By now you’re aware that The Lifestyle Portal is simply crazy about all things hand made. We’ll share one of our recent shopping expeditions in a tiny lane in Coonoor, where we spotted a tiny Co-optex store and picked up some hand made handloom linen, but that’s for later.
We featured the fun and exciting Quillkaari a few days ago, now we’re back with a feature on a traditional paper craft that has been revived by the very bubbly 28-year-old Pooja Ajmera.
A Mumbai based self-taught entrepreneur who creates magic with paper and is the founder of Teekhii Chhurii.
Being always surrounded by books (apart from academics, comics and novels – also included) she admits to have never really got a chance to explore the potential of her creative side, and that she discovered her true calling only last year.
This graduate and a vocational degree holder in Travel and Tourism Management, Pooja is an alumni of Mithibai College, Mumbai, and also holds an M.Com in Business Management, MBA in Human Resource Management and a Diploma Course in Training and Development is following her heart after having briefly worked with a renowned HR firm.
When did it all begin?
“It was only last year that for my sister-in-law’s birthday, I thought of gifting her something special. I knew about Paper cutting but had never really tried my hands at it. It was an “AHA moment” for me, when I made my first paper cut and realized that this is what I wanted do for rest of my life and that’s how Teekhii Chhurii came into existence,” recalls Pooja.
Now her goal is to breathe life into this dying art called Sanjhi and give it a modern twist, which will also inspire others to patronize this art form.
Pooja says, “My home is my studio and hence time and efforts are my major investments. But the more I work, in terms of making the products better by using high quality wooden frames, proper packaging etc. now my investment has grown into much more.
The idea of Teekhii Chhurii is a mirror of her love towards paper cutting. Pooja wanted to target Indian customers and hence was looking for a slightly offbeat or a “hatke” name. She adds, “I spent some time thinking about the name and one day while talking to my sister, this name suddenly struck me. Since I use a very sharp blade and knife for paper cutting, this name was apt (some also say Teekhii Chhurii, describes me). I love the name as it has a naughtiness that associates with me.”
The biggest challenge is letting people know what paper cuts are as they’re not easily available in the Indian market, people are not aware about it. Hence it’s a challenge reaching out to the right audience who’re interested in paper cuts.
“I’m trying to reach out to the people through various social media platforms like twitter, facebook, and so far the feedback has been very positive. Handling all the aspects of business like designing, cutting, marketing and sales is a real task, especially with little guidance,” mentions Pooja.
What makes Teekhii Chhurii so unique?
Pretty designs made from paper using a sharp blade, patience and lots of love makes paper cuts so unique. A single sheet of paper can be turned into a something so beautiful amazes a lot of people. The beauty of Paper cuts is that they can all be customized and every design is different from the other. The USP is to own an art piece that is not found just anywhere. These paper cuts are painstakingly hand cut and are not laser cuts or prints or paintings.
Sourcing of raw materials& products
Apart from regular designs, Pooja also dabbles in commissioned (personalized) paper cuts, where you can express yourself through the paper. So if you’re looking for unusual presents, house warming, wedding, anniversary, or for “people who have everything”, these unique hand-cut paper cut pictures may well be just the thing! Paper is traditionally a first anniversary gift and since Pooja uses archival quality paper, which she buys from a paper importer, the quality of her work stands out even more!
If you’d like to pick up one of her gorgeous creations and wondering how, this is what Pooja has to say “As each piece is unique, I price (starting from Rs. 2,500 onwards) my products based on the size, intricacy, and time spent in making each papercut. You can buy them from my e-store or message me on my facebook page regarding your requirements and I will do the rest for you.”
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