Kochi-based teenager’s embroidery hoops, made out of threads, are the perfect gift
The customised embroidery hoops by Kochi-based Anjana Stanley take about a week to make
Come birthdays, weddings or housewarming parties, the big question that resurfaces again (and always) is “What to gift?” Flowers, wine, cheese platter hampers, crockery—every possible idea in the rulebook has been done and dusted. That’s perhaps why Kochi-based Anjana Stanley’s embroidery hoops (starting at Rs 1,500) seem like a breath of fresh air. This writer first learnt about Stanley when a friend in Mumbai commissioned an artwork. The results blew our mind.
Stanley, who is all of 18, took to embroidery artwork during the pandemic. “My parents were struggling [to make ends meet] during the lockdown,” she says, “I wanted to help, but didn’t know how. At first I made vintage books, jeans bags, and painted bottles.” When her tiny venture became a sleeper hit among friends and family, Stanley launched a business account on Instagram and started working with diverse material, including embroidery hoop art.
The venture, Alora, makes cutesy embroidery hoops with dream catchers that can be given as wedding gifts (either to the couple or as souvenirs to guests with a hand-embroidered calendar marking the special month and day), as birthday presents to loved ones, or even to your best friend to celebrate what the two of you share. All she needs is a photograph of the people you’d want featured, a few personal details, and the address you’d like it delivered to. She usually completes her project within a week.
One of her most memorable clients was a woman, who placed an order, but passed away a few days later in an accident. “I thought they’d cancel the order,” she says, “but her fiancé asked us to send it anyway, because he knew how much she loved what I did, and wanted this one as a keepsake. That was when I began taking my work seriously.”