If you are one of those, who finds normal
boring,then bring home these quirky mirrors, coasters, planters and
table mats for some quirky fun! It's a little mad, a little quirky and
very very funky! Available now at The Orange Bicycle!
Owl is the flavour of the season and if
you are looking for something other than wearing owls for accessory, we
have these kitsch, colorful and totally unique owls waiting to be
yours! Colorful handpainted owls on stones to decorate of use as paper
weights to adorn your desks...get them now at The Orange Bicycle!
Hi Fellow Riders, we have been receiving lots of lovely comments about our store and our products from you all and we want to let you know that we really appreciate that you write back to us with such wonderful and kind words. Each message means a lot to us because we all know what busy lives we lead and to really go back and then bother to leave a word or two is not only an extremely sweet gesture, it keeps us going. So thank you and we look forward to hearing from you as always.
So we are back again with our series of designer interviews and this time with we talked to a very talented woman, creator of Rajboori Fine Silk Items
Meet Mitun Chakrabarti – the founder and designer of an eco-friendly and sustainable luxury home textiles company based in Vancouver, Canada.
Hi Mitun, we really appreciate you taking time out for our chat. We want to know so much about you and your internationally famous brand. So let’s get started J
So let’s start with a little bit about yourself and how you started Rajboori.
Mitun:With an adventurous spirit, a passion for design, and a zest for entrepreneurship, I embarked upon an adventure calledRAJBOORIas the Founder and Designer. Ever since my childhood in Calcutta, when I learnt how to paint and sketch as a hobby, I dreamed of creating my own designs for the home. However, the journey to the world of design had its challenges and a few detours. I moved to the US as a young woman pursuing undergraduate studies in Business and IT and an MBA at the University of Georgia and Georgia State University. Eventually, I worked in corporate America in IT and general management areas for about 8 years. But, something was always missing.
Constantly looking for inspiration in my surroundings and my passion for travel and learning about new cultures, the creative soul in me reigned strong. Once my husband and I relocated from the US to beautiful Vancouver, the opportunity to start a new venture of my dreams awaited me.
RAJBOORIwas an obvious evolution. Creating an upscale, contemporary, designer collection of luxe home textiles made from rare artisanal silks was a natural next step. An excellent pairing of my business experience and global inspired contemporary design aesthetic,RAJBOORI's Premiere Collection fills an important void in the global, home textiles market.
Combining contemporary design with traditional craftsmanship forms the core value of my design philosophy. I work closely with the artisans in a village in North Eastern India and in Calcutta and strive to sustain a community one product at a time.
Wow, that’s an inspiring story. So many of us wish to follow our dreams but so few actually do. So when did you get started with the idea?
Mitun: The concept of a luxury home textiles brand was in the making for a couple of years before the launch ofRAJBOORIin 2009 at the New York International Gift Fair.I had begun the research and sourcing process well ahead of time and spent a good amount of time in India in 2008 to conceptualize and create the debut collection forRAJBOORI.
Hmm. So tell us more about Rajboori – is there a theme? A process? A cause?
Mitun:RAJBOORIis a premier offering in the space of home textiles where we combine contemporary design with traditional craftsmanship while incorporating eco-friendly Peace Silk and contributing to sustainability. Rich and vibrant colors are playfully yet elegantly paired with crisp geometric shapes and patterns to create our pillows, coverlets, and quilts. All the silks are hand-woven by an artisan weaver community and stitched by another group of artisan master craftsmen. We use all natural materials to create our products so that comfort is still of a higher priority even though the products are luxurious.
So how did you come up with the name for your brand? Does Rajboori mean something?
Mitun:When we were thinking of the name for the brand we were evaluating various options that would capture the regal and luxury element but also add some playfulness to the essence of the brand. I didn’t want us to have a“stuffy”or“pretentious”feel as that’s not me. It needed to have elegance spiced with joviality and playfulness. So,RAJBOORImeans Regal Old Woman as Raj stands for regal and“Boori”in Bengali means Old Woman. Silk is a traditional and old textile and since our products are made from a rare silk, the brand name encapsulates that essence.
Oh that’s a nice twist. Who would have thought Rajboori meant Regal Old Woman. Quite quirky in itself. So tell us what inspires you?
