Through her Bangalore-based Studio Moya, Rashmi Singh is working on bringing relevance to traditional crafts even while helping to empower the craftspeople.
In 2006 when she passed out from college, there were very few names and brands that offered a good job profiles and salaries. After Rashmi had begun her career at Arvind Brands, she worked in industry for five years, finally quitting her job as a Design Manager for Louis Philippe. This experience gave her confidence and exposure to build things on her own later, doing everything she loved doing.
Her love for indigenous crafts and artisanal products often had her traveling to clusters for freelance projects with NGOs and individuals:
“I always felt crafts had the power to evoke, be distinctive and reconstitute, and narrate a story without words. Our crafts history dates back to several millennia, originating out of various needs and using natural resources available.
With industrialization, these crafts and craftspeople lost their relevance as they could not cater to the contemporary needs of the competitive markets. The crafts could not evolve as we did. Clearly there was a need… Studio Moya was launched to focus on this need of the global consumer who was looking for artistic solutions and contemporary design done with traditional techniques.”
Their design stories are a take on the traditional forms and techniques but have a very contemporary look and feel. Studio Moya has artisans from Bihar interacting with artisans from Andhra through their products.
“It’s a very open culture where we are working towards building finesse and design in traditional crafts with contemporary esthetics”, Rashmi says.
She shares her experience of craft sector collaborating with the brand:
“With the growing awareness about the need to preserve and imbibe traditional crafts, a lot of brands are working in the craft sector in their own capacities. Peter England wanted to work on an exclusive hand painted collection of shirts for its premium clientele. Working with Peter England to collaboratively develop their ‘Summer of Madhubani’ collection was a milestone experience for Studio Moya. It brought us a lot of learning and the experience of working with corporate clients in the craft sector.”
“I feel the best way a brand can connect to any rural craft is to provide professional and technical expertise, – Rashmi says, – build infrastructure and process into the work that they do, and then absorb what works best with their brand philosophies.”
Read this story in POOL 89.