Art is all around us, says the founder of Art For Everyday, an online portal that puts the 'fun' in functional art. A cuddly four-eyed monster and toys dating back to the Indus Civilisation might be just the playmate for your baby artist in the making
Our aim is to spread as much happiness as we can," says Rashmi Daga, an IIM Ahmedabad alumnus who founded afday.com. In August last year, Daga decided to quit her corporate job and start Art for Everyday, an online platform that retails handcrafted products that qualify as art but are suited for everyday use.
Ino Buga Monster Toy (Rs 599), one of six cute and adorable monster
toys made of handmade felt
"I was passionate about collecting local art. But when I walked into stores, fresh art and craft products, seemed to be missing. That's where the idea of a website that would bring decorative and functional art products to customers in the comfort of their home, came to me," she says. Each Art for Everyday product comes with an assurance that it was sourced from an artist, craftsperson or designer, locally.
London Scape Wallclock, Rs 3,640
"Our products are meant for personal use and will appeal to anyone who wants to make art a part of their personal space. We are promoting the platform through social media, online blogs, search engines, newspapers and magazines. Word-of-mouth publicity has been most effective in generation of sales, though," explains Daga.
Vagh aur Bakr (Rs 1,400) is made with patchwork embroidery. This
traditional Indian board game is a battle between tigers and goats,
where the tigers can eat the goats and the goats can block in return
Daga's venture stocks modern, contemporary art products in addition to a range of traditional Indian crafts. Daga who competes with a sea of e-commerce websites, art galleries and handicraft stores, says knick-knacks, home decor and jewellery, toys and games and educational kits priced between Rs 100 and Rs 3,500 are her mainstay. Paintings are priced between Rs 4,000 and Rs 25,000.
Rajnikant Wine Bottle Lamp, Rs 2,000
"As Indians, we forget our rich heritage of toymaking, dating back to the Indus Civilisation. All you find in the market are mass produced Chinese toys. There is a special excitement related to Indian toys. And they make great return gifts for kids' birthday parties."
Hand-knitted Elephant made of cashmillon, Rs 300.
Her toy range includes craft-based do-it-yourself (DIY) kits that involve the art of block printing, and use pencil caps, fridge magnets, candle shades, pencil boxes and key chains. The wooden lacware range includes stackable toys and pull toys that come with an international safety certification. Paper craft kits with 3D cutouts serve as study aids for Geometry and design.
We fancied the handmade felt toy monster collection and hand-knitted dolls. Hand-embroidered traditional games feature the good-old Ludo, Snakes and Ladders, Tiger and Goats and Chinese Checkers. Her musical kits include flutes, bells, rattles and drums.
But Daga isn't just playing around. She says, "Art is present in several forms in and around us. It's universal yet personal. A statue and a key chain can both be considered pieces of art. As they say, it all lies in the eyes of the beholder. What is important is that it brings a smile to the person who experiences it."
Log on to: www.afday.com to take a look at her products.