Trove Craft India: Giving traditional motifs a contemporary appeal
Trove is a modest design studio based in Hyderabad, India that aims to create unique, elegant gifting concepts with an ethnic flavour. Our objective is to revive hand painted art forms by pairing them with unusual canvases to make them relevant for the fast-changing consumer market.
We specialise in hand-painted homeware and décor Items. We currently work with folk artists from Kashmir and Rajasthan, and plan to slowly involve other art clusters as we go along.
We believe traditional handicraft styles are in danger of dying out. Our long-term goal is therefore to make traditional handmade products more contemporary and relevant, while still using traditional methods.
However, many of our designs are easily imitated and offered at lower prices by manufacturers who prefer not to put in the creative effort attention to quality. This, together with the long lead times involved in designing, fine-tuning and finishing individual pieces, makes it challenging to compete in today’s price- and time-conscious market.
Fortunately, many consumers today appreciate handmade products and their appeal over those that are commercially manufactured. It is these discerning customers that we cater to.
Our most popular in-house range is décor plates, hand painted in the Pichwai style. Trove was the first brand that started hand-painted décor plates using this theme, and we are now slowly moving to more products within this category: tissue boxes, gift boxes, table tops, and other functional décor items.
Besides our Pichwai range, our range of hand-painted steelware also does well for us. With this range, we are attempting to make stainless steel stylish and to turn everyday products into beautiful items that can make unique gifts for any occasion. Our steelware products are positioned as items that can be used for everyday storage, or even as packaging concepts, as an alternative to plastic. We employ Kashmiri artists to hand paint our steelware, and contribute to both their livelihood and the survival of their art.
Keeping our artists motivated
Through our compensation model, our artists are paid more for larger quantities produced and higher levels of quality. We believe this keeps our artists motivated and enthusiastic, and so we never underpay them just so we can offer more competitive prices.
Because we cater to a niche segment of consumers, we work with partners who share our interest in promoting India’s traditional handicrafts, while helping the creators of these products find a foothold in both the domestic and international markets.
About me, Trove's founder
Hi! I'm Nayantara Quader.
I started Trove as a hobby in 2014, while working with a real estate MNC. After 13 years of corporate life, I decided to quit my job in 2015 and focus entirely on Trove. It was a tough decision but I've never regretted it and have never looked back since.
I'm passionate about design, even though have no design background, and love to get my hands dirty! Most of what you see on my store is the outcome of my talented artists' ability to bring my designs to life. My mind is like a sponge: always soaking up new ideas that I'm impatient to execute.
I'm fortunate to have found partners - artists, suppliers and employees - who have supported me in my journey with Trove, and to have a family that's constantly egging me on.
P.S. Besides coming up with new contemporary-traditional designs, I love travelling. And I love my furry friends even more.
The Trove team has three other enthusiastic members who work to fulfil your orders.
Madhulatha (centre) manages client communications, after-sales service and product listings on the site. If you send us an email, chances are she's the one who'll help you with your queries.
Sandeep (left) manages accounting, invoicing and shipping. He's also learning the basics of Photoshop and has started editing product pictures, and wants to learn all about e-commerce.
Vamshi (right) is the youngest member of the team and aspires to be a DJ one day. But for now, he's our man Friday, and fills in for everyone with packing, stocktaking, varnishing, quality control and lots of other things!
While they all have their designated responsibilities, each of them steps in to help out with everything that goes into the smooth functioning of our little enterprise!
The hands that create: Our three 'artistic' pillars
It wouldn't have been possible for Trove to be where it is today without the support of our exceptional artists.
Gulaam Mohammad (handpainted steelware)
Gulaam hails from Kashmir, and was the first artist who joined Nayantara in creating a small range way back in 2013, even before Trove was officially founded. From doing three to five pieces a month then, he has his hands full doing an average of 50 pieces a month now. A very hard-working man, he's based in Hyderabad and is a one-man show, but sometimes mobilizes his friends from Kashmir if we need help with larger orders. And he's supported Nayantara from the day Trove was conceptualized.
Mani (bespoke orders)
Mani came on board in 2015, to take on one-off bespoke orders. Hailing from Orissa, he's studied art and has a full-time job as a graphic designer. His artwork mostly appears on trunks, tables and other wooden decor items. At the moment, we're exploring ways in which we can use his graphic design skills for a new line of products. He loves listening to music, especially while he's working, and likes to take long breaks to travel.
P Munhot (traditional Pichwai art)
Munhot hails from Rajasthan and was born into a family of Pichwai artists. Today, at at only 26 years old, he's already an accomplished artist himself. At the time we made contact, we had no idea how far would come together. We did our first Pichwai wall decor plates in 2016, and since then, Trove has become synonymous with Pichwai painting on plates. A very talented and versatile artist with an eye for detail, he consistently delivers quality artwork. We're happy to say he takes pride in our partnership, and has now started to employ and train other artists to work under him on our orders. Without his support, we wouldn't have accomplished so much.
Our Patachitra artist wants to stay anonymous at this point. He is the latest addition to our team. He works part time with us and paints only for leisure as he has a full time job.. One can tell by the finesse in his work that he puts his heart and soul into every single piece of work. Therefore we have very limited quantities in Patachitra, and whatever he makes every 6 weeks for us. usually disappears in a flash. He is exceptionally talented and we just cant get enough of him! We hope that he will soon not only teach but build a small team under him.
All our artists have played a huge role in getting Trove to where we are today. We hope to also keep looking for ways to work with lots more art forms and artists across India, and keep bringing you newer ranges of products to complement your beautiful homes.