Mitun: I just love to be involved in a creative process! When I see things around me, in nature, in crafts, in everyday objects and they catch my eye, I try and find a way to make them look artistic and incorporate them into my designs. I love innovative and modern uses of the old. I am also an eternal optimist and I feel that through the results of my creative process, I can spread a little bit of cheer and share my optimism with others who can take that little piece of vibrant and cheerfulRAJBOORIinto their homes. I feel that we all need to have positive elements around us to rejuvenate our spirits.
When I work closely with the artisans, I feel great! It’s like witnessing magic happening before my eyes. They are so skilled in their trade but I find that most of their work is very ethnic or traditional. My goal is to offer a contemporary spin to this traditional craftsmanship so the designs are more globally appealing and also suitable for the tastes and preferences of modern India. I’m very hands on in terms of my designs and my business in general and that has helped me immensely in developing a holistic view of every element that pertains to my work. I always like to push the envelope in terms of design and through my work, help sustain the communities I work with.
I agree. Nature is truly inspiring and Rajboori does showcase all things vibrant and cheerful. We love the colors and patterns in every piece.
So do you admire any great artists or designers who has inspired you so to speak?
Mitun: Alexander McQueen, Missoni, Moroso, Tord Boontje, Pucci, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, to name a few. However, I admire anyone who has followed their passion and succeeded in the world of creativity.
So apart from your work which is also your passion, what else do you love doing?
Mitun: I love to travel and my husband and I take off every time we get a chance. I love meeting people from different backgrounds and cultures which enriches my soul and broadens my horizon. I love to write, read, paint and listen to music.
Wow…writer, traveller, entrepreneur, painter – you are a woman of many passions trulyJ.
So tell us are you working on something new?
Mitun: I am always looking for new inspiration and my last trip to India ended with a hurricane trip through a segment of Rajasthan. I was blown away by the amount of creative inspiration that was around me and would love to incorporate that in my upcoming collections.
India is truly full of creativity and inspiration. Now for all our dear readers, who are in various parts of the country, where can they find your stuff?
Mitun:At the moment,RAJBOORIis only available in Bangalore at The Orange Bicycle but we hope to have a storefront in another major metropolis in India soon. Our products are available in global locations ( http://www.rajboori.com/store-locator) and through our website (firstname.lastname@example.org)
So what would you say are the five things that you think is necessary to be successful?
Mitun: Passion, hard work, resourcefulness, confidence, and a very positive attitude. Obviously, in case of a business venture, money is a big part but you can’t buy everything with money.
So true! So lastly anything else you want to add/talk about - advice for other creative souls out there, business advice, how to draw inspiration for the non-creative souls, how to go about shaping your creativity and more....
Mitun: All I can say is, if you have the hunger and passion for something that you think would be a great venture, you should at least try it once. Don’t be afraid of failure as long as you can pick yourself up and move along, having learnt from the mistakes you made. Success doesn’t come very easily to everyone but if you believe in your work and if it’s a model or idea that should turn out to be a good venture, then you will be successful provided you put in the dues.
Patience is a virtue I had to learn to cultivate. Try to find the Blue Ocean to operate in and be on the lookout for upcoming trends and in which direction the world is moving. This will help in moulding your ideas better and be on top of things. The world we live in is very fast paced so being aware of our surroundings is going to be very critical. Being innovative will also set you apart from your competitors
Lovely advice Mitun. It’s been a very very inspiring chat. Am sure our readers would love reading about you, about your brand, about your inspiration and practical pieces of advice. I know I loved hearing from you.
We wish you all the best for greater success, more stores in India and best of luck for the future.
Now for some recommendations – well we love color and her rangoli collection is a personal favourite. It actually reminds me of a colourful kite. Check out some images here to see what I mean.
Do come by to check her stuff if you haven’t already. You can see more of her design at www.rajboori.com
Hello Readers, hope you have been enjoying reading our blog chats with our uniquely talented designers and following our stories on Facebook. Keeping up with our interviews, today I am very happy to introduce you to a very unique brand – unique because they are one of a kind and unique also because they cater to a unique audience – those lovable, adorable cuties we call kids.
So without further riddles, let me introduce you to our lovely entrepreneur Garima Agarwal, of Peek-a-boo Patterns – a brand all about kids and hence cute, colourful, inspiring, lovable and delightful.
Hi Garima lovely to be finally chatting away with you. We want to know about you and lots about Peek-a-boo Patterns as do our readers and customers. So tell me a little about yourself before we talk about your lovely products
Garima: Born and brought up in Kolkata I always had a flair for design. Always intrigued by creativity and have done various courses to learn different art forms. I have also done a diploma course in Fashion designing. I am extremely fond of art of every form. But my true passion lies in bringing smiles to babies and kids.
Clearly that passion speaks in your brand. So how did you come up with Peek-a-boo patterns?
Garima: Well I got the idea while doing up my own kids room who are the constant source of all my inspiration.
That’s sweet. And I must say that going by the sheer beauty of the products, they are a great inspiration. Ok so now tell me how all this started.
Garima: Peek-a-book Patterns is a unique venture of customized home furnishings for kids of all ages. My products are a wide range of theme based and random designs of kid’s furnishings and kids stationary and art - Our forte being customising to suit the liking our clients. We enjoy creating meaningful products for kids. We have worked with causes like Go Green, Gandhis Monkeys, and Grow Trees etc – causes that we believed in and thought could be interesting for kids.
Your range of products has a very unique brand name too. So is there a story behind it?
Garima: I started the company with the idea of doing window treatments – Peek-a-boo is a cute word used by moms to play hide and seek with their babies. Tiny Tots often hide behind curtains and peek out and Peekaboo – I See you. When I was sure of the product, this name instantly came to my mind and frankly I didn’t give it a second thought.
Yes of course kids do that all the time right from the time they are tiny babies. That’s such a wonderful way to build the brand that is all about kids. We love the name.
So Garima, you are an immensely talented woman and we know that by now. So tell us what inspires your creativity?
Garima: As I said earlier, my kids and all the kids and babies around me are my true and everlasting inspiration. My family is my biggest support but my strength lies in my team
Kudos to the team and the kids for inspiring you so much. So is there like a list of designers work or art you look upto besides your inspiration?
Garima: Well there is a big list of people whom I admire for their creativity. Designers like Meera Mahadevan who is known for her clutches, Anamika Khanna from Kolkata for her vibrant and symbolic designs. I also look upto artists like the Srilankan Nature Lover –Senaka and many many more.
I know these designers are inspiration for many. So Garima, besides Peek-a-boo, what else interests you? Do you have other passions?
Garima: Of course :). I love doodling, music, long drives and hanging out with my kids
So are you working on some new stuff?
Garima: We are constantly working on new stuff – new themes, new products. There is a dearth of these products in the country and we want to give our best shot.
We are coming up with meaningful furniture concepts designed keeping in mind today’s “OH SO BUSY” kids, their hobbies and numerous other activities and thus creating products like Art Station, Toy Station, and Sports Station. A child here learns to organise his things, keep it safe and use it smartly.
That sounds perfect. I know of many parents including myself who would love to get hold of one of those stations for our kids and get them organised.
So for all our readers who want to get their hands on your stuff, as we speak (oh I know they want to) where all can they find your products?
Thanks Garima, it was great speaking to you. But before we end this chat, we really want to know from you – a successful and a passionate entrepreneur like you – your mantras for success.
Garima: Well they are actually simple things that I believe in –
-Have a passion for what you do,
-Be positive in every way,
-Think of the actions and not the results,
-Step into the consumers shoes and understand their need and
-Work as an integrated team
So true indeed! Well hopefully me and some of our readers can be inspired from these simple mantras to look deep inside ourselves and draw out our creativity. It was lovely to chat with you so frankly and know so much more about the person behind this lovely brand. We wish you all the best for more inspiration and more creativity.
Now for some recommendation from our side – well we love everything from her collections and it’s a fairly difficult choice but if we have to pick then one of those cute bean chairs, or stools, and the lovely colourful long cushions are a definite pick.
But parents out there trust me you will want an entire range to do up your kids room – so come right away!
