Me Meraki’s limited edition designer bags celebrate India's rich folk art traditions
A Hong Kong-based entrepreneur, Yosha Gupta’s earliest memory connected to the indigenous art practices is associated with people bargaining over the price of artworks. Having made a mark in the corporate world with LafaLafa—an e-coupon aggregator platform which was chosen for Silicon Valley’s angel investor Dave McClure’s accelerator programme—this 34-year-old is finally acting on her passion for promoting India’s rich folk heritage. With her month-old limited edition bags featuring hand painted folk art, selling out like hotcakes within a matter of days, Yosha’s Me Meraki is already making waves in the country’s e-commerce space.“My main exposure to the arts is through my mother. She’s a fabulous artist and has created a style of her own with charcoal paintings of Khajuraho,” begins the finance professional, who hails from an Aligarh-based family of entrepreneurs. Referring to her endeavour as an art-based project, Yosha explains that it has never been about following fashion or setting trends. “This is my way of promoting folk art. The bags are just a medium. Hopefully, when people get more acquainted with folk art and the beautiful stories around it, they will start buying paintings too,” she elaborates.
Mind the detail
While her debut collection featured premium quality cow leather sourced from China and India, Yosha’s upcoming ensemble will feature tote bags made of locally sourced eco-leather. “We have also used beautiful ikat textiles as the lining inside the bags,” she adds. With a team of 30 artisans diligently working to ensure the intricacy of detailings, Yosha’s Pattachira-based team focusses on several folk styles such as kalamkari, warli, thangka, Assamese scroll, madhubani and gond. The motifs here can be anything ranging from standard madhubani fish figures to Hong Kong’s skyline rendered in ikat weaves, combined with an option of customisation. With her patronage sprawling across countries ranging from Canada to Japan, Yosha’s Fair Trade oriented brand is also working on public art projects in order to get artists to other countries for the purpose of training, exposure and recognition. “In the near future, I am looking forward to more of theme-oriented collections like our latest one, Manu and The Fish, a collaborative project in association with Mytha, a mythology app,” says Yosha signing off.
Bags from `14,950. Details:memeraki.com