These products and designs are thoughtful and practical accessories that not only make you and your home look good, but offer a helping hand as well.
We chatted with Anjali and Minal, two 30-year-old friends from Ahmedabad the founder of Warmly Designs who used their little day-to-day problems as an inspiration to create unique and handy products.
They wanted to teach Gujarati rhymes to their kids but the market did not have any, so they decided to create their own books and with their earrings were always getting misplaced they made the very cool jhumka parking. Read on to know more about how they bring the mundane every day items to life with their creativity.
How did it all begin?
“There were always so many ideas popping in the head but could never find time to put them into execution. And then there would be bouts of frustration when I would look at products that are made by someone, which I had already thought of,” recalls Anjali Vasa Sheth a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering, Nirma Institute and a Post Graduation in New Media Design, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
Moreover while working as a freelancer most of the times Anjali would find herself sitting in front of the computer and terribly missed the feel of making something more tangible.
She says, “Every time I visited the handicraft melas I thought people were very creative and hardworking but then there was no novelty. For years together we see same stuff being produced. I felt that all this beautiful craft would die one day if it didn’t find a new face.”
And then motherhood happened which has been a very inspiring phase for her. Not able to find many interesting books, clothes and products that are very Indian has been the greatest trigger for her to launch Warmly Designs with her friend Minal Desai an MSc Economics, University of Essex, UK.
Armed with an initial investment of two lakh rupees and the art of balancing time with small kids and big families to look after, both the girls embarked about a creative journey that became the sky to spread their creative wings and take off.
“While pursuing my diploma in Bangalore we interacted with our project guide through emails. I was having a little tough time in my project and to encourage me my guide wrote an email that was signed off with ‘warmly’. The word had a sense of warmth though I was sitting miles away. That very moment I decided that if I ever started my own setup I would call it warmly– ‘oozing with warmth and bringing a smile’,” adds Anjali.
Finding openness from craftsmen and producers to try something new is the biggest challenge for Warmly Designs. People are pretty reluctant to experiment and added to that owing to less quantity of products created and a strict budget their assignments were usually never taken up by agencies.
“Overall, we have found the business environment to be far more helpful in Ahmedabad. People will actually recommend their competitors just so that we can get our work done. Doing business in Ahmedabad is fun,” smiles Minal.
What makes their products unique is that they have maintained the Indianness of their product but with a Western touch. Minal and Anjali have thoughtfully designed creative solutions to some of the daily needs and requirements that we face.
For instance, if you’re the kind to have a lot of earrings and like to match them with your outfits every day to work and have no space to keep them on your dressing table, then ’Jhumka parking’ serves as a funky tool to rest your ear rings for the night.
Personally The Lifestyle Portal loved the ‘mein Marco Polo’ as it is the ideal accessory to have for travel enthusiasts like us who always come back with a lot of magnets. Now that our refrigerator is over-decorated with magnets, this souvenir showcase in the shape of a handbag is ideal for us. Or you may like gorgeous ‘Kesh tails’ that helps you ‘store’ all your clips in one place and never having to waste time looking for one just before you’re rushing out for work. In fact, this is ideal for your daughter’s collection of hair clips too!
Most of the raw material is sourced locally. The vendors order items from other Indian cities if required.
On an average it takes about 3-4 weeks for them to create a product. Most of their clients include women from the age group of 20-45 who pick up most of their products.
You can look up their website http://www.warmly.in and check out various shopping portals like Shopo.in, itshandmade.in, Craftsvilla.com, etc. They have also tied up with certain retail outlets – such as Fancy Chilli in Bangalore and Nimbu Mirchi in Ahmedabad.
Anjali and Minal further add, “For instance, our ‘Kesh Tails’ a hairpin organiser is not the first one to enter the market, but it sure is one of the prettiest one; and the fact that it solves an actual problem of losing pins always is what makes it tick. Most of our products use wood, fabric and metal. However, we are now exploring a lot of other materials as well.”
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