SHEROES 19 May 2014 . 4 min read
Gunjan is National Adventure Awardee, software developer, handmade artist and a ‘wantrepreneur’ - That somewhat sums up the milestones Gunjan has crossed in life. Not to forget the latest one that makes her happy and flummoxed at the same time is being a mother to a toddler. We talk to this coder who is also a designer
Tell us more about yourself and your work
I am a software developer based out of Pune, India. When I am not coding or playing with my toddler, I am either stringing beads or bending wire. My pliers, the anvil, and a mess of lots of wire and beads is what you will spot around me. At night, the family’s dining table is turned into my beading table. My items don’t limit only to handmade jewelry. I also make knickknacks such as bookmarks, fridge magnets, key chains from my basic components: glass beads and wire. I have also added block printed fabric potlis to my collection. I play around with beads and wire all the time, even during my hour long commute to work. I am gung-ho to make newer designs and keep my design diary with me at all times, ‘cos you never know when a good idea will strike.
In the last three to four years that I started Koyri ~handmade delights I have met more interesting people than I have in my corporate career be it through exhibitions, workshops or direct sales. I think it is important to meet and interact with people and try out newer things in life failing which it is very easy to succumb to the mundane routine. There are days when I face a creative block or I feel I need a break, that’s when I go back to my old love- swimming, it does wonders to me.
What's your inspiration to keep going?
For the last three years that I have been doing this, there hasn’t been a single day that passed without anyone mentioning my work. There is either an email about a custom order, or a whatsapp message asking if I have any of the bird nest pendants left, or a facebook post on my page asking if any of the ear-cuffs are available for sale or a colleague asking me if I have anything in terracotta. Knowing that there are people who look forward to wearing or using the stuff I make keeps me highly motivated. And of course there is immense satisfaction in making something beautiful from scratch.
How did you get started?
My disappointment at not finding great accessories to go on my outfits led to a saga of love with beads and wire. That was how ‘Koyri~handmade delights’ was born.I love design and colour and I am a big DIY fan. I started out as a self-taught artist and having no professional background in design, I was a bit skeptical about showing off my work. I wore my creation, and received a lot of compliments for it. Friends asked where I got it from. That encouraged me, and I played around some more with beads, stones, wires and paper and showed the finished products to friends. The most amazing part was that all of the finished products were gone in no time! I realised that I could try this out as a part-time business, and that's how rest of the story goes.
Message to all SHEROES out there.
I keep getting questions about how I manage everything and the answer is: It is all about prioritizing your choices and making time for them. You don't have to give up one thing entirely to be able to pursue another.
Check out Gunjan's amazing handmade work here.