John Wilson said,
“In a world where news of inhumanity bombards our sensibilities, where grasping for things goes so far beyond our needs, where time is squandered in busyness, it is a pleasure and a privilege to pause for a look at handiwork, to see beauty amidst utility, and to know that craft traditions begun so long ago serve us today.”
In our #FridayFeature blog focusing on the #WonderWomen segment, we present a woman who believes in making everything around her beautiful through her creativity and artistic skills. Meet, Barkha Gagan, who is a Software Engineer by qualification as well as profession, but is also an Artisan of Handmade Items. She does a day job as a software engineer and alongside that also runs a venture by the name SassyArtStore where one can find ample variety of handmade stuff right from candles and other home décor items, to dessert items like cookies and chocolates. How does she juggle between two such varied professions and from where does she draw the motivation to do them? Let’s find out in her own words.
“As a child, my parents always encouraged me to attend creative workshops and classes which made me grow a strong interest in creating artwork that added so much to our home spaces. It also made me develop a knack of handmade gifting which kept growing as I grew older. The challenge in India is mainly about creating an awareness and appreciation about handmade products.
Here, handmade gifts are not as popular as other forms. Taking my artwork to a larger audience is one of the struggles I face even today. The other major concern is managing time, I have a day job and getting time for my artwork gets difficult sometimes. Initially, my artwork was limited to a tiny circle of mostly friends and families, I never thought of spreading it further. But the kind of love and appreciation I used to get made me realize that it would be worth taking the effort to grow my audience.
So, I took the help of Social Media to spread my work beyond my existing clientele and when I got my first invitation to set up a tiny little shop in my office space, it really gave me the confidence I needed and it also changed my perspective of how people truly love handmade products. The creative circle I have formed around me continuously motivates me to experiment with new products and learn new techniques.The bigger motivation is the love I receive from clients who order my products. The uniqueness of a handmade product brings very satisfying and positive feedback and smiles on faces which really motivates me to keep going. I was in school when I made my first candle, my first home decor golden leaf centrepiece tree and my first handmade card. From there till now, it has been a journey of self-growth and innovation.
Ever since then, I have grown in my techniques and variety of products. The major milestone for me, personally, has been the two major exhibitions of my hand made candles I have had during Diwali 2019. These exhibitions helped me deliver more than 200 candles to homes near and far. The future plan? Well, I have always envisioned creating more beautiful products all my life.
So, SassyArtStore is like my breathing space which helps me live my dream every single day. I deeply desire to have my own fully functioning website to have all of my artwork available to the world. In today’s age and era, gifting someone is a special and kind event. On top of that, if that gift is handmade and is able to express the gifters’ expressions, it adds so much more love and fondness.
Running SassArtStore for a couple of years now, I have learned that nothing can beat a special, expressive handmade gift. The love it carries, the affection it borrows – is truly out of the world.
This love and affection drive me every day to try to make my work better and every product I make helps me learn more about my techniques, audiences, and process of heartfelt gifting.
“I would like to encourage every individual to try to achieve their dreams big or small and always try and take those small and big steps that can take them further. Trust your instincts and give your best. “
To drop in a message to Barkha, to have a look at her varied handmade items, and to inquire or buy one or more of her amazing handmade gifts, follow the links below: