A popular quote goes,
“You can be a good mother and still follow your dreams. You totally can, if you so desire”.
In our #FridayFeature this week, we’re proud to present one of our #WonderWomen, who is a full-time mom but also someone who didn’t give up on her work versatility just because she became a parent. Meet Jewellery Designer and Handicrafts Stylist, Ridhi Shah Kamdar, who juggles it all, and quite efficiently so.
How does she balance it out between her homely duties and such multiple creative fields of work? Let’s hear it in her own words:
I was born and raised in a small town (Surat). Therefore, commuting from one place to another was never something of a challenge. A kick start to my moped or a turn of the car key and I would be where I wanted to be, within a few minutes. So, moving to Bombay after marriage wasn’t just about a change in my marital status; it was also about learning and adjusting to the daily grind. The hustle became more challenging when I became a mother. The commute time was cutting valuable time off from my responsibilities as a mother and a wife. I left my job because it became too much to handle, and it was becoming burdensome not just for me, but for all those around me as well. We also came to realize that how much ever we tried, leaving a growing child without a mother, even for a few hours every day, was not something we wanted to do. And so, for the first time since I became an adult, motherhood became my only job. The first two years kept my hands and mind full. But once was my daughter turned two, I had time on my hand. Working as a Jewellery Designer for many years, the creative bug in me which had lain dormant for two years, finally got the better of me. I started toying with ideas to keep myself engaged and get my creative juices flowing again. That’s when I started making hand painted diyas. After this, I began experimenting my creativity with many other fancy diyas & rangolis for festive use and home decor. A mother is never off-duty and that is something I only came to understand once I myself became a mother. The biggest challenge when I started off with ThehappynessCo was juggling between managing my 2-year-old kid along with procurement, idea generation and execution of all the handicrafts. Another challenge alongside this was the procurement of the raw materials for making the diyas and rangolis. The final handmade product that any handicraft designer sells, is the result of hours of hunting at multiple places, alongside their own research and creative brainstorming. I came to appreciate and admire this when I too had to explore the by lanes of Bombay for hours and days at end, before I could sit at home and finally start making the end products.
My husband and my father-in-law were and still continue to be a huge support in this. Right before my first two exhibitions, they too pitched in hours of labour as they replicated my original designs on to other diyas and rangolis of the same type. We created the first batch of 1000 diyas and rangolis and the response from our social circle was very encouraging. This fuelled me to take it one step ahead and we decided to showcase my designs at multiple exhibitions in Mumbai & Surat. To my tremendous and pleasurable surprise, the products were very well received as people had never before come across such handcrafted diyas and rangolis. Besides the overwhelming response at these exhibitions, my Facebook page with just few updates garnered over 1,200 followers from complete strangers in just a couple of months. When someone who has never met me, doesn’t even know my name, but simply appreciates my products and creativity; it gives me a sense of satisfaction and motivation like nothing else ever can. It makes me believe in myself and I mentally pat myself on the back for coming this far and not giving up on what I like, despite and against all odds. It has been a roller coaster ride over the past few months as something that started-off simply as a passive home-activity turned into a business venture. However, this is just the beginning because I started making these diyas and rangolis as recently as August 2018. Hence, the future is still full of artistic and growing possibilities and going forward I would love to scale-up both creatively & commercially. On most days, I have no idea how I’ll do it. However, I continue doing one task at a time, be it professional tasks like designing my products and looking into business inquiries, or homely responsibilities like taking care of my daughter’s needs and finishing the household chores; and somehow by the time the day ends, most of these tasks do get checked off my to-do list. It is through the completion of each task that I draw motivation to get on to the next one and keep going till the end of the day. My takeaway and advice to anyone, men or women, single or married, and whether having children or not, would be to never underestimate one’s talent as it will find its way in the most unlikeliest of places.
You can follow Ridhi’s ethic home decor page through link below: