HYDERABAD: Hand painted wooden mirrors, napkin holders, wooden hangers in cool shapes like shoes, bookmarks made from paper with embroidery – all in brilliant hues of colours is what Art ilaka started by twin sisters Ganga and Yamuna Prakash offers.
Started in 2012, the city-based venture has slowly gained popularity due to their handmade home decor and stationery items, which have conversation starters and compliments written all over them. Though Ganga graduated in fine arts from JNTU and got placed with an IT company, she soon grew tired of it and it was only a matter of time before she decided to explore her creative pursuits. Her sister Yamuna’s career graph, on the other hand has been quite “erratic” in the 30-year old’s own words. A graduate in home science, Yamuna first took up a job doing market research before she moved to an NGO, where she did identity design working towards the upliftment of artisans and weavers. All of this, before finally settling down in Art ilaka. Although the fraternal twins work fulltime in Art ilaka, some of the heavier work like cutting the wood, packaging is done by Ganga’s husband Bala Gopal.
“We wanted to build on the idea of creating our own set of products from the very beginning, so we started with a graphic design project. Our aim is create innovative products that can excite people and encourage them to welcome art into their living places. We created a small set up in our grandfather’s house - a hall converted studio. We then started sharing our work on social media and started getting likes from friends and family,” recalls Ganga. Initially it was only friends and family members who placed orders with them. But then, gradually as their products were shared by mutual friends and seen through the ‘likes’ on social networking site Facebook, word about their great work started spreading.
“Our first product was the wooden egg ‘Ande Ka Funda’ with doodles, funny texts or comical elements on them. Later on with encouragement from our friends and family, we began with bookmarks, hangers, napkin holders,” adds Yamuna.
Now they make bookmarks in canvas with embroidered animals, magnet series, key holders, upcycled ombre bottles, coasters, wedding return gifts filled with goodies from Art ilaka. And they are all brightly coloured with beautiful designs that immediately bring a smile to the face.
The duo also customise their products according to the clients needs. “If it’s a birthday gift or any other order, we ask the client likes and dislikes of the person, any funny text or doodle they want. It can be a portrait or a scrapbook. This usually takes us longer but if the product is already in stock, then we just have to courier it or the client can come pick it up.”
Though their venture has been active for over two years now, most of the revenue that comes in from the sale of their products goes into investing in the materials and other miscellaneous things. The duo also sells their products to a store in Surat besides their online sales.
Price range: 70 to `1500