Shrivant More has shifted gears and changed careers with amazing speed. The 26-year-old chartered accountant who was working with Ernst & Young in London came home to get married and ended up starting his own home products store. The result is Kaji at Garcha First Lane, a treasure trove of quirky home accessories. Creativity comes from within. If you have the flair, who needs degrees to design? asks More, shrugging off the fact that he doesnt have a design degree.
Aware of the demand for unusual stuff, More designs wacky products like chandeliers made of beer bottles, jewellery stands shaped like mannequins and digitally printed dustbins.
When More came back home in 2008 to get married he decided to renovate his own home here in the city. His friends and family were so impressed that he was flooded with requests to do up their homes. He finally figured that it might be a good idea to take up designing professionally.
Says More, Since I loved accessorising houses and always had a creative bent of mind, I was toying around with the idea of opening my own store. Thus Kaji was born in October this year. More is keeping his clientele exclusive and youre only allowed into the 600sq ft studio by appointment. Hes a bit of a one-man band he manages the store, is the interior designing consultant and also designs homes.
More draws inspiration from his travels. Hes quite the globetrotter, having travelled across Europe and US. While travelling, I am aware of my surroundings. Art and architecture worldwide have always inspired me and helps me keep innovation alive in my designs. While he handles the production entirely, his wife Devina helps him with creative ideas and research. Though his production unit is in Calcutta, his materials are sourced from all over the world including places like Japan, Hong Kong and New Delhi. More has big plans ahead. Hes planning to hold exhibitions in Jaipur, Chandigarh and Indore and also intends to export his products in near future.
According to More, people are very willing to experiment with their accessories. Whats more, he feels that Calcutta is a place where people are only too happy to pounce on anything new. They are open to defying conventions and are willing to try shocking colours, unusual materials and concepts when it comes to accessories.
Says More: Velvet is being used a lot. Bright colours, especially purple, are definitely in. People are playing around with unusual wall art and lighting to create a room with a difference. More believes accessories define the look of the house and hence likes to keep them unique.
He also feels that people are moving away from carved furniture to straight-line items. However, he feels what really works with Indians is a fine balance between the modern and a more old-fashioned look. Says More: Though I would still not go with completely straight-line furniture, I would sure perk things up with modern and quirky accessories.
Theres a distinct fun element in his product line, which offers a mix of vintage and pop art. Theres a lot of digitally printed stuff with retro images of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Elvis Presley to choose from. This includes funky cushions, handbags, trinket boxes, tissue boxes, wine boxes, bookcases, wall art and even dustbins.
The digitally printed trinket boxes embossed with prints of period movies and Hollywood stars, priced at Rs 3,200, are hot favourites. Explains More, These are basically plywood boxes with digitally printed vinyl pasted on them.
Kajis range of furniture includes leather poufs in bright metallic shades, digitally printed coffee tables and chests of drawers. You can also pick from a range of colourful quilts, starting from Rs 4,500 per piece and even silk cushions, embellished with stones, sequins, embroidery or digital prints, starting at Rs 450 per piece.
Look out for unusual knick-knacks like the funky hand-shaped hooks in bright colours priced at Rs 2,100 for a set of three or quirky coasters with funny one-liners, priced at Rs 550 for a set of six. He is also recycling products and making designer items out of them like a chandelier made of beer bottles and photo frames made of recycled magazine paper. Another eye-catcher is a jewellery stand shaped like a mannequin, priced at Rs 2,300. So if different is what you want, you could definitely give Kaji a thought.
Photographs by Pabitra Das