In the age of fast fashion, it’s always refreshing to come across people who are trying to pay their necessary dues to the rich culture and traditions of India. And Yosha Gupta is one such example, who started ‘Memeraki’, a stop that acts as an umbrella to get hand-painted bags with an artistic touch.
Recalling her roots, Yosha, who comes from Aligarh and is a Hong Kong-based entrepreneur, remembers how she got inclined towards art. “Since my childhood, I was surrounded by art; be it school or my mother who created her own style with charcoal paintings of Khajuraho. But, the idea to turn it into Memeraki happened recently,” says Yosha whose family is full of entrepreneurs, “be it my father or brother”.
However, Yosha was a bit sceptical about becoming an entrepreneur because she saw her father struggling a lot, and how he found success in his business only after he was 60. Hence, she chose the standard corporate route. “But, then, slowly, I decided at some point I want to do something of my own. So, 13 years ago I joined the start-up PayMet, which was the first way of payment start-ups. This is where it began. I was inspired by creative work, so from my jewellery to bags, everything was hand-painted by Indian folk artists,” she adds.She still remembers how everyone was astonished when she carried a hand painted Gucci handbag and “that pushed me to take this forward”. Everything started from there and rest is history.
Creatively pushing the boundaries of the age-old art and reviving it along with artists from across the country is what the 37-year-old entrepreneur does best. “The idea was not to follow fashion trend but to promote the folk art and the creative artists who narrate stories through their art. We are just the medium,” she adds.The team, coming from the grass roots and big cities, focusses on several styles such as Kalamkari, Madhubani, Assamese scroll, and Gond. Last year, artist Sai Kiran contributed his work of a Cheriyal scroll. So, if you are one of the creative souls, who aspires to be a ray of hope to preserve the lost art forms or are looking for an artistic vibe, this is your stop.
To shop or to get a bit of gyaan about folk art to music, access www.memeraki.com.