“Hi friends! I am Manisha Malhotra, from the capital of India, Delhi. I am very creative and hardworking. Since my childhood, I have been fascinated by the bright colors of handcrafted items. I loved the rich embroidery work done on the cushion covers and pillow shams made by my mother. Some of the credit also goes to my father, because my love of art came from him. He taught me basic drawing, painting, and sketching. Later on, when I completed my education and started working, I always wanted to have a place where I could experiment with my creativity, giving me bliss and positive vibes. Initially, I started decorating the interior of my own place with my artwork and creative furnishings. People showed appreciation for my work, which motivated me to work professionally.
“So, I decided to realize my dreams. I really didn’t have to work to master the design process. I think each one of us is born with some basic skills, which are polished with more exposure. In my case, I would say that my home and the surrounding world are full of art and beautiful things, which really motivates me.
“The raw beauty of hand block prints fascinates me the most. I started on my own with one assistant to help me. My mother also supported me immensely and still helps me in my work. We mostly work with beautiful hand block prints. Hand block print material is easily available in India, but getting the right quality material and design is not that easy. I design each product and select the fabric. I like to create fusions, like blending Indian fabrics with bohemian designs. The real challenge comes when you have to transform your imagination into a tangible product. Sometimes the material is not easily available and sometimes the final output does not meet your expectations, but I still enjoy these challenges.
“Some people from the local area also work for me on a consignment basis. These people have the required skills, but no work or platform. The qualities that I look for in my artisans are quality work, understanding, good coordination, and ability to meet the deadlines.
“I wish to expand my work so that others can receive the benefits of it. If I grow my business, this would not only help my artisans financially, but also give them the confidence to live proudly in our society. Working with me allows the local women to stay at home with their children and work at their own convenience. I wish to create employment for more women so that they can live with pride. I also dream that someday, I might be able to create an eco-shopping paradise in the hills surrounded by nature for the locals and tourists.”