Dec 15, 2010

2010, Almost History!

Where has this year gone?  It was only January, when after an adventurous around the world (not intentional or part of our itinerary) trip back to Vancouver, I was getting ready to exhibit our 2010 collection at Maison & Objet!  What a trip that was!  My purse got stolen the very first day, leaving me penniless, identity-less, and spirit-less in one of the most romantic and amazing cities in the world, Paris!  However, the show did go on and with much appreciation for the new collection, so thanks to all!

I am now getting ready to leave for India to get samples ready for Spring-Summer 2011 and start working on the Fall/Winter collection.  New colors and old favorites will comprise the SS 11 collection in designs that I'm hoping will appeal to all as before.  I am planning on traveling in India to look for inspiration for the Fall/Winter collection and hope to dazzle our patrons with something fantastic.  Stay tuned for more updates as the days progress.

Before ending 2010, we happily added another name to our list of clientele and that's AnandaMaya Design of New Jersey, USA. AnandaMaya Design, home of modern/vintage interiors with influences from Indian/Asian and Latino culture, is where eco friendly, organic and sustainable meets beautiful & timeless style. The designers, craftsmen and artists have been hand selected because of their ability to capture beauty from around the world. AnandaMaya Design will feature:  Exquisite linens, soft furnishings, Paper, Baby and Mami, Personal and Travel Accessories as well as some one of a kind pieces.

Ebelyss, a Latina woman born in the U.S., is CEO/Founder of AnandaMaya Design, LLC. Recently, she turned her focus from health care business development and management to becoming an entrepreneur. Her love for Interior Design and earth friendly, sustainable products began long before her educational years.  From watching her grandmother create beautiful one of kind baby blankets, bed and table linens, to her aunt's amazing paper creations and her mother's clean style and business sense, Ebelyss developed an unsurpassed taste for beauty and innovation.  She even thought "green" before it was popular.

Ebelyss married an Indian man and is the mother of Alisa Maya and Anand, her inspiration and motivation for all that she does. Anand and Alisa Maya are the children of parents from two cultures living in this one world. Seeing beauty through their eyes is a must.  Ebelyss's appreciation for different cultures and awareness to create a design aesthetic that is not only visually beautiful but must be non fussy and non-toxic is exciting and fun.  Choosing the designers from around the world takes time. I'm passionate about each and every one of them and together we can bring amazing selections of modern, unique and beautiful accessories for the home and for everyone.

Oct 25, 2010

Festivities of old with a modern twist - Design, Art, Creativity

Each year, in the Fall, the city of Calcutta (Kolkata) dresses up with lights, decorations, and massive exhibits of innovative art and creativity.  The occasion - Durga Puja.  For those that are not familiar with this religious festival, it holds the same importance for Bengalis as Christmas does for Christians.  However, the festive element reigns supreme in this case - food, color, lights, music, rythms of the drums (dhak) and the long lines of people waiting to see the explosion of artistic brilliance.  

The city becomes host to not only its residents but millions of people who visit from neighboring cities, towns and villages!  Durga Puja is called a religious festival but it's more a festival of art these days with a religious element added to it.  In short, according to classical Hindu mythology, Durga, the goddess of power, was created by all the other Gods, to vanquish the demon, Mahishasura, who was wreaking havoc on the earth and the heavens.  Aided by the 10 weapons provided to her by the Gods, she finally destroyed the demon.  

Goddess Durga personifies Power and Motherhood.  She is also a daughter, and when the autumn harvest is reaped, it is homecoming time for the daughter Durga with her four children.  The vanquishing of evil and the return of a married daughter to her home were the two elements that were celebrated through Durga Puja.  In the old days, once a woman got married, she was rarely allowed to visit her paternal home until this one time in the year.

I thought a little historical background would be helpful to set the context but what I wanted to write about is how over the last 15 years or so, this Puja (religious offering/ceremony) has evolved into a forum to showcase amazing works of art throughout the city of Calcutta, only to be dismantled at the end of the 5 day celebrations!  The usually less flamboyant and subtle city becomes radiant and bold during these celebrations and shows off it's artistic heritage.

In various areas of the city, structures called "Pandals" are built to house the deities that are made in a specific area of the city, known as Kumortuli, where artisans have been making the idol statues for generations.  The skills of these artisans are amazing!  It takes months to create the idols.
 
