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Custom Design, Art, Lifestyle, Fashion and More | Stories and Experiences from Zwende
I was in this well lit dedicated room, books all around, with my head down into a textbook trying to solve a complex physics problem. Suddenly she came inside the room unannounced and put a big bowl on the table. The thud of the bowl on the table completely distracted me from the complex physics problem (I guess to be honest now, I was waiting for some distraction. I was getting nowhere with the problem). Anyways, I looked into the bowl and saw some dark brown stuff. Before I could enquire what that was, she excitedly rambled about the new brownie recipe she tried and that she thought the baking attempt number 6 is sure to be top notch. Having tried the previous 5 outputs and also upsetting my stomach in the process, I was terrified within but smiling outside. The brave foodie that I was, I courageously picked up the spoon and dug it into the brownie and surprisingly with minimal effort I could cut up a small piece (phew! step 1 seemed promising). It was actually very good and I ended up eating the whole bowl. At the corner of my eye I could see the proud smirk on my sister’s face that she finally cracked it. She was elated. I was happy.
You see the latest trends changing on a monthly basis these days. One day a flower tiara is a must-have accessory, the next day a choker becomes hot fashion. Someday, a celeb was photographed roaming around in comfy yoga pants and it made Athleisure the new type of outing wear. Another day, the same celeb sported an old 90’s look with high-waisted bell bottom pants and a long-forgotten fashion trend started adorning mannequins everywhere for us to purchase. Having said that, some trends emerge owing to a cause and no wonder they are here to stay. Because, when you change people’s way of thinking towards consuming a product, it brings about a change which is more permanent. One such fashion trend that has come in, as a result of a lifestyle change, is going vegan, also called VEGANism.
Kashmir has inspired many writers, poets, painters with its pristine natural landscapes and its indigenous flora and fauna. One such inspirations took birth as an artform called Kashmiri Embroidery.
Hand embroidered shawls from Kashmir have been a treasured piece of accessory that most of our mothers have preserved over years only to hand them down to the next of their generations, usually as a gift along with the bridal trousseau. We never sort of really came to appreciate the rarity of this possession, until now when we search for authentic Pashminas and Kashmiri hand embroidered shawls for our own collection and we don’t know whom to trust with so many sellers claiming themselves as authentic. With machines coming into play, the handmade shawl which takes months to get to market, is ready in hours and sadly doesn’t have the same exclusivity as the hand embroidered ones.
Artists are dreamers and bring life to things which are every day. When we think of doing just more than surviving, we give way to an artist in us. We get creative and find new platforms to display our thoughts and views. An artist uses tools meant for mundane things in unconventional and unique ways to produce extraordinary things which are his/her ‘own’ version of reality.
A scratch on an antique tin box can give it character. A hint of red color in an all-so-black-and-white scenery can give meaning to a photograph. On one side of the world, a man picks up a needle-and-thread and sews flowers across a leather canvas to make it into a beautiful bag, whereas an artist on another front changes an iPhone from just a 9*16 screen to an infinity screen. Each of this is an example of a unique art that results from a mind which dreamt and made the vision a reality.
Kalamkari art form traces its origins way back 2500 years to Iran (Persia then). The name depicts Kari (craftwork) using kalam (pen). It can be hand-painted or block-printed on cotton fabric.
Over time, trade became the most important factor in creation of demand for exotic art forms. Traders brought their cultural influence to the designs in order to satisfy global market needs and in turn helped in the spread and the development of the artform.
Kalamkari art designs gained prominence in ancient India as a storytelling medium. Hindu Mythology is full of interesting stories of gods and their miracles or kings and their iconic wars or heroic tales of a common man. Storytellers back then used to draw characters and scenes on a piece of cloth using vegetable dyes and display them while singing out the narrative, describing the epics of Ramayana, Mahabharata, Hindu deities and so on. Now you know how these tales spread across miles without any technology in play.
As you’ll know if you’ve read our story, Zwende was founded with the intention of bringing more creativity to our customers’ shopping experience. We enjoyed the uplifting effects of creating something and creative thinking for ourselves, and we wanted you to have that too.
