New Delhi-based product designer Sahrish Kazmi talks about the excitement of starting her dream venture, The Orange Sand.
When Bob Dylan croons, “May you be forever young…” in his ever-rustic voice, it hits a cord with everyone who hears it, young and old. It’s not so much about the age of a person as it is about the spirit of youth. It’s about the fearless, free-wheeling, ever hopeful child who is full of dreams… one who should not leave us, no matter how old we get. Embodying this spirit is the 24-year-old New Delhi-based product designer, Sahrish Kazmi. Even though she boasts of a masters in Fashion Retail Management from Pearl Academy in the capital, her leanings were always more creative. It started with decorating and redecorating her room time and again, which eventually, and rather naturally, extended to the living room. And now, she is the proud founder of the up-and-coming furnishings label, The Orange Sand.
But Sahrish, born into a business family, imbibed all the necessary tricks of the trade from her businessman father. That, combined with a coveted internship with New Delhi-based interior designer Punit Jasuja, gave her all the leverage she required to come into her own. It was during this internship that she understood the nuances of spaces and decor and several techniques that she has now adopted into her work at The Orange Sand.Most of the collections are inspired by ethnic cultures such as Mughal art and architecture, Rajasthani art, Moroccan art, Suzani work and softer vintage motifs that are evergreen in their appeal. Even though The Orange Sand is still in its nascent stages, it has garnered a lot of response, especially from the expat community living in New Delhi. This, of course, will go a long way in creating her customer base.
Being a novice comes with the advantage of having a feeling that one can conquer the greatest of challenges. Such is the attitude that Sahrish goes forth with. With a lean team of three permanent staff members and a handful of interns from her alma mater, Pearl Academy, each one of the members are involved in every stage of creating beautiful furnishings — from designing to manufacturing to sales — even if that means that she spends most of her time travelling to Gujarat to source Mashru silk, to Jaipur for cotton or that she gets her hands dirty while block-printing her fabrics, which later take the form of gorgeous dohars, quilts, cushion covers, pillows and so much more. What makes her products stand out among the hoards of others that exist? “All of our furnishings are made with 100 per cent organic silk and cotton,” she explains. Sahrish, with such eco-conscious work, is on her way to define what her entire generation is beginning to stand for… do everything you love, but do it with a conscience. Her work is vivid and vibrant and is meant to make you stop dead in your tracks and take notice. “My personal favourites are the Mughal and the Moroccan collections. They’re very eye-catching and were also my greatest challenge,” she explains.
The techniques The Orange Sand employs are traditional — block-printing, hand embroidery, Suzani etc — but the results are surprisingly contemporary and chic. Quirky, pop motifs and a whole of kitsch make her collections both fun and evocative in the same instant. The Orange Sand’s collections are available on www.indianroots.com and soon hope to find a cosy spot on the most popular online portals and multi-brand retail spaces such as Pernia’s Pop Up Shop and Bungalow 8 in Mumbai. “I eventually want to have a store of my own, but right now I’m really happy with the way things are working out for us,” adds Sahrish. The Orange Sand has recently exhibited at Prikrama, a Diwali exhibition held at Worli, Mumbai and IGCC German House in New Delhi. Thanks to her gaining popularity and her creative juices that seem to be flowing with full gusto, she even has her friends and family coming to her for redecorating projects. With so much in her kitty already, we can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us!
Some more images…