Decorating a house is an absolute pleasure when one can find the right products. But to find the products is a task of gargantuan proportions. While you imagine your bookshelf to be in a certain way, the market tends to have different ideas in mind. Founded by mother-daughter duo Shireen and Alifia Shabbir, ‘Designmint’ is an infant start-up that customises home decor for those with an artistic inclination.
Talking about how it came into being, Alifia says, “Right from a young age, I’ve been interested in art and designing, and I used to be an interior designer. But it wasn’t until recently that I took this up. We were renovating our house and thought we would put together a few things since we had the capacity to. We had easy access to scrap metal in our factory so we rummaged through the pile and came up with a few designs.” Then they realised that people appreciate such items, so ‘Designmint’ came to be. She adds that art is “in her blood”. “I’ve always been crafting something or the other, and it was just bottled up in me.”
The two attempt to combine utility with good aesthetics and art. Alifia doesn’t just want to create home ware that looks beautiful, but something that has a good shelf life and is usable. From space savers and wall art to tea lights and buffet risers, they make it all.
And if a person is not happy with a product, they can return it to them and it will be recycled into something else. She also combines the art with her love for recycling and upcycling.
Calling it a “perfect marriage”, she says it is a big motivation for her to work with scrap metal. On why she likes metal in particular, Alifia adds, “It is durable and will last a lifetime. Also, it can be moulded into anything else.” For this reason, she says “metal chose me”. “I tell people I love heavy metal but not the music genre!”
Shireen and Alifia have different roles to play in the start-up that was founded in February.
“My mother used to teach painting and also supplied them to hotels, so she has a lot of experience. I go to her for advise – while I do the creative bit and online marketing, she looks at my prototypes and also manages marketing. She tells me what is practical and what isn’t,” says Alifia. On how she came up with the name, she says, “Two years ago, I had a blog by the same name. I used to write about interiors and designs. I retained that name because it reflects the freshness of my designs.”