RekhaMutyala and VaandhyaLakkaraju, two fashion graduates with a passion for unique, out-of-the-box accessories, used to spend their days experimenting with new materials, trips to craft clusters and hanging out on the streets of Charminar to understand how beautiful ornaments are made. Over time, they fell in love with creating accessories that carry a story as well as cultural heritage. After much research and many trips to Kondapalli, Nirmal, Nimmalakunta, Kondapalli and a variety of Banjaras hamlets, Rekha and Vaandhya launched their product line of soulful jewellery; ISHMA.
Intent (ambition):Ishma aims to improve the livelihoods of rural artisans, preserve local arts and revive Indian handicrafts by making them accessible and affordable.
Idea: Ishma revives traditional handicrafts by designing accessories fit for the modern market which are made accessible through their online platform. Ishma products are handmade by rural artisans and supports traditional crafts by providing a livelihood.
Impact: Crafts received royal and aristocratic patronage pre-independence and were central to Gandhi’s independence struggle however, in the advent of industrialisation they have lost significance and faced high competition with the mass production of cheap goods. Crafts in India face many barriers in selling their produce as the sector is highly fragmented, producing in an unorganised supply chain dominated by middle men. Today many artisans struggle to make a decent living and their children are quickly leaving the traditional family trade. Ishma is on track to collaborate with 25 craft clusters in and around Andhra Pradesh and Telangana aiming to impact approximately 2,500 families in its first phase. Ishma helps artisans by cutting out the middle man and creating a market for this regal trade.
BVIC’s Intervention: ISHMA’s founder had an impactful idea and prepared basic level products when they became part of SOCENT fellowship. BVIC helped them in streamlining their idea and processes, and aided them in establishing an office, business strategy, sourcing, and selling platforms. The workshops and seminars helped them in getting a proper grip on the skills of proposal writing, other operational requirements, and also provided them with a grant.