“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” – Seth Godin.
This week, I got the opportunity to talk to two people who are living this Seth Godin principle. Both women took a break from their ‘jobs’ and while on sabbatical kick-started their ‘careers’. They gave wings to their passion and expression to their creative beliefs. Here’s introducing, Farzin Adenwalla and Anita Hirani.
Armed with a degree in Architecture and Design from Victoria University, New Zealand, Farzin Adenwalla upon her return to India in 2008 took up a regular job in Mumbai. In around 2011, the idea of designing bespoke furniture struck her and she set to work on her first design – a multi-purpose deck chair. Listening to her instincts and believing in her aesthetic sense, she set up Bombay Atelier – a furniture studio that follows the minimalistic and contemporary design ideology.
Today, this tiny studio offers only a handful of furniture items that designed by her, created by local craftsmen/carpenters using the best materials (teak wood, cane), employing intricate artistry (inlay work, weaving) and are on par with furniture items imported from Europe. Speaking on her venture Farzin says, “The furniture I offer is long-lasting, of excellent quality and completely worthy of the price it comes at. Contemporary and minimal is my and thus Bombay Atelier’s style and while we are not averse to customisation, we only design and create furniture that matches our ideology.”
After 12+ years as an interior designer, Anita Hirani thought it was time to set up a store that mirrored her tastes and sensibilities. Thus, she set up Heirloom. This tiny lifestyle showroom sells curios, accessories, clothes and even bed linen. “The idea was to break away from the herd mentality and set up a store with a theme that caters to individual tastes,” says Anita. “My store has a character and personality, something that most ‘brands’ lack in. I sell artefacts purchased from Turkey, duppattas sourced from Pakistan/Afghanistan, brocade/halter blouses that fit women of all sizes – all these are exclusive and individually priced items. The focus is to sell the unusual and let people know that the ‘not-very-regular’ can be beautiful and worth purchasing too,” she adds.
If you don’t purchase an item the first time you visit Heirloom, chances are you won’t find it when you visit again. But the one thing you will find repeatedly in this store is expression and individuality, finely tuned to suit everyone’s tastes without going overboard with the mass appeal factor.
Learning from these entrepreneurial women I guess it’s time we all set up lives that we don’t need running away from, no?
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