Gone are the days of storytellers, nukkad natak and community lifestyle and the leisure and joy of having time at hand! I heard somewhere recently that breakfast is the new diamond, if you can have breakfast in peace you are rich!
Pine Cone came into being during the onset of first wave of Coronavirus, when we had too much time in hand, too less things to do (or that's what we thought then)!
Like most of us, it changed me, my priorities in life and in a way how I looked at abundance, success and contentment.
From working in corporate setup for 12 years ever since I graduated from design school, to working in different industries, attending business school along with on job learning in an MNC, to travelling the world on various work assignments (read Asia and Europe), and then quitting it all at the top of my professional growth chart, I can today say I am very happy working at grass-root level and would any-day prefer a small room with slow moving fans, interacting with a group of enthusiastic artisans over conference rooms with air conditioning, latest technology projectors and conference call systems, talking to the who's who of the organisation, mastering the world of Microsoft powerpoints and excel-sheets while sipping customised brews!
Its not a mockery but the sheer surprise of the contrast in my work and work environment.
I work with story tellers, people who have inherited our culture, legacy , crafts and the knack of creating beautiful handicraft products from something as simple and seemingly insignificant as grass- a variety of grasses to be precise! These story tellers are the artisans who weave our past into our future. While they are weaving or winding a fibre onto the other through their craft repeatedly, and monotonously day after day, they are subconsciously weaving their emotion, love, struggles and their lives in that handicraft product.
A woman artisan in Manipur working with kauna grass to make
handicraft product- wine bottle holder. Craft- Basketry
With Pine Cone, we are building a community, a folklore, celebrating these traditional handicrafts and craftspeople. Pine Cone was born with the idea of bringing these lesser known/ dying crafts of India to more and more people, the idea of selling is secondary, though not unimportant as these artisans struggle to make their ends meet. Most of the artisans we are working with are women, and are strong driven individuals who aim to be self dependent and to be able to give better education and lifestyle to their children and depend on their craft for the same!
Each handicraft product that you bring home, is a story in itself of revival of that particular ancient craft and a medium of giving the artisan who has handcrafted it a step towards a better life, one step at a time!