The new wave of ‘vocal for local’ proved to be a boost for Indian entrepreneurs. It has promoted local businesses during COVID-19 and given customers the ability and motivation to shop locally with ease. This rebranded version of ‘Made In India’ has our support, and every month, TC46 will spotlight small businesses and ventures you can champion and back easily through online and offline purchases.

Artists, entrepreneurs, visionaries and experts, Indian women are shattering glass ceilings and breaking out of boxes. Success, tied with skills and hard work, is what makes those featured in our list today an inspiration for many. And the journey, for these women of incredible talent, are stories that must be told.

This week, here are some brands we’re cheering on; check them out!

Handcrafted Sarees by Colorsootra

Colorsootra was started by the sister duo Jayashree and Rajashree from Coorg. A quintessential right brain – left brain combination with Jayashree in charge of business and Rajashree steering the design aspects. Our country India is a proud land of almost 30 types of textile crafts and weaves. The saree, the strong standing symbol of the Indian woman is not recognised globally and adorned by many. With this thought in mind, the brand was founded. 

Saree is the most elegant and versatile drape known. And it’s the founders’ love for the finest handloom weave that led to the birth of this brand. Started as a curation of finest handloom sarees from across India, the brand now extends beyond curation to create designs with the essence of tradition balanced with the interpretation of the contemporary. Beautifully woven gossamer sarees of Banaras and Maheshwar; organic Kanchivaram drapes from Tamil Nadu and traditional ikats from Pochampally sit pretty in the gorgeous Colorsootra boutique away from the bustling city of Bangalore. As a cultural design house, the brand’s objective is to teach their customer the historical relevance of this craft and give them a chance to learn, by not tampering with traditional designs.

They have a curated collection of sarees and fabrics from Chanderi and Maheshwar, Ilkal sarees of Karnataka, Tussar from Bihar, Gadwal, Pochampalli, Dharmavaram and many more. Also, beautiful heirloom sarees from Banaras and a range of sarees from Kanchipuram are a part of the collection. Currently, the brand is designing a new line of timeless sarees which will be announced soon.

Colorsootra is an idea for the perennially evolving women of today who are free thinkers and yet deeply rooted to tradition. They help you with the task of building a timeless trousseau and everyday luxury. The average price of products ranges from Rs 8,000 for cotton silk saree to over a lakh for pure zari Kanchipuram sarees. You can buy from their vast collection at their store in Bangalore or head over to the social media pages for more information.

Brand Communication Designs by Openhouse

Founded by Alishka Anand and Hetal Desai, Openhouse is a Mumbai based design agency that specialises in brand communication design. Alishka’s love for design and advertising can be traced to her childhood, where she was growing up listening to passionate conversations around creativity and communication. Her family holds a long history with film and the arts. Her father, celebrated director Mukul Anand, was one of the first Bollywood directors to make a mark in advertising, after his two-decade-long career in the film industry where he directed classics like Agneepath and Hum. After his untimely demise, her mother continued his legacy and went on to produce over 300 commercials, and was an Executive Producer on movies like Cheeni Kum and Paa. 

Alishka studied advertising at The New York Institute of Technology before returning to Mumbai to pursue a career in the field. During her 11 years at MullenLowe Lintas, one of the world’s most trusted and effective advertising agencies, she led the business efforts on a plethora of Unilever brands ranging from Lifebuoy to Pepsodent to Wheel. She has led communication development on their global and local portfolios working across markets like China, Brazil, South Africa and Southeast Asia. In 2018, she co-founded Openhouse, with her best (and oldest) friend, as the first step towards realising their dream of owning their own boutique design agency.

Hetal was a chemical engineering student who fell in love with graphic design and architecture, which inevitably led her to pick Photoshop over potassium chloride. She moved to Raffles Design International to study Visual Communication and went on to work at stalwart advertising agencies like Law & Kenneth and, more recently, at OgilvyOne, the digital arm of Ogilvy & Mather. During her 5 ½ year-stint there, she brought on board her digital-first experience for revered brands like Vodafone and Cadbury. Owing to her keen eye and understanding of digital media, she successfully partnered with Hopscotch, a digital-only e-commerce platform for children’s apparel. As Associate Creative Head there, she understood the inner workings of the start-up and conceptualised and crafted visual communication for the brand. In 2018, she co-founded Openhouse, with her best (and oldest) friend, as the first step towards realising their dream of owning their own boutique design agency. 

Openhouse is a 3-year-old design consultancy that specialises in brand communication design. In today’s climate where the customer is inundated with choices, the brand believes that successful brands should not only communicate, but also emotionally resonate with their audiences. This is why they design with empathy, anticipation and curiosity. Empathy considers people and their socio-cultural landscape. Anticipation focuses on future needs and wants. And curiosity ensures distinctiveness. This winning combination promises remarkable design and success for brands. The only pursuit they’re truly after. 

The brand achieves this through focusing and understanding the client’s business, closely collaborating on their vision, and engaging in lots of conversation. It’s why they call themselves Openhouse. And, their doors are always open. Visit their official website for more or take a sneak peek at their work on social media.

Wearable Artistic Jewellery by Nirwaana

The foundation of Nirwaana was laid in the last quarter of 2016 by Priyanka Thakur. She is a postgraduate in International Marketing from Delhi School of Economics, with 18 years of rich experience as sourcing and marketing head in India for renowned European fashion and accessory labels. ‘A harmonious amalgamation of traditional with contemporary, to handcraft a wearable art’ is the brand’s croon!

It was from her own shopping experiences, that she ran across gaps between customer expectations on experimentation and freshness of styles and exquisite gems, that were prevalent in most local platforms. During her travels, she observed that skilled artisans are content creating certain handwriting of jewellery, which is eventually stagnating the reach of their traditional craft and resources, across global borders, be it exposing beautiful ‘Kundans’, ‘Meenakaris’ to the world per its potential, or introducing traditional ‘Harmony Bola’s’ in return. Not many Indians recognise stones other than ‘The Big 4’ (diamond, ruby, emerald, sapphire). Mostly unaware of the extensive variety of gems that get imported from the continents, handcrafted into jewellery, only to be exported back to the world. Nirwaana through its jewellery, collection after collection, intends to introduce as many of these beautiful crafts, themes, stones and crystals to its customers. Jewellery that isn’t just alluring, but also meaningful!

Nirwaana jewellery is contemporary, majorly handcrafted in the sterling silver base, manufactured in limited numbers to make each purchase almost exclusive for its buyer. The styles are a mix of the right amount of bling with consciously planned designs and property rich ‘gems and crystals’ making the product timeless and keepsake worthy. The gold plated jewellery is 18carat ‘micron plated’, which is more durable, appropriate for frequent use and as per globally recognised standards of plating. They also offer customisation of existing styles made in silver to various carats of gold. Gemstone customisation is also offered on selected collections. The price range starts at Rs 2,000 and the products are targeted towards a woman, who is experimental, curious and passionate about the details, her jewellery graces. You can purchase these baubles from the official website, on select online market places, offline exhibitions announced on their social media pages.

Want us to be VocalForLocal for your brand or know someone whose work you’d like to cheer on? Drop us an email to be featured on The Channel 46 at [email protected].

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