Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sew Gorgeous: Kala Koyree

Note: Blogger has had a multitude of problems this week. I had written this post earlier this week and it inexplicably vanished into cyberspace. Blogger reports that posts that vanished have been restored, complete with comments. But alas, this post appeared half-edited in my drafts, and the comments seem to be lost forever. But here it is, reposted the best I could manage. I am sad that of all posts, the one where I was talking about my sister's work had to be to one that ran into snags. I want to thank everyone who left encouraging comments. There were some comments which contained questions, and those are gone. But please contact my sister or me via e-mail if you have any questions. 

This post has no recipe but plenty of eye candy. Since Kashmira, my sister, has arrived, the dining table has been converted into an impromptu craft studio and the sewing machine has been humming overtime.

Until a few months ago, my sister was a finance analyst, working long stressful hours in a corporate environment for several years in Bangalore and London. While she enjoyed her job and was very good at it, she is a crafter at heart, and she yearned for more color, texture and creativity in life. She took a bold decision, to quit her job and start her own sewing business, designing and creating bags, garments and accessories.

Kashmira calls her fledgeling venture Kala Koyree. Kala is the word for art and koyree is the beloved paisley motif evoking the shape of the mango. Today, Kashmira has the joy of working with textiles and designs and colors all day long.

Our baby cousin Sanjyot (well, she's not such a baby any more, I suppose) used her graphics arts skills to help design a logo for the new business.

Here are some pictures of bags she has made. This one makes me smile every time I look at it, with its sunny hues.

Kashmira does beautiful patchwork (applique), using gorgeous Indian textiles. This bag features one of my favorite motifs, the mango. I love her eye for detail, like the deep green handles and the pretty lining. 

Kashmira made an array of kid-friendly totes, compact bags with enough space for all the little things that a child needs- books and a small toy, pencils, crayons, snacks.

This is another one of my favorites, a bag embellished with a set of colorful pencils.

Kashmira has an eye for making the best of her materials and minimizing waste. This is a good example where she used pieces of zippers left over from other projects.

After a few months of selling her crafts, Kashmira's problem (it is a good problem to have) is that she has more orders than she can sew and fulfill working on her own. Her dream is to be an entrepreneur and provide employment to other women with fair wages and safe working conditions. After all, a job and financial independence is the way to empowerment and a path out of poverty. 

Please support crafters like Kashmira who offer products that are alternatives to cheap mass-manufactured goods, that support traditional crafts with a contemporary look and where there is a potential for job formation with fair wages as the business grows. 

* * *
If you like what you see, there are several ways to connect with Kala Koyree

Latest creations, updates and announcements

Buy online

Custom orders, questions, feedback and comments
Kala DOT Koyree AT gmail DOT com

Of course, you can always contact me at onehotstove AT gmail DOT com with any questions or comments.

In the next post, we will be back to regular programming involving food and recipe (and gratuitous dog pictures). But I sure hope you enjoyed this crafty foray into my sister's world.


  1. Congrats to Kashmira, I guess art runs in the family. Loved all her creation especially bangle bag and bag with crayons. Not many people get a chance to follow their heart so here is wishing her the very best.

  2. Good to know about your sister too, Nupur. Love those eye-catching designs and bags.
    I am really happy for Kashmira, for following her heart to choose her path. I wish her all success in her future projects and may all her dreams be accomplished. :)

  3. wonderful! I am very impressed with it all :)

  4. I am a big big fan!!!! It takes courage to do what Kashmira has done. I love the logo and purse(1st pic)...Good that you got nipattu and other goodies...wish I was ur neighbor :(. Accha, I made my first motif tote. Its in my recent post and ravelry as well. Do check it out and let me know how it has come out!

  5. Lovely collection Nupur! Congrats to your Sister for following her heart and having the social responsibility at the core of this venture. I checked out the prices are there different rates for INR? They are very expensive for fabric bags.

  6. You sisters are REALLY talented! Love those bags. Hope you are enjoying the goodies from India.

  7. More power to your sis Nupur. Is she the littler one ?
    Love her creations, very impressive.

  8. Nupur

    If Kashmira's work supports artisans, you can focus her work here
    if you want

  9. Congratulations Kashmira! The love and hard work u have put into making these lovely bags is evident and no wonder demands exceeds supply.. may the graph always rise!
    Love the first 'bangle' purse!

  10. Love what Kashmira is doing, it takes a lot of guts to leave a successful career and follow ones dream. Kudos to her and wish her all the very best. I'm going to check her etsy site.

  11. Thanks for introducing Kashmira to us!!! I absolutely love and admire her courage to follow her heart and start Kala Koyree (love the name!). The bangle wristlet is so cute! And so are the bags and the designs. No wonder she is facing this wonderful 'problem'. I am definitely going to follow her on etsy. And with such wonderful creations, she is sure to make it big!!! My best wishes to her.

  12. I loved the creations. The bangle bag is awesome and a takeaway for sure. Congrats kala Koyree and kashmira! Love the spirits and wishing you more laurels.

  13. Kashmira's creations. and loved the fab stuff on the itsy store..thanks for blogging about this.

  14. I'm in love with EVERY bag you've featured! I can see talent runs in your family Nupur. Off to check out her Etsy and FB pages.


  15. This is such a coincidence! a colleague showed me her Facebook pages just a couple of days ago and mentioned how much she loved the designs! I think she's found a fan base already.

  16. Wow, you sisters sure are talented!

  17. Absolutely stunning! I'm eyeing the bag with colour pencils on it. Well done Kashmira!

    Love, Shoots :)

  18. gorgeous stuff... i must check out her stuff on my next bangalore visit.... the flair for handmade and handwork runs in the blood i guess....; goodluck to kashmira!

