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Gheeful Journey

She holds two degrees from the National Institute of Design — in sculpting and industrial design.

Crafts designer Aditi Prakash,who owns the label Pure Ghee Designs,was a facilitator in the recent Jagriti Yatra,a 15-day interactive train odyssey to meet social entrepreneurs across the country

She holds two degrees from the National Institute of Design — in sculpting and industrial design. She carries a maddeningly kitschy bag of her own making and refers to her company by a delectable name,Pure Ghee Designs. On Sunday,Aditi Prakash,a Delhi-based designer working in the crafts sector,completed her “further education”. She calls it “Experiential MBA”. Prakash was selected by British Council as the Indian facilitator for the Jagriti Yatra – a 15-day odyssey by train to meet social entrepreneurs across India. The yatra had a total of 50 facilitators,out of which five were chosen by British Council.

The journey,organised by the Gorakhpur -based NGO Jagriti Sewa Sansthan and supported by the British Council,ended on January 8. Prakash says,“We interacted with the international,urban and rural youth participants . We met social entrepreneurs across the country – the stories of their set-ups,especially in rural India,have fuelled my current business focus .” On her part,she shared how Pure Ghee Designs,which makes funky cloth bags,has become an up-and-coming brand name in just a year-and-a-half.

Prakash first started designing bags for a client she was consulting for. “The drawback with consultancy is that it’s finally up to the client to take the product to the market. I was developing cloth bags for a client for a year when they dropped the idea. I decided to take the risk,put my money and market the bags. I had 150 such bags and they all sold out in the first exhibition,” she shares. That was her point of entry into the cycle of designing,producing and marketing.

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Pure Ghee Designs,Prakash says with a laugh,was born because one of her tailors went home to Bihar for a holiday. “When he returned,he presented me with a dabba of pure ghee made by his mother. This was around the time that I was looking for a name for my company. Like the ghee,my products are hand-made,Indian and pure,” she says. The bags target women between 25 and 45 years. “Even those who aren’t interested in crafts get curious about the products because of the name,” she says.

Prakash’s bags are retailed in Delhi,Mumbai,Kolkata,Bengaluru,Chennai and Hyderabad,and were recently launched in London. “I use Indian textiles,from intricate block-printed fabric from Kutch to kitschy lungi fabrics from Kerala. I work with Kalamkari artisans and block-printing artisans to custom-make fabrics that are then used to create functional bags,” she says. The colours are bright,cheerful and loud. “With textile,there are no limitations of colour,” she points out. Her bags break away from the jhola image that cloth bags create. She creates sling bags,potlis,patchwork clutches,pouches and even travel bags and laptop sleeves. The price,from Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,500,may seem steep for cloth bags but Prakash insists that it’s the right price given the detailing. “I have 60 per cent of repeat customers. Now,a line of men’s bags is in the pipeline,” she signs off proudly.

First published on: 10-01-2012 at 02:50:19 am
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