“I still remember the first time I rebelled against my parents to pursue a different stream in high school because I couldn’t imagine a life without arts. It’s a funny story but taking that firm stand helped me get into the humanities stream for my high school. What followed were some amazing years of studying arts and design first for my undergraduation and eventually my masters as well. During my final year master’s, we had to work on a social impact project based out of a rural area.
On the outskirts of Kanyakumari, there was a huge operation being undertaken for seashell mining. It was conducted on such a large scale that it was heavily disturbing the ecosystem as well as the fishing population. To solve this, myself and my two team members researched multiple methods to help the community earn their livelihood while also making sure that the ecosystem was not heavily affected.
And right here, was where my love for resin began. I experimented and also introduced the substance to them and taught them how to make art with resin. This helped them scale up their product price while making sure that mass destruction of seabeds was curbed to an extent. The project became a grand success and I helped retail those products through the company I was working with. Seeing the success for them, I started experimenting with jewellery with the flowers I found around the house; it was such a serendipitous moment that when I was displaying the resin products in a show, my products became an instant hit! Thus, ‘Alankaraa’ was born and it’s been five brilliant years of giving this startup my all and seeing it go on and win awards.
What started as a small set up based out of my dad’s car park, eventually shifted to a bigger studio space and now employs around 5-6 women from different marginalised communities. But despite everything, one of the most fulfilling moments of this journey is to see the product take shape. Every time I experiment with a new product, there is always a lot of trepidation and anxiety but once the resin sets in and the product is out, there is simply nothing like it!
I am once again commencing my work with the fishermen folk based out of Rameshwaram but this time, I am helping them from an administrative angle. The dream is to help resin reach each and every corner of home decor and experiment with new stuff everyday. For as long as I am learning, I am in this for the long haul.”