From a pastry-like candle lighting up your room to a doughnut-shaped bathing soap — Fleakar, a pop-up hosted by Art Cart at The Ganges Art Gallery, showcased a wide range of products created by 12 young entrepreneurs.
Aromatic candles and soaps, quirky stationery and trinkets, and sustainable apparel had visitors spoilt for choice at the two-day pop-up from March 12.
Edugraph caught up with some of the creative minds behind the start-ups
Assorted candles. Instagram
I started Lucee’s Art Shop in February 2022. I was very young when my parents took me to a herbal products shop, Pondicherry, which had candles and essential oils. The shopkeeper had said that the fragrance of lavender is very good for stress. I brought some home and started adding them to candles. I also love food. So, I combined both my loves and designed candles that look like food items. It’s nerve-wracking to be in a pop-up. People may not comment on your posts online but at a pop-up, people are right in front of you and will comment on your products.
— Sinjory Bose, second year, MA, Modern History, Calcutta University
Debnandini with her upcycled apparel. Soham Naha
My lifestyle brand Chique It Up is all about upcycling clothes. I started it in May 2021. I had so many clothes that I wanted to give away. I sell dresses, shirts, tops. My best-selling products are usually cami tops. Also, clothes don’t have any gender but people think it is a very gendered way of dressing up. My clothes are gender-inclusive. You can wear it and flaunt it in any way you want.
— Debnandini Bal, second year, BA, Sociology, Jadavpur University
Artworks by Priyamneel. Instagram
I started an art brand, Badcanvas.exe in 2021. I mostly create dark aesthetics and symbolic art using software such as Illustrator and Photoshop. This is the first time I have launched clay fridge magnets and trays. I have been practising art for almost four years now. I focus on digital art but I also love traditional hand-drawn ones. Some of my artworks include the illustrated beetle, down the hippie trail, modern art, and ritual.
— Priyamneel Sen, third year, Applied Arts and Fine Arts, Amity University
I bake cookies and sell them under a start-up name Tsuki Cookie. I learnt baking when I was in school. When the pandemic hit and we all had to stay at home, I picked up baking again. Since then, I have been experimenting. I have baked lemon cookies, choco-chip cookies, unicorn vanilla cookies, and coffee bean cookies.
— Shreyoshi Choudhury, first year, Master’s in Psychology, Amity University Kolkata
A wide range of scented candles by Priyamneel and Shreyoshi. Instagram
Priyamneel and Shreyoshi together run Ukiyo, a wide range of candles with basic scents like lavender, eucalyptus, cinnamon, peppermint, geranium, cedarwood and a secret Japanese blend.
Hand-painted tote bag to bookmarks, products sold by Sweta. Soham Naha
I started Aurora of May in 2020. I had a knack for painting and making things with paper. So, I started with bookmarks and then expanded to tote bags and clay products. Everything I sell is hand-painted. It requires a lot of patience and I love that. I mostly work on themes like fictional characters and illustrations. I think interacting with people in person is very important, which is available during a physical pop-up.
— Sweta Dhar, 2021 graduate in Journalism and Mass Communication from Asutosh College
Painting by Sanchari. Instagram
I am trying to make my paintings more accessible in the form of stickers and prints through my brand Cat Loves Painting. I paint what I observe and I feel people can relate to it. Say, my cat paintings portray my feelings towards my cat. I have been painting for years now but I started selling them in January 2022.
— Sanchari Sinha, final year, BA, Fine Arts, Amity University Kolkata
Products sold by Ritama. Instagram
I started Craft by Tangerine in 2020 during the lockdown. I sell alternative jewellery, those with a hint of gothic and dark elements. I sell neckpieces, hand chains, and earrings. We have launched products like a scroll in a bottle pendant, which is selling like hotcakes. The gothic hand chains and glass heart necklaces are also popular.
— Ritama Mazumder, second year, Fashion Designing, National Institute of Fashion and Technology
Sagarika showcasing her brand Bumblebee at Art Cart pop-up. Instagram
My brand, Bumblebee, is all about posters, photographs, and Polaroids. I started off in November 2021. I design cards, logos and business cards. I also make notebooks, stamps, customisable sticky notes, posters, postcards, and pop sockets.
— Sagarika Pal, second year, Zoology, South Calcutta Girls College
Handmade items sold by Mayuri. Instagram
I started Jolphoring, an apparel brand, during the first lockdown. I try to incorporate Indian art, prints and fabrics such as Ajrakh, Indigo, Ikkat, while designing outfits like tops, dresses, kaftans and T-shirts. I also sell handmade earrings, rings, brooches and pendants. Home decor items like coasters, ashtrays, photo frames and wall hangings are also a part of Jolphoring.
— Mayuri Bhattacharjee, second year, BSc, Food Technology, Delhi University
Jewellery and stickers by Rupsa. Instagram
I started Venii Vidi Visa, a jewellery start-up in 2019. I try to keep my products pocket-friendly. Some of the popular items are charm pendants and hoops. I have also added different kinds of stickers to my product list. I started off with my own pocket money. When it comes to balancing work and studies, I manage it in a way so that it doesn’t hamper my studies.
— Rupsa Chanda, second year, Master’s, Geoinformatics, Symbiosis Institute of Geoinformatics, Pune
Soaps and lip balms sold by Namrata. Instagram
I started Dos Sistas in 2019. I wanted to bring out my creative side through soaps. My brand goes beyond the gender binary. I also sell lip scrubs, lip balms, donut soaps, whip soaps and travel size mini soaps. Pop-ups have made me punctual and taught me patience.
— Namrata Ghosh, second year, Journalism and Mass Communication, Shri Shikshayatan College
Notebooks and journals made Sanwayee and Subham. Soham Naha
Subham and I started Hukomukho’r Hijibiji in 2021. We sell handmade notebooks for journaling, writing, artwork and sketches. We wanted to add a touch of Bangaliana through our product aesthetics. We went to Shantiniketan, from where we discovered embroidery, fabrics and kantha stitch on notebooks. We also use batik print, shibori, and other indigenous fabric materials. We have recently expanded into Van Gogh designs on notebooks.
— Sanwayee Datta, second year, Psychology, Bethune College