My name is Chanchal Badsiwal, the owner and founder of “Chanchal“. I grew up in Delhi. I am a nature lover and a believer in Karma. I love to travel and read. I admire Art in its various forms ~ music, dance, paintings, poetry and theater.
While I was in Delhi, I worked in various corporate companies. I am a seasoned expert in business research field, with several years of experience behind me. I quit my job in 2014 and moved to Bangalore with my husband. This change of location gave me some time to ponder over life and the desire of doing something more meaningful overtook. I had always dreamt of being an entrepreneur so when I had the time and opportunity, I started my venture Chanchal ~ Bringing Art to Life. Chanchal aims to revive and sustain traditional Art, Craft & Textiles of India. We work directly with weavers and artisans across the country and make contemporary Handbags & Women Clothing using Traditional Textiles such as Ikat, Ajrakh, Kalamkari etc, Dokra Jewelry and Customized Traditional Paintings.
Q – Your products are made out of fabric and are Eco-friendly. What inspired you to start this line of design?
I have always been inspired by our country’s wealth of tradition, culture and its Art/textiles. When I started Chanchal – I wanted to use these Art & Textiles forms which are far more sustainable as compared to today’s mass production techniques.
Hand-woven Textiles are seeing a dip in its use as the markets are flooded by machine made fabrics. So I planned to make something using these gorgeous textiles.
The idea of making handbags ~ first product category we introduced ~ came from my corporate life. I personally used to love experimenting with Hand-bags. However I never found anything which was intrinsically Indian and yet modern.
Our hand-bags is my expression of Art using India’s Textile Heritage.
Q – Did you go through a professional training for this?
My designs have come out from my imagination coupled with functionality which I understand as a user. I still remember going back and forth on designs for my first collection, finding the right fabric for each design, getting the raw material, and finally shaping the whole thing up with the help of few others. Those first few samples taught me a lot.
I recently did a Bag making workshop to understand the technicalities.
Q – What were the hurdles you had to face when you started out. Your milestone journey?
When you start with an idea all alone, you do face challenges right from scratch. I too had a hard time. Finding artisans and weavers who were willing to work for us and make small quantities of customized work was difficult.
Other big hurdle is to educate people about traditional work.
We recently did a huge Madhubani painting for a home décor project and we were happy to bring this beautiful age old heritage art form to someone’s living room.
We have created hand bags and home décor accessories using 8 different textile forms ~ Kalamkari, Ikat, Ajrakh, Indigo, Bagru, Khana, Mysore Silk and Brocade. We have also successfully presented 2 cultural Art forms ~ Madhubani and Pattachitra ~ in contemporary fusion ways through our customised painting projects and our fusion Dokra Jewelry is loved by women of all age groups.
Working with artisans and weavers gives me the opportunity to revive some of the dying art forms/textiles and create employment in the hinterlands. The satisfaction is immense!
Q – Please tell us, what was the best and the worse advice you received when you started this journey?
Best Advice – Whatever you do, do your best.
Worst advice – Why don’t you start making imitation jewelry and bags. 😊
Q – If someone inspired by your journey wanted to follow your footsteps what would you tell them?
If you believe in it and enjoy doing it then definitely go for it. Patience and Perseverance are the keywords of an entrepreneur’s life.
Use your imagination and creativity to do things differently. Make sure you understand your market well.
And never ever compromise on quality.
Q – Do you believe in dreams?
I don’t know what is the right word. I have never used the word Dreams. I call them my vision. I tell myself I want to see this or do this. And then I work to make my ideas a reality.
Any further comments?
Don’t give up just because people don’t understand your ideas.