Connecting with your creative self is a powerful way to boost your sense of wellbeing. Creative thinking and practices have, in fact, been proven to improve mental and physical health, and therapists regularly encourage patients to engage in creative activities as a tool for managing difficult emotions. If you’ve ever allowed yourself to become absorbed in the process of making something, you’ll know that engaging your creative brain makes you feel good.
In an increasingly connected world with more and more people working on the move, many of us now carry our laptops and gadgets with us. They’re filled with our work documents and the details of our professional and social networks. We store our photographs and notes and precious memories on them. And with our schedules tapped into our computer calendars, they help make sure we’re in the right place at the right time.
Whether you’re travelling around your town, shuttling to other cities, or passing through countries and continents, you need a perfect work bag or laptop case to keep your devices safe.
At Zwende, we believe that such a frequently used accessory should be stylish as well as functional. We understand that your style is important because it makes you feel confident and plays a big part in making a positive first impression in your working life.
Don’t we love stationery? That feeling of filling your drawers with pens and pencils, paperclips and page markers takes you back to childhood days, and the excitement of things yet to be put down on paper.
The most important part of the perfect stationary stash is the notebook. Unlike scribbling your thoughts and notes down on any old scrap of paper, putting pen to paper in your own journal holds a sense of the sacred. It’s a place for your most honest thoughts: it’s yours, it’s personal, and it’s a patient friend no matter the circumstances.
At Zwende, we know that a notebook has the potential to be inspiring. So we set about to figure out how our talented partner designers and their beautiful art could help to create journals that make you want to fill them with your hopes and dreams, fears and ideas, and your most precious memories.
Here at Zwende, we’re a little bit obsessed with staying organised. Or, more specifically, with handmade accessories that make it easy for us to organise our knick knacks.
We’re guessing you feel the same. You’re busy: you work hard and you’re committed to making time for your family and friends, too. Products that reduce the time you spend trying to untangle things and find misplaced belongings are worth having. Because all that time saved means more time for living.
But so many accessories out there look and feel uninspiring — and isn’t life better if you can pull your gadgets out of a sleeve that makes you smile? We wanted to create a range of time-saving folios, wallets, memo boxes and more, that look stylish and have a story behind them.
Gifting is a beautiful gesture – it shows how important someone is for you and how much you respect them. Gifting is definitely fun, but all of us know very well that behind this lovely act, there's a fair bit of over thinking. It isn’t really a secret that it’s very hard to choose a gift whether off the shelf or handcrafted. Whether we like it or not, we sometimes see that what we choose to buy as a present for someone, may not be a perfect fit for him or her. Sometimes the gift maybe boring, sometimes nice but useless and sometimes maybe just so-so. Neither does this mean that we have poor taste, nor that we didn’t try enough. It is about finding a gift that’s relevant for the recipient.
Are you one of those who thinks that the perfect gift is one that is really expensive? Very often it turns out that expensive presents are quite boring. So what really would qualify as the “best gift”? Something that is truly relevant, something that really suits his or her taste and something handcrafted with the utmost care!
Cork is often overlooked as a material for making handmade accessories and designer products, but it shouldn’t be — it’s one of the most sustainably produced materials available, and just so happens to be versatile and naturally beautiful too. Shivani at Arture is working wonders with this material.
The process of extracting cork is gentle, and doesn’t require the tree to be cut down. The material is shaved from the bark, which then regenerates over time. This means that cork forests are stable, providing long term habitats for other plant and animal life. And the cork forests of southern Europe and northern Africa protect the land from turning to desert, as the roots of the trees allow water to travel deep into the soil(1).
Cork is a family business, and its cultivation in Europe and Africa has been handed down through generations over centuries. Cork trees that have been stripped of their bark absorb 3-5 times more CO2 than unharvested trees(2), so the industry is one of the few in the world that directly offsets greenhouse gases.
A bag, more than anything else, is the most important accessory for today's working women. When we are out of our homes (comfort zone), our bag is our only companion – it keeps us comfortable and ready to face any situation. Aren’t all our bags full of what-ifs? That emergency sanitary pad or a lipstick for the unexpected office party; that gum for a surprise date night or a painkiller for the after-effects of oh-what-an-awful-meeting!
