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Last updated 5 Jan 2018 . 4 min read

A Mumbai Woman Empowers Rural Artists To Get Recognized


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Born in the small town of Gaya in Bihar, I had a humble upbringing. With 10 years of extensive work experience in the advertising industry as a creative professional, I have worked on various campaigns and television commercials with India’s finest advertising agencies like Euro RSCG, Law and Kenneth, Mudra, Interface, R.K.Swamy and with brands like Nestle, Dabur, Maruti, Mahindra and Oreo. For the past 4 years, I have completely immersed myself in setting up my own initiative, Chungi store.

 

Reviving The Lost Arts

Chungi store was an outcome of the thought of giving back to the society, to the place where I belong and to the people who have inspired me in many ways. After having created successful campaigns and building other brands, I realized that I could create a brand (more like a platform) for someone in dire need, and enable their process of transformation towards self-sustenance by introducing their creation to a larger audience and in return, getting artists their fair share of dues.

 

chungi store kantha scarf
Kantha scarf at Chungi Store

 

As a designer and art director for 12 years, I realized that artisans are far more talented due to their unique skills and that they are the flag bearers of grassroots art. The art they create needs to enter the market with their name and the only missing link between them and the market is an opportunity. Hence having identified the primary cause of the problem, I was all set to link the artisans from various geographies and with inherent, unfathomable talent to my initiative - Chungi store.

 

Becoming an entrepreneur was in my DNA to a great extent, however, I could never pinpoint it. The thought of doing good for artisans and the society as a whole, led me to set-up Chungi Store. The talent of the artisans and the motivation to provide them with a fair opportunity, pushed me to unleash the entrepreneur hidden in me.

 

Lessons From The Artisans

All my artisans have shaped me into what I am today. They have taught me to be happy and content with the little things in life. They have been an inspiration in many ways.

 

Despite the lack of formal education, the artists have the courage to take the leap and yet remain humble. They don’t have resources for exotic vacations, Friday night parties etc. However, they very well know how to face whatever life throws at them, with a big smile. They understand the power of unity and how they can face most of their concerns when united.

 

chungi store artisans

 

 

A Circle Of Support

Unless our own (women) do not come forward and enable the process of development and betterment, we will continue to be caught in a vicious circle of failure and apathy.

Women will have to help one another in achieving their goal of a self-sufficient lifestyle, which in turn, will serve as aspirational examples for girls in future generations.

 

High time we recognize and value the strength of unity.

 

 

chungi store coasters
Crochet coasters at Chungi Store

 

 

Future Plans For Chungi Store

As of today, we have progressed somewhat as per the set plan. The aim is to add more products to the existing range, which will be the result of adding more artists who are not yet a part of our family. The focus is already on female artists. However, as a team running the initiative, we are also looking forward to bring more women as team members on-board, to take our work ahead at a much faster pace.

 

chungi store artist

 

I have loved the journey so far and look forward to what the future may hold. There are no set formulas in the journey of an entrepreneur, which makes it both intriguing and scary at the same time. However, all challenges are welcome, as they enable widening my perspective and add brownie points to her learning curve.

 

chungi store earrings
Crochet Peacock Earrings at Chungi Store

 

 

This is the entrepreneurial story of Shweta Tiwary, the founder of Chungi Store. Shweta has 10 years of extensive work experience in the advertising industry as a creative professional. If you’d like to read more of such inspiring stories, click here.

 

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    Great endeavor...I think we are from the same school.
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