Why Handmade? "Itna paisa kyun?"
I have grown up in an art appreciative environment. My parents would always take (sometimes force) me and my sister to go for art exhibitions with them, and have a look at all kinds of paintings and sculptures there were. We would also visit annual craft fairs that took place near by, and marvel at the artefacts from all around the country, created with such attention to details and colours.
My parents also believed in "Be Indian, Buy Indian". This led to them giving preference to clothes, accessories, serveware, home decor products etc that were made by the skilled artists of India. When I would ask them about the reason behind the price being so high for "simple" products, I was told about our rich culture, and what the handmade products signify.
This is how I started appreciating art and handicrafts!
After graduating from college in 2017, I started working as a jewelry designer for my sisters brand, Eesha Zaveri Jewelry. Designing is something I was passionate about, something I studied, and something I decided I want to always do. However, I had an itch of doing more. I felt the need to explore. There was a part of me that wanted to pay tribute to my Mother in some way. Something that was close to her heart, like Indian crafts. This is how the journey of NHEST began.
But why handmade? Why spend ₹1500 on a "handmade" product, when you can buy something similar for ₹150?
With the advancement in technology, mass production has become easy. It is beneficial for most of us, since we have easy access to products we like, at a very affordable price.
But what about India's rich culture and history? Brass stamping, Wood carving, Madhubani painting, Handmade silver jewelry, Block printing, Pottery, etc are all part of our rich and beautiful history. These crafts produce some of the most beautiful products, which require hours of time and patience to me made.
Buying handmade products represents you supporting the local talent, supporting our heritage, valuing the effort and worth of a dexterous artisan, and appreciating art! There is a significant reason behind the "costly" handcrafted products.
The idea behind NHEST was not to design and earn out of it, but was to re-introduce some of our country's beautiful crafts!
It hurts when people with diamond necklaces, Louis Vuitton bags, or Gucci shoes see handmade products and say "Arre iske liye ₹2000? Bazaar mein aisa ₹250 mein milega. Chalo discount do". Bazaar will have knock offs, or mass produced items, which are very useful, but they can not be compared to art.
Each handmade product, be it a Brass platter, a Silver earring, a Madhubani painting, a Kutchi dupatta, or a Crochet necklace, is a work of art. Hours of meticulous work going into creating each piece, to make it appealing, and useless for the consumer.
So next time you like something that is handmade, and has a slightly higher price to it, think about the root of the craft, the hours put into creating that beautiful product, and how it will adorn your house or body, before you ask "But accha price bolo na?"