Armed with a masters degree in Chemistry, Sowmya Lakshmi had no idea that her passion for arts would one day make her start a doll and jewellery business, called ‘Meows Collections’.
Sowmya says “Western culture has become very influential and has somewhat taken over our lives causing us to be less appreciative of our own culture and that’s why I make ethnic dolls”. If you look at any of her work, you will see that they emanate a strong ethnic flavour, be it her dolls or her jewelry, it’s all very traditional.
What’s in Store.
Meows make rubber dolls (can call Indian barbie dolls) and terra-cotta jewelry. Most of her dolls are cute couples who are made to dress in traditional Indian attires such as lungi & shawl, kurta & pajama for the men and traditional saris for the females. She makes both North Indian and South Indian themed dolls. She also heavily accessorizes them with chains, earrings, bracelets, anklets and maathapattis. She makes individual dolls as well such as her popular creation of infant Krishna placed in various avatars. She pays keen attention to details and most of her dolls are masterpieces. She mostly uses eco-friendly raw materials as well as recycling tailoring scraps for her dolls.
And, all her jewellery is completely handmade and she is proud of the fact that she uses no tools to make them. Sowmya loves her jewelry the most and especially the pieces from her ‘Tribute to India’ collection. She says “They are time consuming and require a great deal of patience but the end product is simply beautiful and any woman would want to wear it”.
She takes 3-4 days to make customized dolls and about 8-10 hours to make jewellery.
Up’s and Down’s
Sowmya says “Initially, I wouldn’t ask people for an advance and in fact ship them their order hastily, only to be duped by them”. A few such incidents showed her the need to take advances before starting out on an order, to ensure that such a situation does not arise again. Also, at the initial stage she found it tough to find customers as she was not too sure of how to market herself but Facebook saved her day and her fb page is now her main source of finding customers.
Sowmya considers herself lucky to have found such a big success in the field of art and having accomplished a great deal in a short span of time. “I loved the press coverage that I received for my brand, where popular dailies such as Indian express and The Hindu carried out my story as their cover story”. That helped her in spreading word about her brand and find new customers.
“Do something that you love, not caring about its outcome or popularity” is her advice for budding entrepreneurs.
In the past few years, there seems to have been a rise in doll collectors and is especially popular amongst Gollu (Navratri) enthusiasts who try and add a new doll to their collection every year. And if you are looking for the perfect one to add to your collection this year, then look no further than Meows Collections.