From Bits to Beads; Tale of Engineer Turned Entrepreneur and Her Love Toward Art
Beads are something that we all have played with in our early childhood. They teach us a lot. Same was with Srutiza Mohanty, Founder of Risham Jewelry; who was born and brought up in Mangalore and graduated in 1998 as a software engineer. She carried on her life as an engineer for more than one and half decade but the fate had decided something else. She decided to make her hobby of bead-weaving a full time career.
Remembering how things changed she says, “My love for color, motifs, nature also inspires me to create timeless pieces which bring out both the complexity and simplicity of a woman's personality, embracing all the multiple facets of a woman's life in its multitude of tiny woven beads.”
Her desire to design for a modern and confident women, who know what she want, grew. This is how Risham Jewelry came into existence. As this was her first venture she says “no business is easy for first-time entrepreneurs, and I was utterly unaccustomed to business operations; this challenge was more significant for me. I spent considerable time researching and learning, finding sources of raw materials, and learning the art of bead weaving.”
There are very few people who actually defy the idea of having secure job and dare to make their hobby a full time business. Mohanty was indeed one of such people. Two things played a crucial role in her entrepreneurial journey. First was her desire to revive the ancient art of bead weaving that she loved. Second was her motive of creating a women-centric enterprise. She dreamt about a brand —in which the jewelry is produced by women—for women.
Recalling why she started, Mohanty says, “The jewelry designs from Risham integrate natural elements, vibrant colors, and handcrafted finesse are inspired by the need to create separate, head-turning personal fashion statements. While my software designing skills didn’t play a role in this venture, the problem-solving aptitude you get as an engineer came in handy.”
Mohanty’s goal is to make people aware about the art of bead weaving. She—like any other artist—becomes very happy being surrounded with people with same interest. When asked about profitable a business trying to solve the existing problems of the business. As Mohanty said that she wanted to make women produce things with a similar mindset, she says “If newcomers feel passionate about the art and the cause of its revival, there is no reason why they can’t start a venture in this area and achieve success.”
She has trained her whole team of female workers in bead weaving. They can now earn a respectable and meaningful income, even while working flexibly with Risham. These are early days in our path-breaking journey; the women are just getting on their feet. “I won’t be surprised to see someone utilizing their talent to become a known name in the field in the future.” Mohanty proclaims.
Enterprises like Risham are coming up across the country, picking up high-potential but nearly forgotten traditional rural art and craft. Risham has created opportunities for some women and will continue to expand our efforts to empower women in remote and rural areas.