If you are reading this, you are a lover of sarees/dupattas or a handloom enthusiast or an ardent liker of handcrafted or someone who loves everything Indian. Whoever amongst these you are or all of it, we definitely have shared love…..So, Cheers!
We are a small home-grown boutique at Mumbai, India borne out of curiosity, love and
interest for handmade sarees and dupattas. We are two young women – Shubha and Sweta
who have ditched their years of corporate experience to explore and do something which we love.
Yes, we come with our host of limitations like anyone else and learning each & every day but nonetheless, we work hard to make something unique which is appreciable by people like you.
From sourcing of authentic regional weaves of India (right from Kanjivaram of South to Banarasi of North or Patola of West to Jamdani of East) to making of the same from our own weavers… we have come a long way in our own capacity. To bring out the best and stand out
from the rest, we have also worked hard in making fine hand-painted sarees/ dupattas on the lesser known art-forms in India like Pichwai, Gond, Patachitra, Phaad etc.in collaboration with some of the most refined artists who are not only passionate about their work but also
are very well learned and pass out from prestigious universities of India.
At the other end, to appease our curiosity for handcrafted we also work with womenfolk in smaller villages for crafts like Kaantha or Shibori or Kasuti… just to name a few. We believe each day is a new day and we like to traverse our interest in the field of handmade in any
We hope you like our products and representation of the same with as much love with which we have made.
MEET THE FOUNDERS
I never expected to be an entrepreneur, but I guess it came down to my family's legacy. My dad has been a successful business owner, and he was the source of my inspiration in terms of going into business. The basic principle that has guided me through the whole way is this: always provide value for others; whatever you do, let it be for the greater good as much as possible. Once you're able to build a solid foundation for your network, everything else will come eventually! Like the majority of Punjabi households, my relatives wanted me to get married while I was in college.
However, my dad was very supportive, since he knew how determined I was to go out and get a post-graduate degree.
I enrolled at PUMBA, where I got campus placement to work in The Future Group after graduating. During my time there (6 years) I worked with The Big Bazaar chain of stores as a marketing specialist, looking after the strategy and execution of all related campaigns. After leaving there (6 years on) I found employment at Aza Fashions, looking to broaden my skill set for a specialized segment of the south Bombay marketplace. During this time too (5 years) I cultivated skills in PR and Niche marketing strategy.”
After taking a sabbatical of six years, I searched for an organization that would match my interests and purpose. I participated in several NGOs (non-government agencies) and was involved in projects established by them to benefit individuals who were suffering from various natural disasters or medical setbacks.
One fine day, I was sitting with one of the very known and recognized Nephrologists Dr. Umesh Khanna, and was discussing my ambition to do something for the society and wanted to be a mentor. He showed me a video of Sadguru who passionately appealed to “Do something for weavers”. That excited me and gave my life a purpose: To help weavers create more value through technology. Being Punjabi we are very familiar with the “fancy stuff” and we know more about Manish Malhotra & Swarovski than we do about handlooms. I’ve read a lot lately, however, about how India has such ancient history in weaving and our textile industry is highly regarded across the globe.
Then I sought help from a very good friend of mine, Shubha (now my business partner and better half). I shared with her my plans and ideas, thinking they were solid and well organized since they were based on a lot of research and knowledge that I acquired for few months. She carefully listened to what I had to say. Being a saree enthusiast, she immediately agreed which only strengthened my confidence in myself as we both turned out to be strong-minded people with similar tastes once we came together. So this is how Vartouhi started!
A banker by accident (ex-banker now with decades of experience!) and a saree lover by choice, I love everything beautiful and handmade. Grappled with innumerable interests right from painting to reading to cooking and what not, my mind is one heck of a buzzing place. While I wore the formal western attire in my last cushy corporate jobs, women who wore sarees at workplace or at home, never failed to amaze me.
There is something so sexy and so powerful about this unstitched cloth, one can underplay or overplay the versatile 6 yards just the way they want! Manipulative yet interesting n how! Saree is that one humble garment which is in total control of the one who wears it yet hard to go unnoticed even in a sea of options.
Coming from Bengali household, I have grown watching my Ma, grandma or mashis wearing sarees almost 24*7 and yes I can’t take away the Benaras from me…hub of one of the most exquisite traditional handloom sarees where I grew up. Needless to say, my childhood was all about taking out my Ma’s best sarees from those wooden almirah, tie a rough knot around the waist and somehow wear the saree and show Ma Baba and ask how wonderful I look or some time play teacher- teacher at house. Knowledge of handloom in real sense grew only when I started working in metro cities, search for office wearable sophisticated dupattas in swanky shops for my otherwise mundane kurtas and travels to various pockets on India, thanks to the job.
For the maximalist I am, my collection of handloom dupattas grew with leaps and bound and I understood I love handwoven beyond anything. Till date I find it hard to part away with any of my sarees and dupattas. So, I thought how lovely it is to be able to appreciate someone’s labour of love and hardwork , preserve it with much care and also know that how indirectly one is helping to keeping an otherwise once dying sector alive. I was once told by a weaver that how what I ordered will actually bring food at his & his family’s plate. Artistic inclination definitely was one of the primary forces (don’t you forget, I love everything beautiful), the history, the techniques the people involved and finally the product which we get, I personally believe is beyond satisfactory.
Thanks to various bizzare calculations of the Almighty and my verbosity, one fine day over cup of tea, me and my then ex-roomie & current better half (ouch! Our spouses are next to them!) decided, THIS IS IT! And Vartouhi Creations Happened.