The Russian folk story: The Malachite Casket gets a deshi twist
Scrolling down our favourite online e-commerce platform, Go Deshi, in search of local entrepreneurs making headlines in the community, we came across two sisters with magical painting abilities. Both of them armed with the knowledge of sketching and painting professionally, knew they had to do something different to be recognised for their talent.
"I have always wanted to paint on a sari; this was a dream since childhood. Both of us sisters have drooled over hand-painted pieces since our teen days, and yet only a few top-notch designers carried designs we liked. Rest of them kept inferior copies or a very rough sketch not up to our liking at all. That's when we discovered our niche and started painting for ourselves, which thankfully earned rave reviews from friends and family, and ultimately encouraged us to build our very own signature brand," said Auntora Mehrukh Azad, co-owner and designer at The Malachite Casket.
When inquired about the story behind the interesting brand name, the younger sister, Anannya Mehpar Azad, also co-owner and designer at the Malachite Casket, eagerly shared— "When we were children our parents used to read us this Russian Folk story with a jewellery box made out of Malachite, this was a very special box and its powers engrossed our imaginations. So here we are decades later, taking inspiration from that legendary story and naming our brand after it."
Speaking to Star Lifestyle, they also revealed that florals were their primary choice for experimentation, alongside special art-recreations by famous names.
"We try our hands at the humble recreation of world famous paintings such as Van Gogh's Irises, Monet's Water Lilies etc., and art enthusiast like ourselves appreciate our efforts and keep these special paintings in their collection," informed Auntora.
Discussing the future of the brand, the eldest sister Auntora said she would love to keep it small to maintain exclusivity and precision. "You see people love our saris, only because we paint it by ourselves and because of the details we maintain. Hand paint is something you cannot expect everyone to be an expert at, and hence we cannot let anybody else do the painting for us.
"Each of our saris takes a minimum of fourteen days to recreate and customisation is only possible with the change in colours. The base fabrics that we use are almost always muslin-silk or Balaka silk from Rajshahi and we have decided to keep the fabric local to highlight the hard work of the fabric artisans of our country," said the whizz designer.
And true they were, each of the designs created by the sisters were unique and did not carry a similar copy as is the magnificence of handcrafted items. With superior painting and designing skills, these ladies are only looking towards a brighter future.
Here's to wishing the girls, a future full of creativity and exploration.
Go Deshi is an online, e-commerce platform highlighting local creativity and entrepreneurship to the masses. To enrol into the active site please contact Go-Deshi at its Facebook platform.
Photo: The Malachite Casket