Enjoy some images of the super cute stuff that we talked about. I am sure you will love them if you don’t already. And just to let you know, we take orders for customised furnishings at The Orange Bicycle on behalf of Peek-a-boo Patterns.
Hope you enjoyed this little chat and till our next one. PEEK-A-BOO! J
Hello fellow riders, hope you are enjoying our blog chats with our multi-talented designers – our window into their lives and inspiration. Do give us your feedback, comments how we could make this better. We always appreciate feedback.
Today we are talking to Diana Linda of Diana Linda brand – the Bombay hippie-kitsch fashion maker
Hi Diana, so nice to finally chat with you. We want to know so much about you and your brand. So let’s get started!
Diana, tell us a little more about yourself?
Diana: I am an expatriate living in India since the year 2002. I used to work with the international NGO, Medecins Sans Frontiers or Doctors Without Borders for eight years before I decided to follow my passion for designing.
So in short I am an Italian based in Mumbai. And I love Mumbai and Indian culture.I love classical music, movies, theatre, yoga, dance, and philosophy.
Wow, an Italian with an Indian Heart – that’s an unique mix. So how & when did you get started with the idea of Diana Linda?
Diana: Commercially speaking 3 years ago, but since many years at an experimental and personal level
So tell us a little more about your products? (Is there a theme? a process? a cause?)
Diana: Many of my items have Bollywood themes and posters. Some are collage based. The collage is done by hand and afterwards it is scanned. Other items are also based on recycling; such as a collection of papier mache bangles and necklaces or another of bangle made out from coca cola bottles or bisleri with still the collage technique. Also recycling coffee boxes, magazine with table mats, trunks with spray paints.
The cause is in the way that I work: I work with a group of women coming from an NGO called OJUS medical and the Damini project: they are all women from slum or unprivileged background, or with health problems such as HIV.
All the items are unique and there is no mass production, majority of items are done by hand and then assembled by machine, but each item is different from the other even in the same model
Wow coca cola bottles and bisleri? That sounds extremely amazing. So Diana what inspires you?
India, Mumbai, Bollywood, colors, imagery, photography.
I am inspired mainly by India and its vibrant colours; my design spells Mumbai-Bombay- Bollywood with its pop culture, kitsch and drama. My products feature techniques like collage, patchwork, decoupage, spray painting and embellishment of all sorts. You can find an assortment of traditional Indian handcrafted embroidery, lush fabrics, old Bollywood posters and even saree borders. In one word – the style sense is funky!
I am amazed at how much India has inspired you given that you are not even from this country. So do you admire any of our designers work? And International too?
Diana: Oh there are many Sabyasachi, Alexander Mc Queen, Manish Arora, Vivienne Westwood...and many others
So what are your passions/hobbies?
Diana: Photography, collage, travelling, theatre, studying and learning everyday something new! And yoga is more than a hobby; it’s a way of life and philosophy
That is so wonderful that you do pursue such a variety of passions.
So tell us are you working on something totally new?
Diana: Yeah some clothes
Hmm so that is something we definitely look forward to.
Now for all our dear readers, who are in various parts of the country, where can they find your stuff?
Diana: The shops are amethyst Chennai; you, bliss, vit k, sakpal, azadbazar in mumbai, studio Rudraksh in Pune, Xela, Esperanto in Goa...and The Orange Bicycle in Bangalore... hope I didn’t forget any :)
Ok and lastly, any advice for our readers?
Diana: Never keep it just in the mind, just go for it from an idea or from a detail, take a pencil, or a cloth or whatever item and start...the creativity will come by itself. And creativity comes from mistakes more than from perfection! :-). Fashion is a matter of disproportion
That’s such a cool piece of advice. I totally agree. Thank you Diana for your time and patience. It was wonderful knowing you a little more than we already do through your lovely products.
Now for some recommendation from our side – we pick the brocade half and full sandal boots – they totally take the cake in terms of innovation, creativity, color, hip and kitsch all rolled into one. You will love it the moment you see it.
Also do check out her Bollywood totes/bags – extremely unique, colourful and truly Bollywood. So if you love Bollywood, you will fall in love with her brand.
Come see her unique stuff only at The Orange Bicycle in Bangalore!