KOCHI: Want a gift that imbibes the spirit of Kerala? Curiocity.in, started by a Kochi-based design student Collins Samuel, is bringing just that by introducing a Malayali touch to souvenirs, T-shirts, home decor and even notebooks.
Its last collection- a deck of playing cards, representing the kathakali characters instead of the usual King, Queen, Jack and Joker emblems- has become a huge hit. They also make souvenirs which display chatta mundus, oracles, and even the good old KSRTC buses.
The idea to start a collective, like Curiocity, hit Collins and his artist-friends when they realised there was nothing original in the souvenirs that were being sold in Fort Kochi and Mattanchery.
“Of course, you have the Kathakali face, snake boat models and the elephant caparisons, but nothing more innovative,” says Collins. “The rest of the stuff can be bought from the Delhi and Bombay markets. We decided to inspire a change.”
So, Collins and his team started researching the pulse of the tourists. For example, from the numerous travel blogs they visited, they realised that most of the foreigners had spoken of their experiences inside KSRTC buses.
“It was such a crucial part of their trip in Kerala that we decided to introduce products that had a KSRTC-theme design. This is why we designed a journal which has a KSRTC theme on the cover,” said Collins.
For the Kathakali playing cards too, the team at curiocity, spent almost a year doing research on the various nuances of the Kathakali art form. “We needed to capture every essence, the moods and emotions of the artists, so we could replicate it as art,” he said.
Apart from these souvenirs, Curiocity has also brought out T-shirts, with imprints of Malayalam alphabets and words. “We wanted to ensure that each of our products tell a story,” he said.
Curiocity is also ensuring that their work involves local talent. “We want to empower the artisans. Right now, we are in talks with a mural artist. We can use his art work to make an innovative piece of work,” he said.
Collins says that the team is currently working on bringing out theme-based products for Onam.