Today's working women are out and about –climbing the social, corporate and geographical ladders with hard work, intelligence and perseverance. Such trendsetting ladies look for convenience PLUS visual aesthetics while choosing a bag to adorn their outfit – whether they are chasing their goals or just having the fun they truly deserve.
Human beings, right from their first cry, start to make choices and start to customize their lives without even realizing. The first choices at that age are really simple - should I look right or look left? Do I want the food that mom gives me or not? People are made to make choices. We all make choices throughout our entire life, no matter how old we are. We choose, because we want to find the best possible variant for us and making choices is just an instinct of self-preservation.
You might make some really serious choices throughout your life: choosing a profession, a husband, a wife, a perfect career.... but apart from that we make small choices every minute. We prefer coffee over tea, we go out rather than staying at home, we watch video on Facebook rather than listening to the song on YouTube... we choose what to eat, buy, wear...
The concept of bespoke, made to order, custom made have been around for far too long; decades or even centuries. For many years then, possession of customized products has been a preserve of the rich. Designing a product to your very specifications called for massive investments; both money and time. Today, however, trends have taken a quantum leap for the better.
Zwende brings an online customization platform that enables you to select your choicest material, color, texture and other related aspects and design your product in just a few simple clicks. Get exactly what you want! Or you want to show your love or appreciation to a loved one or friend? Use Zwende customizer to create a perfect custom made gift for them they can identify with personally.
Unleash your creativity with the Zwende customizer. Here’s why:
Scouring the web for unique customized gifts for her? Zwende has got you covered. Find premium quality and unique gifts for her, all superbly designed by different brands and handcrafted by their craftsmen for that intimate touch.
Getting a perfect gift for your sweetheart can be quite an uphill task - be it any occasion - birthday, anniversary or valentine’s day. There is plenty of variety online and one can very easily be spoiled for choice. However, she is unique, why then should she get a mundane, common gift? Why gift her something that many other people could also probably have? You know her well, why not use your creativity to get her a customized gift - designed by you and especially handcrafted for her? At Zwende, it is easy to find that perfect gift for her. With the smart customizer, you simply pick and design the gift the way you deem fit.
So, what gifts are available on Zwende?
Brunch with the girls is always a great idea, isn’t it? After all, brunches have magical healing powers – you can wake up at leisure, get dressed your best and look forward to chilling and relaxing with your best girlfriends. Think brunch – think food, drinks, gossip and oodles of style. I mean, isn’t brunch the perfect place to try out new trends?
Coming to dressing up for brunch, wouldn’t you agree that your bag is as important as your dress, shoes and other accessories? Wouldn’t you want to add on to the cool boho look that you love? And, wouldn’t you to love to carry chic designer bags that are uniquely made to your specifications?
Gifting your employees, partners and clients? Make a stop at Zwende.
It’s that time of the year again. The festive season is about to begin, and palpable excitement has taken hold of your office atmosphere. As your valued employees, partners and clients make plans for the upcoming months of festivity, it’s your turn to plan for their gifts.
Traditional meets contemporary. The bags you customize on Zwende are nothing short of art. Each bag is handcrafted to perfection by skilled artisans and master craftsmen. Such handmade art is sure to up your style quotient and enhance your overall ensemble. Here’s how some of our clients have styled the handcrafted bags customized on Zwende. From US to Croatia, our clients have proudly exhibited their new possessions with their friends, family and fans. Handmake yours now!!
The Seed – Aurobindo’s Coffee
Who said coffee breaks are a waste of time? Everyday Aurobindo brings us chai, coffee, lemon tea, badam milk and whatever else we need. It had been a week or so since I joined Zwende. I was having coffee with Sujay and Innu that day and we were discussing multiple things ranging from which products to launch next to what should be the Instagram posts for the week. And then we touched upon how eventually we should probably have experience zones where customers can have a touch and feel of the awesome products on zwende.com and get help customizing the products. Passersby were always curious on what the interesting office setup was and people who walked in to our office were always amazed at the cool lampshades and bags on display. As we were discussing that and were scanning the room around, it struck us that the answer and next step was right in front of us. We were in a good location, we had the space, we had some good furniture and scrap material and we had already seen interest from people walking by. It was perfect.
