This will be the 2nd post in the Inspirers Series. This series is for all those people who want their creativity and their passion to become more than a hobby. For those who want to make their passion and their love into their whole life. I 1st read about Karthik Vaidyanathan on Archana Srinivas's Rang decor and since then I have seen brand Varnam only grow and grow. I had the privilege of meeting Karthik when he 1st came to Kalaghoda and then when I exhibited with him at Anemos for the show "A not so casual Kitchen'. Over the years we've called each other up many a time when we know the other might just have the answers we are looking for.
Originality, design and reinvention are 3 words that come to my mind when I think of Karthik Vaidyanathan and his brand Varnam. That Varnam is one of those rare brands that practices fair trade and that it has almost single handedly revived the Channapatna artistic traditions and given it not just relevance but also delight in the contemporary context and in the process won many an award for design excellence, all of it makes for a uniquely inspirational story. But what inspires me the most is how the love of art will not let Karthik stop at a particular category or art form. So Varnam offers everything from Toys, Tableware, Lighting, Jewellery AND fashion. From when I've seen his work, he is always coming up with something new, there is always new news, be it his home, his brand, a new collection, a new office, a new category or the opening of a store.
You can see more of the Varnam Jewellery Series & buy it here.
Innovation never looked cuter. Meet the Goobe Night Lamp.
or more graceful. Varnam Vilakku.
I love the simplicity and effectiveness in the store design, which is a hallmark of Varnam.
Karthik Vaidyanathan on 3 things that he would say to a Creative Entrepreneur or to a person who wants to pursue a creative career and live their passion.
"Right from my first job of working in music till today, I have never chosen a job for the money but always for its content. I have been very sensitive to the fact that I should never have to drag myself to work and thankfully that has been rare in all my jobs. I would often spend my salary by the middle of the month but I had a great work life with some wonderful learnings in every job. When people tell me it's important to have a work life balance (since I am so engrossed in work mostly), I feel my work in itself gives me a lot of balance. It makes me feel as young and energetic as i did during my first job. I don't feel jaded."
"Life rarely gives second chances. And when it does, make every use of it. " a quote that I now swear by. I always wanted to study design but I couldn't due to parental and societal pressure. But many years later, I was lucky enough to rekindle my passion for it. And it's given me a new lease of life. A certain self confidence that perhaps I didn't need to go to design school after all. Sheer hard work and passion was enough to see me through. I was at a recent conference where a representative of the famous dabbwalas of Mumbai spoke. He said that they didn't work hard for the fame and success. They just loved doing what they did and the rest followed. That story resonated with me. Fame and success will come when the time is right. Till then one needs to enjoy the process of doing what one does. Who would have thought that an engineer who once produced classical music would now create products that make a difference to people's lives. I do not ever wish to take this second chance for granted.
"God lies in the little details. I am very very particular about the little details. When doing a piece of furniture or a product I always tend to check the corners or the under sides where people may usually not look. The aim is always to create a product of the same finish and quality that I expect of others when spending my hard earned money."