The pandals are usually made from cloth, with a bamboo infrastructure, and illuminated heavily.  What is amazing is how creative and innovative the designs have become over the years where building the pandals is concerned.  A theme is chosen for each location and executed with perfection.  Structures resembling renowned architectural wonders of the world, or important buildings are built with precision, only to be dismantled at the end of the festivities.


The current themes have also incorporated eco-friendly measures where reuse and recycle is the theme that pervades.  Structures made from torn towels, works of art made from baskets and buckets, and many more can be seen.   I've seen entire pandals made out of seashells and conch shells or cockleshells! 

used baskets and buckets 



made from torn towels
Now, why doesn't the government build a fabulous museum to house the best of these artistic endeavors after the celebrations each year?
concept: We play with puppets as children and then ourselves become puppets in the hands of life! (Made from clay pots)


Readers, if you're ever in India in the Fall and during the Durga Pujas, Calcutta is where you need to be! It'll be an experience of a lifetime.
Special thanks goes to my dear friends who live in Calcutta and have shared their experiences and festivities with me via these photographs.


Sep 21, 2010

Rajboori Now Available in Calgary!

Andrew and Riva Mackie of Riva's The Eco Store in Calgary recently opened the doors to their new location in Calgary.  Just before Labor Day we delivered the Rajboori collection to their store and they were received with much appreciation! Now the products are on display in their lovely store and the design savvy of Calgary can now find their favorite Rajboori piece for their homes.

 

Sep 2, 2010

Rajboori now available at Riva's - The Eco Store

The Rajboori collection was delivered to Riva's - The Eco Store in Calgary, AB earlier this week and you can now stop by their lovely store to make your selection from our collection!  You'll have a choice of pillows, coverlets/throws, and quilts for the upcoming Fall/Winter.  Remember, silk is an all season fabric.

To rejuvenate my spirits and to say farewell to summer, we're heading out to Jasper-Banff-Yoho!  I hope to return with more colors and shades imprinted in my memory for our future collections!

Dark Oyster Milon Coverlet with fuchsia Charmeuse pillows

  Clouds quilt

Aug 11, 2010

Rajboori featured in Trend Bible, UK

Trend Bible, a publication based in the UK (http://www.trendbible.co.uk/blog/) featured our collection in their Lifestyles for the Home, Autumn/Winter 2011/12!  They spotted us at Maison & Objet in Jan, 2010, and decided to feature us as one of the trendsetters in design and colors for the future.  Needless to say, we're thrilled!  
Trend Bible is available globally: http://www.trendbible.co.uk/blog/?page_id=581

Special Note: Our Jolie pillow was featured as a "Key Item"!
Here are some images from the publication....


Jul 30, 2010

Moca and Jolie sold from Provide!

The weekend is here and I'm off to Seattle for a day to meet an old and dear friend.  This summer has been a summer of guests, meeting friends, and enjoying some great moments. Isn't that what life is all about?

Our Moca and Jolie pillows have found new homes after leaving their comfortable shelf at Provide.  I'm starting to get my creative juices flowing so that I can start conceptualizing the new collection for 2011.  This is the best part of my job!


www.providehome.com

Jul 27, 2010

Rajboori products in photo shoot in South Africa for Room39, London

Our Rangoli Quilt and pillow and the Holi 12" pillow were part of a photo shoot done in South Africa recently by our client, Room39, London. The photo here is a part of that and I just love how "luxuriously lived-in" our collection looks in this setting!


Rajboori will soon be available at Room39 this Fall!

Jul 16, 2010

RAJBOORI Coming Soon to The Drawing Room...

It gives me great pleasure to share that the RAJBOORI collection will soon be available at the wonderful Drawing Room in Cos Cob, CT, USA!  In my last post I wrote about this beautiful store and cafe, with their fabulous collection and RAJBOORI pillows and throws will find a very suitable home there.  Our products will be available in their store by end of Summer- early Fall.

www.thedrawingroom.cc



Jul 14, 2010

Spreading the Rajboori story...Eastward

I had been planning a trip to New York and surrounding areas to meet with some buyers/owners of a few stores that were interested in the RAJBOORI collection.  So, I took my samples and headed out Eastward to NY-CT towards the end of June.

