There’s plenty of interesting art out there and there are enough people who’d like to buy it, but there isn’t a space for such an informal gathering of like minds. Or so felt four youngsters in the city, and so they started Flea Af’Fair’. With the second edition happening in the city soon (the first one was organised in September), City Express caught up with the quartet to find out more.
“Everybody can buy some or the other work depending on their budget. A teenager can buy something out of their pocket money and so can a house wife or even a working person,” begins Supreeta Amancherla. The 25 year-old who quit her job from Google recently because she was unhappy with her it, got together with her friends Rohini Kumar, Faiz Al Haq and Harish Vasavan to form the Tree Huggers Club in August this year, the organising body behind Flea Af’Fair.
The Tree Huggers Club has, in its few months since inception, been actively trying to promote lesser known artists and the monthly flea market has been a step in that direction. From T-Shirt designers, painters to photographers, bakers and every other kind of artist, the flea market will feature at least 30 different artists all packed into one space to give Hyderabadis a price range that they’d never dream of.
Ask them how the idea came about, and Supreeta is quick to answer. “We saw flea markets in Bangalore, Mumbai and other states, while nothing of that sort concerned to artists was happening in Hyderabad. So we thought of providing a platform for people who want to do business based on their sheer creativity.”
Artists in their own way, they understood the need for a space like this to promote and encourage other artists as well. Sharing his story, the 25 year-old Faiz says, “I am a musician and I struggled a lot before getting hold of some projects. Thus, I wanted to do whatever I could to help people to mitigate that phase of struggle.”
A freelance writer now, Supreeta adds, “There is a lot of crazy talent everywhere, but very few means to showcase it. We wanted to give people a reason to pursue their interests and make sure that their art does not die out.”
However, the best part of the initiative, for them, is meeting like minds. A former radiation safety officer, Rohini explains the science behind their creative idea. “We toiled very hard to conduct one such event. But when we saw people expressing and showcasing their art and when others came forward and appreciated it, we felt all our efforts being paid off,” gushes the 25 year-old.
Not in it for the money, which is barely any to begin with, their incentive comes from the overall success of the market. But that isn’t to say they aren’t an ambitious lot.
Buoyed by the goodwill they’ve generated and the apparent success of the market, the group plans on starting a brand consulting firm for artists, nudging them in the direction of investors and interested organisations, besides helping them pitch and present their art in a better way.
“First of all we want to establish our names as people who promote artists. After that, we want to do brand consulting for artists, right from pitching their proposals to taking care of their logos. But we will continue organising flea markets and we want to add workshops too,” shares Supreeta. Rohini adds, “We want to establish the identity of Tree Huggers Club as an organisation where people can come and express their art without any hesitation, be they amateurs or professionals.”
And by the response they’ve been getting, it seems like they may just pull off their dream project sooner than they think. “The night before the first market, we were terribly nervous and expected around 120 people to come who would mostly be of our close friends and family. But to our pleasant surprise, as many as 270 people had come, and after a point of time, we lost count. The 134 artists who showcased their work also did good business, which was all we wanted,” shares an overwhelmed Rohini.
The second Flea af’Fair’ will be conducted on October 20 at SAWA Cafe and Restaurant, Banjara Hills. Expect to find hand-made jewellery, handicrafts, paintings, garments, accessories and cupcakes within the price range of Rs 100 and Rs 2000.