO DO YOUR CREATIVE WORK? FROM WHERE ARE YOU GETTING IDEAS?
My daughter and all the girl children that I know and see. The world of children is wonderful – vibrating with magic, colour and love. I am also inspired by Mother Nature herself, in her various lovely hues.
- WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL? WHY?
My role model is every woman who wears several hats effectively (Mother/Wife/Chef/Caretaker/Friend/Daughter/Daughter in law) and gives her heart and soul to each of these roles and is still smart enough to make time to pursue her own passion/hobbies to keep herself sane.
- WHERE ARE YOU CREATING YOUR PRODUCTS? HOW DOES YOUR CREATIVE PLACE LOOK LIKE?
I create my products at home. The Dining Table serves as my workstation and my creative space looks messy as it rightly should. Creativity is always messy, ain't it?
- DO YOU WORK AT NIGHT OR DURING THE DAY? WHICH IS THE BEST PART OF DAY FOR YOU FOR BEING CREATIVE?
I work primarily during the day. Especially those hours when my daughter goes to kindergarten and when she takes a nap in the afternoon. That aside, I am blessed with a daughter who when I say 'The glue gun is hot, don't touch it' actually obeys me.
- WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART IN THE PROCESS OF YOUR CREATION/PRODUCT?
Handcrafting teaches you patience – there is no difficulty in the creation process – it is joyful and passionate. But one needs to strive for immense supply of patience – with oneself first, the vendors that are scattered in different parts of the city, the running around to buy the raw material etc..
- WHO ARE YOUR CUSTOMERS? DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL CUSTOMER.
Our customers are Children and Teenagers, whom we reach through their mothers/aunts/parents/uncles. And there is immense joy in creating for children. A typical customer of Princess Handmade Accessories is a discerning mother who wants her child to wear an exclusive, hand crafted product. When the child herself participates, we find our lovely young customers - our Princess' very open, filled with joy, enthusiasm and a deep love for all colours - bright and subtle. And their feedback is genuine, without ego/prejudices, we treasure their appreciation and comments/suggestions.
- DO YOU WISH THAT YOUR PRODUCT SHOULD BE USED / WORN BY SOME FAMOUS PERSON/CELEBRITY? WHO? AND WHY?
Every child/teenager who wears a creation of Princess Handmade Accessories is a celebrity for us. We create our products with love, smiles, care and attention and put it up for display with a wish that the wearer enjoys wearing them as much as we enjoyed creating each exclusive piece
- DO YOU USE YOUR PRODUCTS PERSONALLY?
Not yet, since Princess Handmade Accessories currently cater to children and teens. Once we introduce a women's line, I will wear my creations proudly.
- ARE YOU HAVING ANY COLLABORATION WITH OTHER ARTISTS? WHO AND WHY? MORE DETAILS ON THE OTHER ARTIST.
Not at the moment. However, I have a support group whom I wish to thank.
My husband helps me actively in my prep work, my niece and cousins have been very supportive in raw material sourcing.
- WHAT MAKES YOU THE MOST PROUD AT YOUR ART WORK?
When we see children wearing our creations proudly, with every opportunity they get, the genuine, heartfelt appreciation we get from them and the way they beam with happiness on being gifted with our creations! And knowing that with our creations, Children get to wear handcrafted hair accessories that they would normally get only at very premium prices and generally abroad.
- YOUR PLANS / VISIONS FOR YOUR ARTISTIC FUTURE?
We wish to scale up our business by empowering many young women who come from households where financial independence is a necessity. Princess Handmade accessories would like to employ and teach young women the art of handcrafting hair accessories. And help those young women to branch out with their own line of creations, once they are confident and well trained. In a small way, we would like to give back by paying it forward.
- THE CRAZIEST ADVENTURE IN YOUR LIFE?
Sorry, can't remember anything upfront.
- WHAT DOES ARTISH INDIA MEAN TO YOU?
ARTish India has a very special place in my heart since it was the first ever exhibition that I participated. It is special because the intention with which it was launched in India, is indeed very noble. In an era of commercialism, here was an artist from Slovenia who strived to support and give a platform for Indian artists. The thoughtfulness and the good intentions from which ARTish India was born, will always be special to me, as will be Erika and the ARTish India Team.