It's always great to meet new people, learn about their entrepreneurial stories, and to see their unique styles be expressed through their collections in their stores.  I loved the following stores and more so, the people behind them:
King's Road Home - British owned by Christian Carlsen and inspired by the trendy and fashionable King's Road in London, this large SOHO store has a great collection of one-of-a-kind furniture produced by artisans.  It can be described as eco-chic as most pieces are made from salvaged wood.  They also have a fantastic collection of Moroccan designed lamps that I loved! Soho, NY - www.kingsroadhome.com

Homeward Bound - New Milford itself is a cute little town where a bridge forms a street and is conveniently called Bridge Street!  Homeward Bound, owned by dynamic duo Kathy Walsh and Trip Rothschild, has two locations, New Milford and West Hartford.  A wonderfully eclectic store with furniture and decor pieces from local and global sources placed casually all throughout the two level store. We're looking forward to seeing Rajboori pillows as part of their assortment soon. New Milford, CT, www.homewardboundstyle.com

The Drawing Room - Is it a cafe, is it a home decor store?  It's both!  Located in Cos Cob, CT, the Drawing Room is such a lovely boutique store with a cafe where you can sit and enjoy a cup of tea with friends while nibbling on some delectable finger food.  Once you step inside the store, you can see the amazing creative expression of husband-wife duo of Mike and Kenleigh Larock.  Each piece is carefully selected by the owners and the vibrant mood in the collection really resonated with me.  Needless to say, Rajboori will find a happy home here! Cos Cob, CT, www.thedrawingroom.cc

May 24, 2010

Monsoon skies and a cup of Coco.....

I have some great art and design elements to write about but not until next time as other impending "business" tasks are filling up my plate. :-)  On top of that, my husband and I have to now look for a specific soccer jersey representing Brazil!  No, he's not Brazilian but it's a long story for maybe another time.

The recent predominantly Grey skies in Vancouver have probably put our Monsoon pillow in the limelight and what goes well with a day that's Grey?  A hot cup of Cocoa, or relaxing against our Coco pillow.  Our latest sales at Provide, Vancouver are Monsoon and Coco pillows.

Until next time...... 

May 18, 2010

Art Under the Sea?

I am always looking for interesting and innovative elements of art and design and if it has anything to do with an eco-friendly or sustainable process, then woohoo!  So, this article in a travel magazine caught my attention when I was in Mexico in April - Underwater sculptures in Mexico!
 Naturally this piqued my curiosity to read more and I just loved the concept.  Jason deCaires Taylor, Creator of the world’s first underwater sculpture park, has gained international recognition for his unique work. His sculptures highlight ecological processes whilst exploring the intricate relationships between modern art and the environment. By using sculptures to create artificial reefs, the artist’s interventions promote hope and recovery, and underline our need to understand and protect the natural world.

Taylor's vision and creation has already been installed in Grenada and the one in Mexico is in the works.  In 2009 the first steps of a monumental underwater sculptural museum were formed in the waters surrounding Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc. The project will eventually consist of over 400 permanent life-size sculptures, becoming one of the largest and most ambitious underwater artificial attractions in the world.

The aim of such an underwater sculpture museum is to form a complex reef structure for marine life to colonise and inhabit. Each of the sculptures will be made from specialized materials used to promote coral life, with the total installation occupying an area of over 150sq metres and weighing over 120 tons. 

You can read more about this amazing concept and artistic vision here: http://www.underwatersculpture.com/index.asp

May 9, 2010

To My Mother....

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful Moms out there, including my Supermom!  When we were growing up in India, Mother's Day wasn't a "festival" that was celebrated there.  For those of you familiar with India, the people need just one excuse to celebrate something and make it into a festival or something close to that.  Such is the love for having fun!  These days, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, etc. have become so important that not celebrating them makes one very "uncool".  :-)
Anyway, I never wished my Mom a Happy Mother's Day when I lived in India (it wasn't the "in-thing" then!) but now I do and each year, I do so with a growing appreciation of being rewarded with such an amazing woman as my Mother!  Her support helped me to finally take the first steps towards planning a higher education in the US at that young age. She and my father inspired the appreciation for arts and culture that I grew up with.  Her impeccable taste and love for the arts planted the seed for creative, entrepreneurial and artistic endeavors in me.  Growing up around a beautiful, elegant, and creative woman like my Mom was truly instrumental in who I have evolved into in the past years.  So, thanks and a Happy Mother's day to you, Ma!

I'd also like to thank the wonderful clients at Provide (Vancouver) who have taken a piece of RAJBOORI home with them in the past few months!  I hope your homes are now further brightened with the color and soul of our products.  The Milon pillows and the Reale pillow are one of my personal favorites.



