Anushri Switches From Lawyering To Designing By Opening Mug Aur Mooch
Anushri Chordia, a corporate lawyer turned designer. She loved making handmade stuff since she was 6. She has explored various craft techniques with different medium. She is obsessed about every tiny detail that one would not even notice. After donning the black coat and fielding questions, Anushri is now utilising her talent in crafts by producing one of a kind stationery products, skilfully handmade using India’s rich craft techniques.
SHEROES got the opportunity to chat with this creative craftswoman who along with her husband, Akshay, is running Mug Aur Mooch.
“Since my childhood, I was very creative. I used to spend all my TV watching time in making some greeting cards, art or learning a new craft. But I could never make my hobby my profession. I took up law and finished my BBA LLB (Corporate Law Hons.) from National Law University, Jodhpur and started working with a corporate law firm in Mumbai. That’s where I realised that my passion lies in crafts.
Thereafter, I quit my job and started preparing for design schools and learnt pottery and Calligraphy as well. I came to Indian Institute of Crafts and Design, Jaipur for my post graduation and learnt craft techniques in various materials.
Beginning of Mug Aur Mooch
We like to write. Infact, I have been collecting notebooks all my life. But what we found was most of the diaries available in market today are so mundane that they do not inspire you to write. Even handmade products come in such dull repetitive fashion that people just buy these notebooks and keep them in some corner. So we wanted to create something new that inspires you to write. Hence, the notebooks had to be innovative with bright colours. Thats’ where we thought of this idea of making cheerful handmade notebooks.They had to be handmade because we wanted them to have a character. We wanted to make something that says, ‘Writing is back!’
Zeroing on brand name ‘Mug Aur Mooch’
We want to create products that bring a fresh and modern design perspective to the rich traditional crafts. That’s how we came up with our brand ‘Mug aur Mooch’. The Mooch represents royal pride that we have in our crafts and the Mug represents reinvigorating freshness of inspiring design.
We launched our venture on 8th November 2015 at Kitsch Mandi, with a bunch of notebooks and we launched our e-store on 24th June 2016. We have also been participating in various exhibitions. We have also partnered with various our online and physical stores to showcase the products to wider audience.
Enabling livelihood for the women of Koramangala village
In the beginning I was making all the notebooks by myself, but after getting sold out in our second exhibition, we decided to increase our team. We were introduced to some ladies in Koramangala Village and we started training them.
It was very challenging, as some of them had no previous background of working in crafts and there was a definite communication gap because of language difference.
It took us couple of months to train these enterprising ladies, who are now making all the products. We have a small team of 2-3 ladies at present and we are working on increasing our team size.
All the women are from very humble backgrounds. They started working early at the age of 15-16 in garments, textile, silk industry as weaver, embroiderer, finishing person and even a BPO Job. They continued to work until they got married and then got busy in raising children and other household activities.
We all get together in the evenings to work for Mug aur Mooch. In the beginning, we trained them for doing embroidery work on paper board and now they have reached a great level of expertise that they can learn any new design in a couple of days only.
They are very much a part of our little family. We are also in process of training more women to grow our family. :)
Sustainability of combining handicrafts and writing books as a business model
People are amazed to see the finishing of the embroidery on the covers and they always giggle after reading the stories with every book. Increasingly people are appreciating the handwork and the effort that goes in making of every product. Not only, they are ready to shop it for themselves or as gifts for their family and friends.
In the long, we also want to take our craft and products to a larger audience, and start catering to international market as well.
The cute animal motifs you incorporate in your books, are you an animal lover?
Our books come with cute animal motifs on the top and behind every notebook comes a beautiful story which hasn’t failed even a single time to bring a smile to our customers. Both of us love Animals and we love the character they have.
Our favourite story comes with our Cute little Dog Series Pocketbooks. They have four different breeds of dogs embroidered on the cover pages and the story goes on to say,
“Everybody needs a friend, a friend with whom you can share anything – weird thoughts, pathetic jokes, embarrassing ideas and meaningless gossip. A dog is man’s best friend. But clearly, it would be too weird to write on a dog. Hence these Dog Series Pocketbooks.”
These emotions become our inspirations behind every single product that we make.
If you put your heart and soul in making of a product, it receives a lot of appreciation and brings you more joy which helps you make even more creative products! :)
M*****great article lola..