Many people like us search for inspiration all around the world. Only a few know that it is just around us. One of those is Niharika Choudhary (22) who found her inspiration around her home when she took part in a design competition in NIFT, New Delhi. In the contest, every student was assigned to show their creativity. She was the winner in handicraft product design category. It ignited her passion to explore more design ideas and start a product exhibition. Peeli Dori
Niharika says, “It was Basant Panchami when the exhibition was scheduled – perfect day for yellow color and for new beginnings and hope.” She soon decided to promote her products in public by launching Peeli Dori, an online store. Peeli stands for Yellow color and Dori stands for a bond she has ever wanted to build with her products.
Peeli Dori is a newly-launched startup. Since 2015, it is a lifestyle brand inspired by the Indian traditions and aesthetics. It connects rural artisans to the urban market and helps to develop their skills in modern design. The brand offers Indo-Chic lifestyle products which cover home décor, apparel, and furnishings. Followed by a great success of ecommerce site, Peeli Dori has opened its first concept store located at Shahpur Jat, Delhi, in August this year 2017.
Peeli Dori’s style is defined as “an untouched raw aesthetics meeting a contemporary language” by her. She elaborates, “We are aimed to create a lifestyle matched with Indian crafts while keeping the prenotion aside that Indian crafts can never be stylish in this day and age. It helps Indian heritage stands out which has narrated in different forms.”
Peeli Dori associates with self-help groups (SHG) and artisans to craft unique designs and collections of lifestyle apparels and products. Niharika added, “We have encouraged artisans to come forward and get recognition.” Being a sole founder, Niharika worked with up to 200 skilled craftsmen and has 10 people in team. She says, “Our craftsmen in different places and in various clusters are our pillars of strength. They connect us to our culture and heritage.”
Peeli Dori is a profit-sharing model which bootstrapped so far with the artisans and shares a percentage of company profits with them so they have equal responsibility and involvement for the product. All Peeli Dori products come with a tag which tells the story of artisan who made it. It gives due recognition to them.
According to Niharika, her business is scalable if one considers the popularity and diversity of crafts in the market. But according to her, it is a challenge to make an entry and sustain a well-organized business in a much unorganized sector. She added, “Indians are too attached to their work. We should build trust with them by ensuring transparency and by introducing them to the market where their product has huge demand.”
On per month basis, Peeli Dori has seen growth 10% with average sales per month in their offline store is starting from Rs. 90000 to Rs. 1,00,000 and in online store ranging from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 60,000. The mandate of Peeli Dori lies in its sustainability. The products completely blend traditional techniques with modern designs, be it home furnishing or clothing. According to Niharika, one thing that keeps them ahead is that they are telling a story of handicraft in a very unique way by transforming its face completely.
The artifact sector has over 67000 export houses and over 7 million artisans, making it one of the diversified sectors in India in creating job opportunities. But it is a bit unorganized and most of the artisans belong mostly to the weaker sections and work in remotest areas of India. They need proper training, improvement, and access to markets.
Several leading players like Mother Earth, Fabindia, and Dastkar have been working really well to preserve such kind of rural crafts. There are still some endless and smaller initiatives like IVEI flourishing and growing across the country. For example, Sujani Looms is trying hard to restore the 150-year-old near-extinction art of weaving Sujani in Bharuch by entering into the world of home décor. Peeli Dori will work with more craftsmen to provide this indigenous art in a modern product line in future.