“When I make something with my own hands, I put a part of my soul in that product,” says Saai Venkat who runs Soulfulsaai, an enterprise that sells handcrafted products.
A former fashion editor, after Saai quit her job, she began to pursue her interest in handicrafts, which runs in her family. With the knowledge she had thanks to her degree in Textile and Clothing from Mumbai’s Nirmala Niketan, and after several months of surfing the net and getting a pulse of the market, Saai began her enterprise and named it after her twitter handle (#soulfulsaai). “I started with hair accessories and began selling these on the international site etsy.com. Slowly, after feedback from the Indian sites that stocked my products, I realised that there is a greater demand for jewellery and started making such products as well,” says Saai.
Saai creates a mix of neckpieces, earrings, bracelets, hairclips, hair-bands as well as stationery. Saai believes in running an environmentally friendly enterprise and uses up-cycled fabric for her products. She also supports the cause of women empowerment and though a small enterprise now, she has two middle-aged women from lower income groups who assist her. Eventually, she aims to employ more as the business expands.
She uses several handmade techniques to create her products including crochet, knitting, cloth flower making and macramé. One can choose customised accessories according to colours and pattern of choice, which Saai delivers within
Though a bit expensive, we loved her crochet hoops (Rs 425), which work well for a colour-blocking look. Her floral and chain mix bib neckpieces also make for great accessories with a plain boyfriend jacket, to be worn to office or a round neck top for a night out (Rs 450). We also liked her range of hairclips (start from Rs30) and cute animal crochet paper clips.