In an exclusive interview with NewsX under its special segment NewsX India A-List, Richa Rajya Lakshmi, founder of ‘Chitranjani’ talked about her brand, its values, and its commitment towards supporting a cause.
Talking about the conceptualization of the brand, Richa said that the main hand block prints are the main element of the brand. She said, ”My mother used to make these hand block prints and hence I really feel connected to it. it connects me directly to my home and I have a nostalgic feeling attached to it. It defines comfort for me, so even when I am selling these products, my mind often goes back to the memory attached to it.”
As someone who has worked in corporate sectors and has gained hands-on experience in the textile industry and design, Richa talks about the time when she used to work for an export house and how it further motivated her to start her own brand. She said, ”When I was working there as a production manager in an export house, I used to deal with a lot of buyers who would come from different places and countries and that’s where I learned about different types of fabrics, color patterns, and techniques and I realized that I wouldn’t have learned this much if I hadn’t talked to these people. I personally believe that there is a lot of scope for growth when you are working.”
Sharing her personal story behind formulating a brand that stands for a cause, Richa stated that her company is named after her sister ‘Chitranjani’ who is hearing impaired since birth. ”I have a very close connection with these people as I had someone in my own family and I have an immense feeling for these people. My sister used to go to this school which at that time was the only school in Lucknow for hearing-impaired kids and I started supporting the school in which she was studying and then eventually I decided that I will connect my brand with a cause that everything that you purchase from my brand, a large portion of the same will go towards the upliftment of these people,” added Richa.
Speaking about how Chitranjani is different from the other brands functioning presently in the market, Richa expressed, ”Anyone who is using hand block print will kind of end up creating similar products. However, one thing which sets us apart is the quality of our products. many people might assume that just because our brand supports a cause, it might lack in quality as I have seen many NGOs who do this. but that’s not the case with our brand. We really focus on the quality of the fabric. I do not want to compromise on the quality, I want my customers to feel satisfied with every purchase that they make.”
Talking about the latest trends, the value of the work done by artisans, and the impact of covid-19 on these small businesses, Richa said that the country has although lost touch with its authentic belongings but she is hopeful that it is coming back in a steady manner.”I believe that there will always be support for local businesses and artisans in the country. if you look at history, the buildings that are turned into hotels were all the work of artisans and local workers,” said Richa. She also said that the artisans in her company, who worked on daily wages really suffered during the pandemic resulting in which the chain of the work got perturbed and her businesses, just like many others also got affected.
On a parting note, she shared the plans of the future for her brand. ”My future plan would be to get into export and expand the possibilities further. I want people from other places and countries to notice my work and introduce them to artisans who have been doing most of the work in my brand. I am also planning to get into touch with design universities in India so that artisans can get to interact with the budding students of art and design and would directly learn from the experts,” added Richa.