Indian culture is flooded with the materialism of the west. Everywhere one sees the influence of the west woven into our products, food and behaviour. Here is a sister duo who did the exact opposite.
They wove Marathi nostalgia into contemporary fashion and called it AATHAVAN…Memories from Maharashtra.
SHRUTI GULAVANI & PREETI DEO’s childhood has inspired this curious range that will take you down the memory lane. These products are handmade and make an ideal gift item. They are a hit amongst adults who would love to reminisce their past. Each item reflects the spirit and soul of Maharashtra. Shruti is based in Mumbai while Preeti is in the UK. They spend hours researching, planning and designing these unique items to bring them to you. Read on to know more.
What is AATHAVAN?
Aathavan or Memories… is yearning for the past. We want people to take a trip down their memory lane with us. Anyone who has been in Maharashtra during their early years will identify with the items that we have created. It is our endeavour to stir those memories as we give them a creative twist.
Tell us something about the product range.
So far, we have traditional khun fabric (beautiful brocade with silk on cotton) in the form of neckpieces, cushion covers, table runners and jackets. Humble panche (cotton towels) have also been used to create light jackets and stoles. We have a unique dollhouse concept in the scaled down version of book ends. Each of our creation acts as a metaphor for Marathi experience. Our godhadi (quilt) Gola-phuli (knots and crosses) conveys the love and care put together in a family.
Why did you think of bringing AATHAVAN to us?
Preeti and I are two completely different personalities. She is traditional and I am contemporary. Our equation has always created the most unique things. As a hobby, we tried combining our creativity with our individual styles. We first started creating various accessories including jewellery, jackets, stoles etc. Many of our friends and relatives liked our creations and we thought of sharing this with more like-minded people. This is how the concept of AATHAVAN was born.
We believe in: ‘Don’t tell people your dreams; show them’ – Paulo Coelho
How do you think it will make a difference in people’s life?
Indian culture has its ancient clothing culture and emerging sense of contemporary fashion. Post-2000, there has been a significant exposure to different types of fashion around the world. This exposure to global fashion gives us the opportunity to retain our culture and weave AATHAVAN in unique styles for today’s world. We believe that our style will appeal all the generations. The Fashion industry is a good place where you can express our creativity and passion and use this platform to connect like-minded people and also share our traditions in a more contemporary style. We look forward to that as we broaden our horizons with this venture.
How has the response been so far?
Amazing! We have experienced great interests from many people around the world. Our products have made their way to families across India, UK as well as in the USA.
What is your vision for Aathvan?
We want people to stay connected with our tradition and our roots while we grow and evolve globally in our respective fields. This is a piece of our tradition, art and culture that we would like people to remember where ever they are in the world and through whatever passion they pursue in their lives.
Any moment that touched you in a special way?
Our Bhatukli book-ends were handed over by an aunt in the USA to her beloved niece in the UK conveying her love towards her. The niece’s love for the books and the aunts’ love for bhatukli put together was a unique emotion for us. Our products are offering an experience of one generation to the other in the form of gifts. We felt we are on the right track when this happened.
Dear Readers, What are your thoughts about nostalgia? Did AATHAVAN bring back memories? Do let me know in the comment section. Do share this blog post if it touched your heart as well.
– As told to Mayura Amarkant
I know Shruti Gulavani for over 15 years now. Our husbands are MBA batchmates and we have shared several evenings of fun, laughter and chatter together. What I love the most about Shruti is a passion towards her work and her dedication towards her family. She is an entrepreneur, fabulous mother, great daughter-in-law and a gifted Interior Designer and Architect. She is also a homemaker, wife and an artist. She has been efficiently juggling between roles while lending her creativity to homes, offices and other spaces. She loves experimenting with art and has been presenting her Mumbai home’s Ganeshotsav in a unique manner, each year.
Preeti, on the other hand, is a mother and special educator who lives and works in the United Kingdom. She loves reading, experimenting designs, cooking Marathi recipes and blogs regularly.
So, all in all, they are two sisters, one living here (in Mumbai), the other living there (in UK) sharing a common dream of AATHAVAN…Memories from Maharashtra.
This is the seventh post in the #DilSe series. Here are the rest: