‘Memories’ is the meaning of my name Sreeti in Bengali. I have always found butterflies to be wondrous, beautiful, calm, unique and special. And I am inspired by the “Butterfly Effect” and the idea that our every action has a profound effect on things outside our purview. ‘Memories of a Butterfly’ is a phrase that has stuck with me since I was a child so when I started my little company, it was going to be called just that.
My Bengali-Kashmiri-Rajasthani-Uttar Pradeshi descent, birth in Trivandrum, education in Delhi and Philippines, made for an interesting, to say the least, childhood. In Manila, Philippines I finished high school in an international school. Did BA in psychology from Lady Sriram College, Delhi, then my MA in Transnational Communication and Global Media ‘in London University, Goldsmiths College. Soon after I settled in Bangalore and started my career in advertising as an Account Manager at first and a Strategic Planner later.
But it was not long after that I began to get fidgety and wanted to do something more hands on, creative, independent and stimulating. THEN, I had a freak accident and ended up with a broken neck! Traction, surgery, intense and painful recovery for about a year in Delhi with family followed. And that’s when the creative bone kicked in! (Pun intended).
So, by the time I was back in Bangalore, I had already explored various ideas and made my first bead curtain while still in recovery. The story of ‘Memories of a Butterfly’ had already begun. The influence of my parents’ great taste in interiors and their own distinct creative bones, and my grandfather’s creative genius in everything from plumbing, electric work, to painting, candle making, and handiwork, would play a huge role in my effectively actualising my dream company.
Meanwhile, the scope of interiors took a more experimental turn, and there became available a space for the more unusual in interior accessories. The idea of the bead curtain itself interested me. It is stationary and flexible at the same time, both a separator and yet has a translucent quality. It can be completely sophisticated or modern, contemporary, smart, cutting edge and sharp and can also be traditional, casual, bohemian, retro and colorful and even gaudy and festive if need be.
The timing was right, the circumstances apt and the enthusiasm high, and soon ‘Memories of a Butterfly’ had fashioned its own niche in interior accessories creating customized, hand-made curtains and screens. I have designed by so far for architects, interior designers, hotels, restaurateurs, builders and individual home owners.
As businesses go, there have been the tough times, very few tough clients, touch wood, but largely great projects and great work experience.
The company grew at its own organic pace and I liked it that way.
I enjoy what I do and am glad to be finally doing something that inspires me and keeps me on my toes. The hard work is worth it and feels less like work and more like, well, fun.
The most exciting and rewarding thing for me, however, is that even the most austere clients have this child like reaction to the curtain, that look of awe and wonderment that they once had as children when they looked into the deep, endless colorful chasm of a marble.
I don’t dream about having fun after a full day’s work. I have fun at work. The accident was a turning point and it forced me to choose the life I wanted. One should live free..like a butterfly.