Known for spotlighting homegrown brands across art, fashion, and craft categories, among others, By Hand from the Heart returns to the city this weekend with new product categories and experiences. The popular makers’ market curated by Deepa Sekar and Kshiti Davey will feature a design-centric AR experience, a hand-embroidered tapestry display, and a drop-off kiosk for thrifted women’s clothes and accessories. “There is also an all-day wood crafting workshop by Skillo, and a pyrography demo by Paper Garden from Visakhapatnam wherein the design is burnt on the wood surface using heat,” says Deepa.
At this year’s edition, 24 of the 42 brands are first-timers. Comprising XOtoXO Games and Style with Lagom from Chennai, Naomi by Neeha Bhumana from Hyderabad, Naksha from Kolkata, and Underlyn from Rajahmundry, visitors can expect a mix of products — publishing, food, and board games, to name a few. Anusha Veluswamy of Hyderabad-based The Little Dipper Publishing is excited to bring her recently-launched independent press for children to the city. “We create culturally rooted, compassionate, and representative books of children. We launched in June 2022 with two books: Where is Mr Thookam? and Maari – A Gift From The Skies,” she says, adding that multicultural books for children are the need of the hour as they act as a window into the lives of diverse groups of people.
Soundarya Gottapu of Paper Garden, who will be participating for the first time, adds how illustrated products are the crux of her brand. “An illustrated desk calendar mounted on a wooden holder was our first product. We kept experimenting with paper and wood, and soon had a collection of products ranging from wooden plant labels, fridge magnets, stamps, notepads, and bookmarks,” she says, adding that garden decor and colouring books will be launched at the market.
Also participating at the event is Firefly Wellbeing, the Chennai-based organisation co-founded by Shriya Srivatsan and Priyanka Venkataramani that advocates mental health and personal development. Their self-reflection journal, Who Am I, launched in January this year, and Priyanka says the “book of 365 journal prompts meant to help you discover yourself and build resilience” will be available for sale. “As psychologists, we have carefully curated questions on sections about yourself, your family, relationships, friendships, your ambitions, and core values.”
On March 18 and 19 at Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park, TTK Road. 10am to 8pm