With words running into lines and scribbles snaking their way across the pages, journals hold an integral part in the lives of many. From the one with a lock and key that keeps all your secrets safe to the one that fits right in your pocket, the options are endless. But there are a few that are handcrafted with love and passion for you to pen down your thoughts and to let your imagination run wild between the pages. One such home-grown brand making handmade journals is Ekatra by Aishwarya Jhawar.
Crafted with love and lots of care, Aishwarya’s hand-bound journals will let you treasure your thoughts and memories for a lifetime. Tracing the words and her journey, read on to know more about this beautiful venture.
The Ekatra magic
A firm believer in sustainability and creativity, Aishwarya brought it both together with her brand Ekatra. It is a brand that churns out handmade journals, pouches, bookmarks with eclectic prints and designs. Aishwarya makes the journals from scratch all by herself. From binding the papers to creating pretty prints, she does it all. Currently carrying only local Jaipuri prints like Ajrakh and Shibori, the range of products portray the ideology of no waste.
The pouches, on the other hand, are made by the homemakers of Rajasthan. Aishwarya since childhood had learnt about giving back to the community and here is where she saw the perfect opportunity to carry it out. She recognised the sewing talent of these women staying at home and decided to give them a channel to showcase their talents and empower them. The making of these pouches is a meagre effort in helping them become more confident and independent. The making of the bookmarks is when the idea of sustainability comes in. The bookmarks are made to curb waste using leftover cloth from the making of the pouches and the diaries. Nevertheless, the colours and prints make all of these products a must have for all those who like to hoard words and memories.
The inside story
Aishwarya is a student of spatial designing and currently in the fourth year of her college. This idea first came to her when she put up a stall for handmade journals at her college festival. Seeing the heartfelt response, her friends persuaded her to go ahead with it. Considering the positive feedback, she decided to go for it. Her confidence boosted when she started receiving orders for conferences.
From the very beginning, her peers and family supported her completely. With that, she involved her grandmother and mother in her venture. Moving forward with the idea of reuse and repurpose, her grandmother personally sews all of the visiting cards from scrap. She believes in taking everyone forward with her and urges others to do so too.
Rising above the challenges
Being a college student, it was very difficult to rake in capital initially. But with time as business shot up, she passed that hurdle as well. It was even difficult to judge the market standards in the preliminary days but overtime she understood the working and the processes.
Talking about the future goals, she plans to expand the range of prints to include the traditional prints from different states. She also wants her products to be available at different cafes, stores for the people to indulge in. Working towards that goal, she has already sent a few of her journals to be displayed in Ladakh.