India is full of interesting people with inspiring stories. Today we bring to you a not-so-ordinary story of a young woman who’s CS-Lawyer-Journalist turned into a full-time heritage entrepreneur and a passionate digital creator (you’d check her IG feed).
With work experience of 8 years in diverse fields and industries ranging from energy to museums to production houses to branding & advertising to events to blogging to being a serial founder of a couple of experimental businesses (she’s exited them), Richa Dalwani is quite a vibe in herself.
Being born and brought up in a conservative Sindhi family, she recalls being the most carefree and rebellious child of the clan. Her mischiefs were often overshadowed by high grades. Growing up, Richa was unsure of her career choices but she always knew of her love for coffee, baked goodies, Hollywood dramas and social entrepreneurship.
On being asked about her latest venture ‘The Heritage Art’, she is quick to respond as what started with one revelation (she didn’t know the history of Ahmedabad, her hometown because no study books talk about it) led to a quest and desire to make India ‘Sone ki Chidiya’ again. A dream to bring back the golden glory and unmatchable culture of India. A quest to show real India to Indians, a journey of fading off the glamorous influence of foreign destinations and creating fresh impressions of Indian legacy.
Indian souvenirs and heritage industry is an unexplored and unstructured segment where the souvenirs are either not available or are expensive or are made in China at low cost and low quality. The Heritage Art is a movement – ‘for Indians, by Indians and from Indians’ with the vision of popularizing Indian cities, monuments and culture.
She explains, “We manufacture souvenirs & artefacts in Gujarat by collaborating with local artists and artisans and sell them on our e-store. Our USP is thoughtful design, culture awareness and affordable keepsakes. Buying souvenirs is a common practice in a lot of western countries, as tourists, even Indians buy these during their trips and are fascinated by their preserved cultures. That’s exactly what we are trying to create in India – a fresh culture of souvenirs, heritage and arts. We must know our cities and country and consciously promote it to younger generations. Hence, we need modern products inspired by real India in every Indian household.”
The present collections are dedicated to different destinations / human legacy like India’s 1st Heritage City – Ahmedabad, UNESCO Heritage site – Rani ki Vav & Mahatma Gandhiji. “We are working today to protect our yesterday and to preserve it for our tomorrow,” adds Richa.
She envisages India to be a world leader in manufacturing souvenirs and modern handicrafts (which is a multi-billion dollar industry) and is all set to be at the helm of it. And this has not come easy to her. There are days when she is broke, there are days of mental breakdowns, there are months and months of no fun, just hustle but then there are also days when her work is seen as a long-due movement and that makes every hardship even for her. She says success to her is not just to make a billion-dollar fortune but to impact a billion lives with her work and life.
Perhaps that’s why her personal social media is full of thought-provoking and taboo campaigns like menstruation, say no to rape culture, anti-violence, human rights, etc.; isn’t she inspiring the entire generation to be bold, ambitious and a better human? In a world of profits and valuations, having a woman fight against the odds for her equal existence and work tirelessly for making her country a timeless land is just incredible.
Follow Richa Dalwani on Instagram: www.instagram.com/thefictiongirl
For more details on her shop, visit www.instagram.com/heritageartshop