You'll agree with me when I say:
“It’s really hard to get a unique bag that suits your style, your needs and your design aesthetic”
You often find something that meets your need but you want it in a different color or shape. Or you find the perfect shape and color but you want changes in the artwork or design. Or you like everything aesthetically but it doesn’t fit your need. It’s quite complicated!
Or is it?
Key projects coming to an end or the next appraisal cycle or festival season upon you and you are suddenly scouting for those usual, common custom corporate gifts out there – printed mugs, branded pens, decorative unusable items or the dreaded vouchers which get the employees nothing they like. You would have gone through Pinterest, Facebook, Amazon or some gifting websites for scores of options. You must now be tired of this process, of getting a lot of ‘feedback’ and frankly bored too. It’s the same year after year, so it’s time to try something new this time around.
Give your people the choice to create custom corporate gifts that suit them and their lifestyle. Your office is not made of all the same kind of people. Why then, should they all get the same gift? Try the Zwende way.
Look above. It bothers me so much. I wish I could go and set it properly. Is it only me? Doesn’t this upset you? It does right?! It is so unorganized and there is so much clutter. Why! Why! Why! How can this clutter be of any use to anybody in the right time of need? Sorting through this clutter will create more clutter. And those tangled earphones and USB cables - don’t even get me started on that. And please do not dump all of it in that backpack. Please!
Long before TVs or films were invented, Tholu Bommalata used to be one of the major forms of storytelling for the people of Andhra Pradesh. The leather puppets would be designed to look like Rama or Ravana, the mythical figures of Indian folklore. Late into the night, the puppets would dance, accompanied with the beat of traditional drums and a melodious narrative.
Have you dreamt of your perfect home? Or looked at a handbag and thought of all the ways in which you could make it infinitely better? Everybody has their own style and in this age that requires us to subscribe to mass production it can leave us deeply unsatisfied. With the same designs and trends, it is not uncommon to walk down the street and see someone holding say, an iPad sleeve that is exactly like yours.
Why you just can’t do without these lampshades that are customizable on Zwende
In today’s day and age we often forget that interior design is supposed to be a fun activity. There are many choices out there, but nothing really seems to match you or your dream home. Every modern Indian can find what they are looking for at Zwende, because here we work with boutique designers and suppliers to wed tradition to contemporary fashion.
Explore the latest collection of lampshades by Studio Moya light up your lifestyle.
How often have we found ourselves in a panic over finding the perfect gift for a parent, a friend, a mentor or that special someone? With a birthday, an anniversary or a special occasion around the corner, how many times have we hastily picked up that generic scarf, a scented candle, the latest best-selling novel or a clutch purse from a shelf carrying 50 more identical pieces? Change the way you shop for gifts and go for custom handmade gifts.
Gone are the days when only the rich and famous could get things just right. Today, getting the perfect mix of things has made its way into our everyday lives to such an extent, that we don’t even realise how much of it is customised.
Our days begin with the perfect cup of coffee – a medium, caramel flavoured macchiato with whipped cream, and skimmed milk.
Why not add some zing to your drab office and home work desks with some extra special handcrafted desk decor and accesories?
We power dress ourselves for career success, whether it’s the perfect slouched startup-ready jeans, or the razor-sharp boardroom-ready suit. We spritz on that lucky-day perfume or that coveted watch, the one that gives us that extra burst of confidence. We fill our homes with delightful decor to come back to; extra-cute coasters, those quirky cushion covers with the tribal artwork on them, scented candles for extra-zen, gorgeous rugs with kalamkari designs that tell a story. We polish up our look with the perfect arm candy and bags with personality. We even focus so much on the ideal workspace and there are several ideas to create the perfect workspace but ignore the very core of a workspace - our desks and cubicles.