Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Women Entrepreneurs In India- Featuring Preethi Maitri Prabhu from Indya Kaleidoscope

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-Robert Frost's poem The Road Not Taken, 1920

It takes a lot of courage to walk down a path that’s less trodden, more so if the path is strewn with difficulties and snags. But women with determination and passion for their dreams are not easily deterred by obstacles. Instead they just roll up their sleeves and tackle the problem head-on. And these women then go on to make success stories out of their lives.

One such woman I know is Preethi Maitri Prabhu, founder of the Indian arts and crafts store Indya Kaleidoscope located in Bangalore. Preethi and I were classmates, but after graduating we failed to keep in touch (my loss). Few years back, thanks to Facebook, I found her and added her as a friend. That’s when I became aware of her endeavor to help rural artisans in making an earning. She left her comfortable job in IT so that she could follow her dreams of keeping alive the many traditional but rapidly vanishing art practiced by artisans in remote areas of Karnataka and neighboring states.

She directly sources the products from the artisans avoiding middlemen who are known to exploit the naïve craftsperson. As part of her job in IT sector, she used to travel a lot and her love for art made her visit the craftsmen, whose plight moved Preethi to an extent that she decided to help them sell their handicraft items by making them available in the market directly. The fact that there was a huge demand for the beautiful, authentic handicraft pieces also helped her in this cause.

Her love for interior decoration and her passion for Indian culture and architecture abetted her dream to open her own store.  Her vision took form in the shape of Indya Kaleidoscope store which started operations on 14th December, 2011.

Preethi has a lovely store at Koramangala and one glance at all the colorful and vibrant artifacts that adorn her store makes you want to raid the store. Her blog also gives useful décor ideas that are relatively inexpensive, simple but amazing DIY concepts and also information about places in Bangalore where one can buy ornamental pieces for home décor that does not necessarily leave one bankrupt.

The wonderful brass collection-https://www.facebook.com/Indyakaleidoscope

The amazing IK Products-https://www.facebook.com/Indyakaleidoscope

Vibrant Cushion Covers-https://www.facebook.com/Indyakaleidoscope

The products that were available at the Garage Sale-https://www.facebook.com/Indyakaleidoscope

The amazing IK Products-https://www.facebook.com/Indyakaleidoscope

The amazing IK Products-https://www.facebook.com/Indyakaleidoscope

The amazing IK Products-https://www.facebook.com/Indyakaleidoscope

The amazing IK Products-https://www.facebook.com/Indyakaleidoscope

The reading Ganapathi-https://www.facebook.com/Indyakaleidoscope

If the above pictures didn't make you drool, I know you are lying :-)

The products in her store are priced in the range of र 50 to a few thousands of rupees, the prices are low, as Preethi wanted to ensure that the art collection available in her store can be afforded by all.

Indya Kaleidoscope was featured in Good Homes magazine last year.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/Indyakaleidoscope

Preethi was also featured in Deccan Chronicles where she talked about her love for art and her inspiration to open her dream store.

Source:https://www.facebook.com/Indyakaleidoscope


I also know ( from her Facebook updates) that recently due to an unfortunate water-leakage problem at her previous store location she underwent a lot of anxiety and stress in finding another suitable location and she had to shut shop for few days to relocate.

But like a phoenix she rose again. And this time around her store looked more lively, more vibrant and dazzling. She even had the marvelous Bodhi tree repainted in her new office and it does look resplendent.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/Indyakaleidoscope

The old and new Bodhi Tree, source: https://www.facebook.com/Indyakaleidoscope


The fact that even though the store was closed, she continued to deliver the products ordered by the customers, talks a lot about her dedication and commitment.

Very few people can chuck out a comfortable life to follow their heart, to live their dreams. And very few can actually make a success of their dream. And Preethi, with her infectious enthusiasm and her mulish dedication, has made her dream come true. And the icing on the cake is, through her venture, she is supporting hundreds of artisans in making a living and keeping their art alive. And she is making a positive difference to their lives.

She is indeed an admirable woman entrepreneur of India.

To have a look at the amazing products that are available at her store and from the various sources the items are procured from do read this entry at the IK blog-

http://indyakaleidoscope.com/blog/2011/11/products-indyakaleidoscope/

A special thanks to Preethi for allowing me to use the fabulous pictures of her store from her Facebook page.

Written for the Indiblogeshwaris Ladies Independence Special Contest in association with http://womenentrepreneursinindia.com/

7 comments:

  1. That is one amazing effort. loved the artifacts and the ideas. All the very best to Preethi. :) Thanks for sharing :)

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  2. Congratulations,Preethi!! Keep up the good work..:)

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  3. Admirable lady! Hats off to he efforts :)

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  4. Really admirable to leave a cushy job and venture into the unknown. I love all the items on display. Sigh! I don't live in Bangalore...

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  5. Hi Prasanna,

    Great article. Enjoyed reading it. Thank you for sharing the inspiration.

    Best Regards.

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  6. Hi Prasanna,

    Its an interesting blog you got here. I'd like to discuss some synergies with you, please drop me an e-mail here: saniya@cashkaro.com :)

    Keep up the awesome posts!

    Saniya

    ReplyDelete