Blast from the past

Innovative streak

Blast from the past

She did her fashion designing from National Institute of Fashion Technology assuming that to be her calling. But it was during a short course on graphic designing that Sai Sangeet Paliwal found her true calling — to pep one’s house into something that they’ll love walking into each day.

“The thought was born when I was decorating my house. I went to purchase some cool, interesting things for myself, everything looked the same and there wasn’t anything unique about them — there wasn’t anything that matched my personality,” says Sangeet. This was in 2007. Today, she owns her design label called ‘Soda’ where she makes innovative retro and other quirky accessories for one’s home.

However, she’s not forgotten her fashion designing courses as she uses it regularly to work on her products. She says, “I’m someone who believes that no form of education goes to waste. It depends on how you use it and what you draw from it. So everything I’ve learnt from my degree has helped me understand the concept of picking the right fabric and texture when I make my products.”

She mainly draws her inspiration from pop culture. Therefore, many of her designs portray celebrities who are ever-popular.

“Celebrities like Audrey Hepburn, Elvis Presley and ‘The Beatles’ were a huge part of my life. They will always be iconic figures of those times. And when I make the home accessories, I use them as inspiration and work around them,” she explains.

Sangeet’s work has turned boring old lamps and wall hangings into rock and roll art pieces that anyone can be impressed with. She also says that over the years, she’s learnt how to modify her accessories in such a way that the next time a customer walks into buying something, they won’t run into the old collection.

“My basic ideas may be the same over the years, but the way it’s used is different each time. For example, I have a funky key hanger that men are interested in. When women come to purchase the same thing, I’ll opt to sell it in such a way that they can use it as an accessory hanger; and for children, as a clothes hanger. So the main idea is to keep innovating products in such a way that they have multi-purposes and one can use it for as long as they want,” she says.

One of the other creations  that she’s particularly proud of is her ‘Scroll Scribbler’. It’s a writing pad that has the same base throughout and one needs to only keep changing the paper scrolls. She says, “We usually buy a notebook considering how cool the front cover looks. But once the pages are over, it can’t be used again.
With the scroll scribbler, you just have to keep taking out the needed amount of paper and enjoy the design on it.”

When she creates something innovative, she likes to partake in flea markets and exhibitions to know which items score better marks. When she’s not busy inventing new ideas, she takes a break every couple of months to travel. Recently, she was in the US and Dubai, and is looking forward to visiting Georgia for more inspiration.

“It’s great to be able to travel and see what the rest of the world is like. I also get to learn a lot of market tricks from there. By the end of it all, I come back refreshed, with a lot of new ideas and concepts.”

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