Apr 23, 2010

The Mayan Effect

The potential of a total burn-out, for both my husband, Subrata and I, caused us to plan an emergency "ONLY REST & RELAXATION" vacation.  To obtain this much needed R&R, came the "stressful" process of actually finding that haven that would provide us with what we needed.  Being avid travelers and our constant hunger for exploring the new, it always becomes a challenge to find the right place to visit, given that time is short and we aren't millionaires yet!

However, after much debate we settled on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico.  Having been there once before, we knew that the R&R would be abundantly available and we could quench our thirst for exploration by going to Tulum (Mayan ruins) or Xel-Ha (natural aquarium).  So, we made our reservations and off we went, our heart and souls ready to soak in the warm Caribbean sun and the cool breeze of the sea.

Now, the word "Maya" in Sanskrit means "illusion".  Did we have any idea that the Mayan Riviera would truly prove to be an illusion/Maya for the much promised Sun and Fun at the beach?  We stayed at the gorgeous El Dorado Maroma, whose beach is fabled to be Travel Channel's #1 beach.  The location was perfect and after 1 full day of idyllic Caribbean effect, we forgot the world we left behind, almost.

After a perfect "Sky" massage in a hut above the waters of the Caribbean and being soothed by the cool breeze, it truly felt like we were getting started quite nicely on the whole R&R plan.  However, the first sign of this "Maya" or illusion of sun and fun in the sun was right there on the beach after I came out of the hut! To my surprise, the beach was empty, the sky was pitch black, and there was, RAIN!  I had been enjoying the massage so much that I didn't even notice the intensity of the breeze that had changed from a soft breeze to high wind!


And, so it went on, for 4 days.  A freak storm in April with little breaks here and there where we all almost ran to the beach with our drinks and towels and useless sunscreens!  And, promptly ran back to our rooms or the poolside restaurant when the rains started pouring again.  So, to make the most of this situation, we drank a lot of mojitos, margarita tamarindos (margarita with tamarind - highly recommended), and a few tequila shots and caught up our paperback reading. 

What this offered me was a unique opportunity to savor the true beauty that was laying all around me and capture those moments, colors, flavors and essences through my camera and my soul.  The various shades of green, the ever-changing shades of turquoise-grey-blue of the Caribbean Sea, the rapid transition of the blue to dark grey of the clouds above us, all of this was food for the creative soul.  To add to this, the colors and flavors of the cuisine of Mexico, be that on the streets of Playa del Carmen or in the fabulous restaurants of the resort.
 
Yes, we finally got our much needed R&R and loved watching the storm raging on the Caribbean although I can't say that the staff enjoyed cleaning up after it as much!  

And, if you are looking for one of the best massages in the world but for $27 for 1 hr and if your adventurous spirit allows you to, then look no further than the booth on 5th Ave in Playa del Carmen!  This is a top secret but the key is to be adventurous! :-)


  









Mar 29, 2010

Spring Is In The Air

Spring is in the air even though it has been raining too much like November in Vancouver.  I love the greenery of the Grouse Mountain that I can see from my windows.  The air is fresh, the flowers are in bloom, and new ideas are streaming through my brain.

What is it specifically about Spring that I love?  I know that the reappearance of greenery and color in the dry and withered landscape is the big attraction, but for those of us living in evergreen Vancouver, what are we supposed to celebrate?  I think, for me, it has to be the promise of new beginnings and that's what's on my mind these days.

I remember vividly, growing up in Calcutta, when global warming hadn't reared it's ugly head as much, and we could experience the joys of each season (now it's just summer and winter!), Spring came with the festival of Colors or Holi and the Gul Mohar tree bursting out in a glory of red and yellow outside of our window!  The Flame of the Forest made the trees look like they were on fire with soft red petals of the flower in full bloom.

With Spring in the air and creativity reigning high on my mind, I think this is the perfect time to start walking a new path with new inspirations and a fresh outlook.












 










Feb 23, 2010

RAJBOORI available through Modern Karibou

I am so excited to share that the Rajboori Collection is now available through Modern Karibou - http://www.modernkaribou.ca/m-68-rajboori.aspx!


Modern Karibou is a wonderful online store that offers great designer items for the home.  It clearly states in their mission statement - Our mission is to be a dynamic online source of inspiration for lovers of modern design and interior d├ęcor in Canada.

Modern Karibou highlights the creations of established and emerging designers and artists from around the world and champions and celebrates home-grown, innovative talent.  In addition to featuring a beautiful selection of unique modern furniture and accessories, we’ll help you identify great contemporary design ideas for your home and make them easily accessible.