One of the reasons I started blogging four years ago was to share lovely things with people - places, crafts, things I love to do. When I come across a company like Love From Lakshmi I always feel the need to find out a bit more behind the brand. Love From Lakshmi is a recent discovery of mine, I found them on Instagram and they sell the amazing enamelware that I have such a penchant for - you know how I love my colourful mugs.
I will now hand you across to Eliza who will give you an insight into her business:
"Having been born in a very rural part of Dorset in the UK to working farming parents I was never exposed to any other cultures. I am always asked where my love for India came from and I can never answer that. It's as if I was born with the passion.
Love from Lakshmi was created in 2009 when I was bought my first ever vintage Indian textile. From there my passion for vintage Indian textiles grew and I started educating myself mainly on the different tribes and communities from the rural western areas of India. I created my own collection, decorating my home with different types of embroidered textiles and started testing the market with things I didn't have room for. I also started collecting vintage jewellery from the tribes who made the textiles.
I was working in a dead end job for a few years and knew I wanted more from life. I didn't want to work to fulfil someone else's dreams. I wanted to work to fulfil my own dreams of running a full time business - importing all these beautiful treasures for India on a much bigger scale. One day I got home from work and decided I was going to hand in my notice and really work on making my dream a reality.
I sold my entire collection and started importing vintage textiles direct from India. Since then I have travelled to India, hand-sourcing and expanding my range into different types of homewares and vintage jewellery. I have also developed such a love for the vintage jewellery of the Kuchi people. The Kuchi are Sunni Muslim tribes people who travel the alpine routes between Pakistan and Afghanistan, guiding their herds of sheep and camels to the sparse grazing grounds scattered over rugged mountain terrain. The tribe no longer wear their original handmade jewellery. They have more money now and are starting to buy jewellery from China, Thailand and India. It is rare you will find a family still wearing these old types of jewellery. So I enjoy preserving the history of these gorgeous items from such a fascinating tribe.
My business is now very known for my varied range of hand painted enamelware from Kashmir, India which I have been supplying shops, weddings, festivals, homes and events for the last couple of years and have absolutely loved doing it. You will find a piece in every single room of my house. I am very lucky to have a great relationship with my artisans. We are more like family than business partners. We stay in contact everyday and work very closely together. I just adore the history behind their family business. Their great grandfather visited Kashmir from Persia along with a group of artisans in the 18th century and settled there in Kashmir. He was an amazing craftsman of his time. He went on to train many people in Kashmir and the art has now been passed down through the generations. Their father is the 3rd generation of artisans who had learned from his father. He has now gone onto train many people in Kashmir also creating an amazing group of artisans. This is the family business and will continue to work itself down the generations like it has done since the 18th century.
I also stock vintage Hindu shrine prints These are not just images of Gods; they are Gods. Gods incarnate in their printed image. During puja (worship) the Gods are invited to descend into their images and are treated as guests. Offerings of fruit, flowers, and sweets are placed before these prints, prayers chanted to them, incense burned before them, and garlands of marigolds are hung around their frames. My most popular prints are my Lakshmi prints. Almost every Indian shop has a Lakshmi print hanging above the cash register (Goddess of prosperity, luck, and beauty), always with a garland of flowers around her frame and a dot of sandalwood paste and kumkum (vermilion) on her forehead, placed between her eyes at the point of the sixth chakra, the third eye, the point at which we open spiritually to the divine. Devotees place this tilak (mark) on the glass as a reminder of darshan, the moment during puja (worship) when their eyes and Lakshmi's met. I have been very lucky to source some Lakshmi prints with the original tilak mark on the glass.
I am currently in the process of designing and having my own range of hand blocked printed quilts being made in Jaipur in India and other unique homewares being introduced into my range soon so keep an eye out."
Thank you so much Eliza, I am in awe of your business and I wish you great success. I will certainly be adding to my enamelware collection.
*Photos supplied by Love from Lakshmi*