It was on a vacation to Bangkok in October last year that friends and travel buffs — Vishakha Seksaria, Ridhi Arya and Tanvi Saraf — decided to start Cutting Chai Designs.
“We noticed how we would overspend on quirky home accessories because they were unavailable in India. We felt the need to create fun home accessories and stationery, so people who wouldn’t generally buy such wares also get tempted. The idea was that just because everyone can’t afford to buy expensive canvases, they shouldn’t be denied its aesthetic value. So, we printed patented artworks that reflected contemporary sensibilities on a range of home products, each with the signature of the artist, so that everyone could own artworks. And, it could become a part of their everyday life, and not just a painting on the wall,” said Arya.
Arya (29) is a fashion designer and chocolate couturier, Seksaria (30) is a furniture designer and Saraf (27) is a writer and communications professional who has been in the industry for 6 years. After months spent zeroing in on the name, the trio came up with Cutting Chai Designs by fluke and chose it as it was catchy, fun and piques the curiosity, which is exactly what their products intend to do.
Their range of home decor, tableware, soft furnishings and stationery products, includes placemats with eclectic designs, journals with motifs of rickshaws and handcarts, and coasters with city-centric themes. Their journals also dispense with the usual date-time format and instead ask you to list your inspirations, books / blogs you read, videos you watched, etc.
The products are priced between `225 and `16,900. “We customise for bulk orders and by the year-end, we should have our second collection with a new range of products and artists. We will also add earthenware and fashion accessories to our collection,” adds Arya.
The USP, claims Arya, is that every product is a piece of art and every artwork is patented with them. “It is exclusive, beautiful and you won’t find similar prints anywhere else. To integrate this art with daily life is a new concept in India. Art doesn’t have boundaries; we want to target people who appreciate good art and will appreciate the artist.”
To realise this objective, every product carries a tag with the artist’s previous works. “If we can get people to name artists as they do with fashion designers, Cutting Chai Designs would have done its job,” concludes Arya.