As I was watching the collection Monalisa taking out from her cupboard and boxes, I was picking up each designer pot she made and going bonkers over it. I still am all gaga over it. Since the 4th standard, she has started going to drawing classes. She was also watching her mother designing pots. Enhancing the beauty of each market bought pots with a creative approach, had never left her house and became a business before. It rather stayed within her home and relatives as home decor pieces.
Monalisa is from Nasik and completed BCS there. After landing on Pune she pursued MCS and got a job in Persistent. Not much soon though, but after 6yrs. of her work into IT field she felt frustrated enough to quit the job; And start something of her own. But before leaving Persistent she had in mind to do something big. Everyone in her family including husband and her in-laws has supported her decision of quitting the job and getting into designing pots. She adds “When my mother-in-law came to know about my decision, from then on she started to share craft related matters to me to inspire me :D”
Though her hobby is into card making, she thoroughly enjoys creating beautiful designs on pots. Her cousin’s quilling skills and flea markets in Pune has captured her attention massively. Thus, inspired her to have a small gig of her painted pots at a flea market in Pune. Her best experience was the same exhibition… the very first one… ” I felt so happy and felt that I have achieved something big all on my own.”
“It feels great and beautiful to do pot painting. It ignites imagination and creativity in me. I feel so satisfied now, which I wasn’t while I was working in IT. Income is not the juice of my life, the creative zone is.” And I was completely able to relate to what she said then. Exhibitions, flea markets and festivals excites her to make the stock. The relatives and mouth publicity is bringing a lot of business, not to mention Diwali is on its way.
Designer Pots from Pune
Thankfully, unlike many makers I met, for this art, she finds her material easily available in the Pune market. But when she went with her husband to Australia. She witnessed materials with astounding quality and variety, available even in the tiniest of the stationery stores for her design work. She mentions “Compared to here, people there are crazy for handmade products. They take pride in buying from local artists.”
Post marriage, whenever she visits her mother’s place, she gets back into painting pots. “My mom is my biggest inspiration.” This year, she is gauging the statistics of possibilities and likability of Pune crowd to buy her products. She said she wants to run the business at a slower pace rather, by being a great observant of the market demands.
Currently, her focus is on learning terracotta pottery and clay, just so that she can make her own pots. Learning and marketing are going parallel. Which I am unable to do ;) She is not seeking any further switching back into a job for money or to any other field for making more customers; Because she is very happy with pot painting and designing. “I started only 6 months ago, so I know there’s a lot of work to do. Building a website, a logo and reaching out to more people.” I tell you 6 months is nothing, but her passion and creativity are splendid. So much that I couldn’t resist myself to take her interview and know the story.
Handmade Artistic Pots packed with passion
The cost of products varies from Rs.30/- to Rs.3000/- only… I know right?? Designing even the smallest pot takes 1 day. Cleaning the pot is easy, just wipe with damp cloth. To my surprise, only for the bigger sized pots, she does the calculation for design placements beforehand. She rather starts head on designing on the pots and moves further by accompanied visualizations. Brilliant!!
“My husband also acts as a critic. Each day after coming from the office, the first thing he says is how much work you did today?” I asked Nitant about his reaction when Monalisa decided to quit her job. To which he mentioned “I said, okay why not!? But let’s give it time and see how long your interest lasts on this art form. So she took 3 months leave from her job. We received a great response for her work and the rest you know :D”.
My message to you; We always buy home decor items from branded stores. Get repeated stuff, that already adorns, I don’t know how many homes nation-wide. I request you to support the local artists who are trying to bring something different in your life. That will make a mark of your taste and is unique in its own way.
Her message to you; “If you have confidence on your creations then don’t worry about the competition. It will always be there but that doesn’t mean to ‘give up’. Still, if you keep on repeating the same work, then it is tough to be in the competition”.
I found this couple to be adorable and Monalisa is one heck of a humble and sweet person to speak with. I loved the detailing in her work and precision too. Her creativity is far stretched and covers even the nook part of a pot with colours and beauty. My great wishes to her business and future. With complete confidence, I would request you to go ahead and give her more work and let her unknowingly fill homes with such beautiful decorative pots. Have a great July folks!!
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Photo Credit: Vivek Sankhwal