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What Excites Craft Maestros?
The word ‘vision’ is impossibly complex. From crystal balls and séances to a bird’s eye view of the world; it encompasses a variety of meanings. Here at Craft Maestros, though, our vision for India’s past, present and future comes together to form our guiding light. We meld heritage and traditions with industry and growth to help wide audiences gain access to handicrafts and art.
Craft Maestros began in 2018 when on a common holiday, Akansha and Ajay (our co-founders) got talking about their love of Indian handicrafts — sowing the seed of our concept! It has grown out of a long-held desire to provide artisans of India with a platform to showcase their art; and has been nurtured with passion, love, and careful curation. From Kutch weaves to Kilim rugs, from Thewa to Meenakari, from Papier-mâché to Terracotta pottery — we have 25 handicraft forms that we nurture, with several more being added steadily to our list.
Meanwhile, the eponymous ‘maestros’ of Craft Maestros are National Award Winners, Shilp Gurus, Sant Kabirs, and Padma Shri awardees — each one a virtuoso in their own right. With every product, we provide patrons with a window to the artist that has created the pièce de résistance through a certificate that details their journey. The idea is to connect the buyer with the creator, ensuring not only quality but also detailing the legacy that each piece carries.
The challenges and rewards have both been plentiful, and our enterprise soldiers forth to ensure both livelihoods and art forms are maintained. The handicrafts sector landscape is sparsely organised, and our journey has been both slow and gratifying and every step has been an ode to our vision — one that creates, nurtures and sustains a future for people and art.
For us, the people we work with are at the heart of what we do. Working with nationally awarded master artisans, we make the finest handicraft and handloom products available to art enthusiasts around the world. So far, we have brought over 50 Master Artisans on board. These maestros work tirelessly, keeping alive centuries-old traditions. The resulting curation of products is a testament to the vibrant cultural heritage of India. Our long-term plan includes the creation of Centers of Excellence for different crafts. We aim to consolidate the knowledge and heritage behind each art form and also create skilled resources to continue these traditions.
Over the next year, we will elaborate on each aspect of our vision — each month corresponding to the intrinsic values that, as an organisation, we hold close. This is for two reasons. The first is that we believe that now, more than ever, it is important for consumers to know the values that drive the organisations that they repose their faith in. The second is that our vision is one that we believe will resonate with you, our readers. Our values are derived from a shared cultural understanding, one that transcends boundaries and walls; connecting a master artisan in a remote village in India to someone sitting in the 41st storey of a 50-floor building in a ‘foreign’ land.
Art and culture have the ability to move people, to change our conception of the future. It unites us in ways that are both ephemeral and permanent— in a language, we can all speak without knowing the words in which to convey our regard. And it is with this ethos that Craft Maestros operates — uniting individuals with objects that transcend every frontier.