  19. Awesome collections..She is really talented..

  20. What a talented family you are! Kashmira's designs are all wonderful - just the kind of stuff I love, and I'm certainly going to indulge myself! My best wishes to her on her ventures.
    I wonder what Dale makes of the sewing machine humming away all day!

  21. Congratulations to your sister Nupur! My sister recently quit her job to start her own business too! I'm going to forward the FB link to all my friends in Bangalore.

  22. Beautiful things. I especially like the pencil bag ... wouldn't that be a great gift for a teacher, writer or student? Best of luck to your talented sister.

  23. What an incredibly talented family!! I loved all the designs.. especially loved the way she juxtaposes pieces of cloth to create motifs. All fabrics seem to be chosen with such care and are so pleasing to the eye. I'm very tempted to buy something.

  24. Nupur, I wish Kashmira good luck in her venture. I loved all her work and that tote bag is simply beautiful. I love crafting and you both inspire me with your wonderful creations. I have not done much in a while but I am going to get back to it.. I love Indian motifs and fabrics. They are the best!
    I would love to know more about where her products are available for purchase and if possible I could even spread the word in my part of the world.
    I will check out her face book page for more information and updates..

  25. Hi Nupur,

    This post definitely makes me smile! I LOVE food, but I do find time to cheat on food with my beloved Fashion. The wristlet is adorable, and good luck to Karishma!


  26. Nupur

    Loved the designs especially the wristlet bags,with out making any delay bought one :) waiting for delivery now
    Thanks for sharing the beautiful designs of ur sis, looking forward for new ones....


  27. I'm glad you didn't lose the post Nupur. Kashmira has an awesome collection. Good luck for her venture!

  28. nupur, the stuff is absolutely great.. one thought, jute might be little uncomfortable for baby skins.. i wish to straight away buy coupld of things and get them delivered to my sister... is this stuff not available in india?? i mean, the prices mentioned are in USD... how do i buy in online in Pune? help would be appreciated..

  29. Yes- blogger's been really weird..I couldn't comment when you postedearlier because of some blogger maintenance issue so I directly commented on the kala koyree fb page..:) I really like the name!

    I absolutely love cloth bags/ this post was my favorite kind of eye candy..I love your sister's bags especially the striped totes..the wristlet bag is also lovely and I love the color/print used.. The jute bag with the color pencils is adorable. I've been browsing her etsy store and lemming some of the bags. Does she have/or is she planning to have a store front in India any time soon? Good Luck to her!!!

  30. Thank you so much for introducing us to your talented sister Kashmira! I absolutely loved all her creations and am looking forward to owning some of them.It is great that she is on Etsy. I really admire her courage and confidence in starting this venture. My best wishes to her and great success to Kala Koyree :)

  31. absolutely lovely !! Kashmira is so talented. I hope she grows in leaps and bounds in her new venture and make many more such beautiful creations. I for one, am a fan :)


  32. Amruta- Well, I did lose a lot of edits on the posts but managed to rewrite it. And I lost all the comments :( but such is life. Thanks for your support!

    Himagauri- The jute bags are intended for use by kids (ages 3 or 4 and up) and not by babies. Kashmira's products are certainly available in India (she is based in Bangalore) and can be shipped anywhere in the world. Please contact her at KalaKoyree AT gmail DOT com with any questions and she will be very happy to help you. Thanks for your interest.

    Lavanya- I'm so glad you like some of her bags! Kashmira has some bags stocked in a boutique in Bangalore but the vast majority of her sales are directly to customers via word of mouth, and also through custom orders.

    Namita- Thank you so much for your encouragement!

    Manu- Thank you very much!

  33. What lovely stuff!!! And an amazing step taken by your sister to step out of her comfort zone and follow her passion. All the very best to her in the future. Maybe you should consider packaging all the yummy food you post about. At the very least chutneys, powders and sauces. I'm sure there'll be more than enough takers for them as well:)

  34. You and your sister have such PRETTY names, Nupur! :) Looks like she's as talented as you - I love the bags. Wish I had that sort of creativity in me. If I go to Bangalore on my next India trip, I'll know whom to contact!

  35. I have forwarded the links to my friends in Bangalore and will also share the Facebook page when I find it. It's the least I can do for such gorgeous work and when I see a fellow analyst being able to follow her hearts desire. Maybe my nutritional venture may not be such a pipe dream after all.
    I wish I had seen this recipe a few days ago- I might have tried making a batch for my dad to take back home when he left( though I can't actually stand fir more than 10 minutes still, let alone in a hot kitchen) . My parents love this snack but the readymade versions don't agree with
    them. Maybe the baking soda aged to it? Thanks to your parents for sharing this so generously .

  36. Preeti- Thanks for your kind words!

    Shammi- Thanks :) each parent got to name one of us. And you DO have such creativity inside you, don't think I have not seen your lovely embroidery!

    Miri- Thanks so much for spreading the word, that is super kind of you! I wish you luck and success with your dream as well.
    Did you have trouble finding her Facebook page? Here it is:

  37. Loved your sister's work...made me absolutely nostalgic. Attach majhya facebook page var tyache mention kele ahe. Wish Kashmira the very best from us!!

  38. Loved your sister's artwork! All the best to her.


  39. Have to agree with Sara, just loved this work. All of these colors are so vibrant and funky. I especially liked the first mango bag, looks great with the background.

    Just a suggestion, try selling them at Craftsvilla. It is an online store for unique Indian handmade and handcrafted items. I sell my Jhola Bags there online and can guarantee that these kind of bags will be a definite hit there.


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