Art&Light at KalaGhoda Arts Festival 2015

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Art&light was part of The Kalaghoda Arts Festival 2015, from the 7th-15th of Feb. KGAF is the one and only arts festival that has been the pride of Bombay ever since its inception. In many ways, it is attending the festival as an onlooker for many years, being inspired by vast array of artists that it brings together from across India, that inspired me to do what I do today. So to be a part of it as an entrepreneur was a huge moment of pride, privilege an important personal milestone for me as a designer/artist. And what a ride this has been, from not knowing if Kalaghoda will happen (because of a court case) - to getting confirmation - has been a journey of excel sheets, planning, ordering, suppliers, working against time - coordinating for the 1st time with suppliers outside of Bombay.  Oh, yes, this KalaGhoda 2015 saw a spate of 1sts for artnlight & for me. It meant systematically getting out of every comfort zone I preferred to be in. It meant asking for help. It meant knowing how to deal with the help that came my way. It meant assuming that I am working alone for the large part & suddenly when the time came, to be comfortable with including people and letting them do what they do best. It meant learning how to step aside and let people take care of things their way. 
 Kalaghoda for artnlight meant stepping up and into the sun, It was rigorous and demanding. It was a month of disciplined and relentless working for me & my team, And finally when the festival started, it was 9 days of  acknowledgement of how far Artnlight has come as a brand. And it was 9 days of continual feedback on how many things can change and an unignorable message of what exactly people would want which I don't currently make. 
I realised what a protected experience online selling is. The worst that can happen is someone will not buy your product. That artnlight is a premium decor accessories brand was not a conscious calculated decision, but it was born out of the necessities of running a sustainable business creating beautiful handmade products of a certain artistic calibre. 
KalaGhoda is a place where all of Mumbai and even people from outside come. People from all walks of life. Masses and the classes. That my product appeals to people with an eye for good work - irrespective of where they come from was heartwarming. But their disappointment when they figured they might not be able to afford what was on sale - has made a part of me think. How much I will be able to do something about this - time will tell.
Sharing a few pictures of the stall. There is so much more to be said of the 9 days, but that might just be another post.

Here is the Art&Light stall - completely stocked. Do you see the triangular streamers? The young and talented Sunny Kolekar helped me make them. I just told him that we need streamers and from there to actually putting them up at the stall - he made it happen. No surprises that everyday we had atleast 5 pyt's demanding to know if they were on sale.
 For the very 1st time I got Art&Light Tshirts printed and my guys wore them at the stall. Amit on the left is my stocking and logistics guy & the ever dependable Jiten does everything from making my products to my packaging. This guy never says a no and is one of the most gracious people I have ever known.

 This angel was a gift sent to me by a very close friend Karishma Birdy - this has to be one of the most photographed images of my stall. 
 The circular trays were a hit. And they will soon be launched on the website
 The Peacock circular tray was a hotseller. And we had to literally make them as they got sold & restock them. 
 And look who was at the stall all the time. Dithi gifted me this Krishna when I went to Kolkatta. He is special indeed :)

The super popular Famous names b/w acrylic coasters. I got sold out on these in no time. The discussions these sparked off among the buyers were entertaining to say the least.

 Among one of the many special moments at KalaGhoda was the very famous art icon Brinda Miller shopping at the Art&Light stall - and can you see the bags? Again for the very 1st time I got branded bags printed for Art&Light.
 The much loved and coveted 3 drawer unit. People just could not resist opening & closing these drawers and checking the price. 
 The newly launched and the super popular Rajasthan Green Mugs - they are 2 different designs - one being the Green Tree and the other - the rajasthan couple mugs
 My predilection for vintage illustrations gets carried over to these newly launched Mugs

Thats me, Amit, Jiten & Nisha Sampath who is a very close friend, a digital marketing consultant, who stands by me through thick and thin - she was a pillar of support through KalaGhoda.  Apart from funding me, she would come each morning and set up the stall, arrange the products in different ways and would see to it that all of us at the stall were fed good food. This is not my entire team and I look forward to introducing them soon. I can't be done with my KalaGhoda narration without a thank you to all my friends who stood by me like rocks and went completely out of their way to be with me at the stall. Armaity Mevawala, Sampada Choudhary, Shilpy Agarway, Arpita Paliwal, Shweta Dingwaney, Anand Sivakumaran, Hemank Shah, Ekta Balyan, Neelam Mulla, Nisha Sampath & Sunny Kolekar a BIG Huge thank you to you guys, I could not have done this without you. 

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