Granny rocks with heavy metal

Around 30 years ago, creating home decor was just a hobby for Mary John. Now, the 85-year-old entrepreneur runs home decor store Iron Monger along with her daughter
Image used for representational purposes only
Image used for representational purposes only

What goes as decor in your house plays a crucial role in enhancing the beauty of an enclosed space. From hand-picking the right furniture to selecting the knick-knacks and even table lamps is a crucial decision that can bring elegance and comfort to your humble abode.

Catering more to a rustic style interior is Kochi-based decor store Iron Monger. The handcrafted items made exclusively from wrought iron and wood can spruce up any nook and corner of a room. The store run by 85-year-old Mary John, along with her daughter Anu Abraham, is a delight for those who love fresh and light aesthetics.

Around 30 years ago, it was just a hobby for Mary to create home decor pieces. “Since childhood, I had an affinity towards handcrafted items. My husband used to run a construction and piling business, so the material was quite familiar to me. I decided to create home decor because the workers at the site were quite artistic, and they could recreate the designs I had in mind. The same workers are with us even now,” says Mary.

Initially, she created iron-based items for her house. Later, she began selling in limited numbers as per demand — pot stands, curtain rods and brackets, kitchen shelves and racks. As years passed, the products started gaining traction through word of mouth.

“We started the store just two years ago. I’m actively involved in the ideation and production process. After my daughter joined the business, Iron Monger has become familiar with the social media space,” says Mary.

Now, it is nothing short of a haven for decor enthusiasts, with items ranging from cage mirrors, metal-based plants, coasters, abstract figurines, wall decors, nameplates and more. “These days, there are a lot of home decor stores online as well. We try to stand out from the rest by customising iron or wood-based products to our capacity. Also, we try to upcycle any residue material to a usable product. Nothing is a waste at Iron Monger,”  says Anu, who is also a chartered accountant.

With the Christmas season around the corner, decors are finally back in demand. Decor pieces made of iron, wood, and cane — Christmas trees, angel hangings, mangers, candles, metallic boards with Bible verses, door wreaths, etc — have many takers.

“This year, the demand has been more for wooden-based Christmas trees. People are finding that more feasible over plastic trees, which cost over 10k in the market,” adds Anu. Iron Monger currently offers an exclusive Christmas sale.

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