The claysmith of Bengaluru

The claysmith of Bengaluru

Submitted by alvin on Mon, 2017-01-23 11:09 Photo: Subhash Chandra NSBengaluru: When Dhriti Mahidhar got brick kiln installed in her house, her parents became worried about her future. And why wouldn’t they be? Dhriti had a degree in commerce and was a gifted artist. To top it, she had done a course in designing and ran a successful boutique. Dhriti’s parents couldn't understand why their daughter wanted to throw it all away. That was almost 15 years ago. Today, they are proud of Dhriti.An artist at heart, Dhriti saw clay as her canvas, and thus began her journey into the world of terracotta jewellery making using the brick kiln. “After doing a course in bead jewellery, I wanted to do something unique,” says Dhriti. “Terracotta jewellery was still unheard of way back then. I attended a workshop and began making jewellery from clay.” After receiving positive feedback from friends and relatives, she began exhibiting the jewellery at Safina Plaza. “It was quite successful. Many sold out and I had a good number of orders too,” Dhriti says. She never looked back since that day.Dhriti MahidharEventually, Dhriti setup a workshop near her house to meet the demand. As sales soared, she decided to brand her products, and thus was born brand ‘Akruti’. Her products reached many big retail houses in the city and outside. She even began exporting her products. Today, her products are sold in the UK, the US and Singapore. They are also available online and at many stores under the ‘Akruti’ brand name.“The products are completely hand-made and colours used are non-toxic,” says Dhriti. Being an artist, designing and working out the colour combination comes naturally to her. “I have a booklet of colour co-ordination which I use to coordinate with my workers,” says Dhriti. She says she is perhaps the first woman entrepreneur in her family.Her designs, especially mango, leaf and peacock, have become a huge hit with women. From studs to grand jhumkas to necklaces, Dhriti’s products have redefined the making of earthy jewellery. She also makes bracelets that are hard to find these days.How does she survive the competition today? She doesn’t even have a studio and is not keen to have one. “I’m an artist. I believe good work will always find takers,” says Dhriti.Her job - from sourcing the right clay to transporting to designing it - is tough. The business does take a toll on her but Dhriti doesn’t mind it. “I’m very passionate about it and it’s totally worth it,” she says.And Dhriti is not just a master of baking jewellery, she also makes mouthwatering chocolate brownies adored by her daughters. From baking jewellery to baking brownies: Dhriti is truly a master baker!