Through her Bangalore-based Studio Moya, Rashmi Singh is working on bringing relevance to traditional crafts even while helping to empower the craftspeople
Where did your design journey begin?
RS: I have always believed in destiny and it definitely was my destiny to be a designer! Coming from a place where the word ‘fashion’ was synonymous to being sparsely clothed and uncultured, and a family where anything less than a doctor or engineer was beyond acceptance, I had my share of blocks when it came to convincing them about a career in design. I was born into a conservative family in Patna, and landing up at NID (where I pursued a Post Graduate program in Apparel Design and Merchandising) was a huge culture shift for me. I fought my battle with the self and passed out with good grades, thanks to an amazing bunch of friends who helped me evolve.
Design for me has always been a way of life; it’s something that comes very naturally to me. I believe a formal education can only teach you the process and the technical know how to help connect the dots. It is about finding the need and engaging in problem-solving, be it in everyday life or professionally. In my work I always look for sustainable, organic solutions without taking away its character.
What is the story behind Studio Moya?
RS: In 2006 when I passed out from college, the design world was not yet so evolved - there were very few names and brands that offered good job profiles and salaries. Luckily, I was shortlisted by Arvind Brands and I had to make a choice to pursue my passion or take a job. Of course I took up the job. It gave me the confidence and exposure to build things on my own later. After working for five years, I quit my job as a Design Manager for Louis Philippe and went on to do everything I loved doing!
In 2010, I launched a very specialized health food catering outfit called Homespoon. I had to close it down after a year and a half because of severe health issues and because I had someone more important to care for, my son. Life is full of surprises and I believe in them. My son gave me a lot of time to be at home and the time to think who and where I wanted to be. Where does my heart belong? And there, in those thoughts I found Moya…
My love for indigenous crafts and artisanal products often had me traveling to clusters for some freelance projects with NGOs and individuals. I always felt crafts had the power to evoke, be distinctive and reconstitute, and narrate a story without words. Our crafts history dates back to several millennia, originating out of various needs and using natural resources available. With industrialization, these crafts and craftspeople lost their relevance as they could not cater to the contemporary needs of the competitive markets. The crafts could not evolve as we did. Clearly there was a need…
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