Women's accomplishments to the history of ceramics have long been overlooked. Introducing NITARA, a prolonged fascination in ceramics led to the creation of this enterprise. Nitara is the brainchild of Karishma who is a fashion design graduate. It's a ceramics-focused design studio at the moment. They design statement pieces with minimal aesthetic. Local artists in and around Calcutta handcraft each piece that bears their name. These are local potters, metal-smiths and glass workers who have been in the same trade for generations. They believe in sustainable development and fair trade. They are delighted to claim that their packaging is plastic-free, having discovered paper alternatives to bubble wrap. Nitara strives to make one-of-a-kind pieces that aren't seasonal and may endure a long time when properly cared for.
Karishma has always been fascinated by ceramics, she would find herself scrolling for hours on Pinterest looking at ceramic pieces which were clean, minimal and undeniably European. Moreover, the fact that we couldn't witness a lot of them in the Indian market encouraged her more to start this brand.
In this digital era where everything is over social media platforms such as instagram, it has become a major place for marketing for everyone especially businesses, it provides a free platform to share and interact with the clients. Everything has its pros and cons; according to Karishma one of the biggest challenges for her business is completely relying on instagram for brand’s success, because that's how they reach out to new people, stay in touch with existing ones, and reach out to new folks. Sales are greater when the page's engagement is high, but it's disheartening to see how reliant we are on the algorithm during the low reach phase.
The challenges don't end here being a woman paves the way to even more challenges in this patriarchal society. “Oftentimes when I work with older men, I am not taken as seriously, whether it's because I am a woman, or a small business owner, that's hard to tell though. I still get asked from "well meaning" relatives what I do, and when I try to explain, all they want to know is whether I am keeping busy or not, and when I'll get married. I feel it is an uphill battle to be taken seriously, but I have a lot of people close to me who believe in me and that to me makes up for the dated opinions of a few."
Karishma states that working for herself is all she imagined and more “I like knowing that my successes are because of my hard work, and my failures are because of my own decision. It's freeing to know that Nitara is a reflection of me, of what I do and that every little decision that has any sort of an impact was made by me. Additionally I sometimes (very rarely, but enough for it to matter) get messages from people who say that they started doing what they love after seeing my work. That feeling is better than anything else I could imagine. That makes me the happiest! :)”
Nitara meticulously handcrafts each ceramic and sends it to you with the same affection, enough that you won't be disappointed by its exclusivity and beauty. Shop here- https://www.shopnitara.com/
- Karishma Kajaria in conversation with Dhanushya