'Colours give me a high'

... says the creator of city-based brand The Bodhi Maram that sells sling bags in silk and perfumed candles in rainbow coloured chai glasses

The life of Gargi (name changed on request), a typical IT professional in town didn't remain so with her fondness of colours. What might seem like the usual finding-true-calling story translated into a bright array of keepsakes.

Rainbow Chai candles
The Bodhi Maram, a recently launched city-based brand, is all about her simple influences and her colour fetish and her roots. "I was attracted to Buddhism as a religion and its calmness. Also, the word 'maram,' Tamil for trees comes from my Tamil Brahmin roots. Hence the name, The Bodhi Maram," says Gargi.

It all started with her fascination for design during her college days when she made thread-wrapped bangles and sell them. "I have wanted to start  something design- related for the past six years. The real push came when a friend offered to buy handmade bags from me as gifts for his trip to France.

That made me think and take the idea seriously," she says. In no time, she was set, spending her evenings and weekends hand painting tea candles and designing silk bags. Barely two months old, the brand offers silk sling bags, Rainbow Chai candles and cushion covers.

While the bags come in bright colours with intricate golden borders used as shoulder slings, the chai candles transform the quintessential tea glass into a colourful perfumed candle decoration.

Currently working only with silk, she plans to add bags and scarves in cotton soon. Her trust with silk was unplanned. "It wasn't a conscious decision. When my friend asked for the bags, I simply went to Mysore Silk Udyog on Commercial Street, picked up some brightly coloured washable silk and began working with them," she says.

Silk Sling bags

With no formal  training in design, 27-year-old Gargi has come from a family dealing with fabric printing, which explains her  ingrained interest in fabric.
Her ambitions are lofty and her aim simple. "I want to make my products as kitsch as possible. It's a lot of clutter and nothing minimal. My goal at the moment is to open a store in a year's time," she says.

Working with a small setup of housewives and tailors, she soon plans to foray into other forms of art and provide artists a platform to display their talent. On the cards is collaborating with artist Rohit Bhasi, a marketing professional by day who works on illustrations and murals and  making her products available online.

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For R 40 onwards for candles, R 400 onwards for bags, R 130 onwards for cushion covers.

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