I have always been a devotee of Indian handicrafts. Handmade wonders, big and small, coming from the heart of the country’s myriad regions, fascinate me to no end. Imagine my delight when I chanced upon Shivikka Suneja, a resident of Oberoi Exquisite, who shares the same delight for Indian crafts. And brings them closer to home for us!
Shivikka has gone a step ahead by curating and selling merchandise coming from straight from the artisans. A small boutique in her home houses some of the finest and most unique sarees, dupattas, fabrics and ready-to-wear kurtas. From Chikankari to Gota Patti, Shibori to Leheriya, Kota silks to cotton Benarasi brocades – her collection, being sold under the brand Su:Shi India – is awesome. And if that doesn’t enthrall you, the combinations and crossovers between these will.
I can still vividly recall the olive green kota saree with exquisite ochre hand-done chikankari, a multi-hued georgette kurta piece with gota and zardozi and of course, the anarkali of my dreams – white-on-white chikankari with rose gold gota patti all over its graceful spread. These were just a few things that have caught many an eye and the likes of which have had many takers over the last 8-10 months.
After a successful stints in marketing and with a varied industry experience, Shivikka decided to take this road to combine her skills and her passion. ‘I always knew that if I would eventually start something on my own, it would involve indigenous crafts and artisans,’ she confesses. Travelling to various cities and small towns made her venture into their local markets and close to workshops and craft centres – places where art was being made and sold at first-hand.
What Shivikka stocks is a tasteful collection, designed by artisans from Jaipur, Lucknow, Delhi and other crafts hubs from north, central and south India. Su:Shi has become a brand for bespoke trousseau and occasion-wear options, what the careful selection of designs that one can’t find anywhere else off the rack. ‘I work with the artisans to give them new ideas, incorporate and encourage their own creativity and present these to clients,’ Shivikka says. For her, this isn’t a race against time or the market. She chooses to take things at a slow but steady pace, respecting the fact that unique creations can’t be made hurriedly. Should a client choose to place an order, with bespoke patterns or colour options, she mandates a two-month wait for him or her. ‘I want to make sure that the final outcome, in terms of quality of fabric, hand-work, colour – everything looks perfect,’ clarifies Shivikka. Her strong client base in the city and abroad proves that the wait is totally worth it.
The way forward for Su:Shi India includes more accessories, home decor and perhaps even furniture. It will all be about encouraging craftsmen and keeping the arts alive and thriving. With the keen eye and careful curation that Shivikka exeutes, success will surely create its own designs here.
Call Shivikka: 9819843486
Check out the Su:Shi India Facebook page. Please book appointments with Shivikka prior to visiting her.