My Kolkata caught up with a few 20-something artists-turned-entrepreneurs, who are single-handedly (and rather successfully!) creating resin products and making small businesses out of their passion.
For Pratyashaa Paul, there was no room for doubt when it came to the kind of resin products she would make. As someone who enjoys the genre herself, she says, “I always knew that I had to make K-pop items. The colours, the music, the words, the people, they are my inspiration in daily life so I knew that I would make K-pop merch right from the beginning.”
This 21-year-old artist started her very own merchandise business back in 2019, giving India one of its first ever K-pop based resin stores. Even after the onset of the pandemic, sales have thus far remained fairly constant. Part of it, she reasons, could be because K-pop always maintains a certain popularity among young crowds.
Resin products use a chemical compound which is a mix of epoxy resin and hardener and Pratyashaa repeatedly emphasises the need to use good quality PPE equipment before handling resin. It is important that the resin be left undisturbed for 24 hours in order to let it cure and set into the mould. The whole process takes around five to eight days depending on the product.
Currently handling everything by herself, Pratyashaa has an official website for her store, www.moonchildcharms.com. She opens up customisations for the charms and jewellery, for a few days every month, during which she accepts orders via her Instagram handle.
“Hayaal means dreams,” says Aneesa Parvin, as she tells My Kolkata the story behind the name for her brand. When this 20-year-old started selling resin jewellery, she decided to pick a name from the Turkish language, owing to her love and fascination for it.
Aneesa discovered resin art during her weekly explorations into health and wellness videos on YouTube. After two months of research, planning and experimenting, she finally launched her store towards the end of February. “The response has been overwhelming right from the beginning. There has not been a single week that I was sitting idle, without orders,” she says. As of now, she sometimes processes as many as 20 orders a week.
Making the products is not always a seamless process. For instance, during the rainy season, owing to the moisture in the air, resin takes significantly longer to cure, thereby slowing things down. Aneesa runs a one-woman show as of now, but believes that very soon, she may require some help, especially with social media and product photography.
For Aneesa, despite pressing academic demands, slowing down is not on the cards. Instead, she plans to acquire the necessary skills required to upscale. “Sometimes it has been really difficult, but not even once did I ever think about stopping or putting the business on hold,” she said.
Aside from a wide range of resin products, Hayaal also boasts of a collection of vibrant hued scrunchies .Currently she operates her store from Instagram and accepts all orders via DMs.
Twenty-year-old Meghma Banerjee, founder of Khwabeeda, ventured into the world of resin sometime around the latter half of 2020. With the pandemic slowing down classes and forcing her indoors, she wanted to be able to earn her own pocket money while also learning something new. “I needed to channel my creativity somehow,” she says.
In the beginning of 2020, with no more than 10 resin artists in India, acquiring the materials was an expensive affair, often requiring international shipping. As more and more resin art businesses cropped up, the prices went down and now, almost all the necessary items can be procured online at reasonable rates. Talking about the increasing popularity of resin products, Meghma says, “The pandemic left us with a lot of free time. So, many people thought of learning something new and making a profit out of it.”
When the lockdown restrictions had been lifted for a while last year, Meghma conducted workshops and participated in pop-up sales. For her, there is nothing better than one-to-one interaction with customers. “Resin art has become popular, that’s for sure, but a lot of people still don’t know about it. I look forward to introducing them to it,” she says.
In the event of the pandemic blowing over and college reopening, Meghma has no intention of closing her store. As of now, she accepts orders (both custom and otherwise) via Instagram DMs.
Here’s your chance to brighten up the gloom of the pandemic with some glow and sparkle!