Mon, 18 Feb, 2019

Shreya’s Silai: Hand-stitched with love, passion and ‘made in Goa’

Shreya’s Silai, an enterprise that believes in offering hand-stitched, customised and ‘made in Goa’ product line of bags, could have an answer to the festering garbage probelm in the State

09th July 2018, 04:07 Hrs


With bans on plastic bags all over India, people are turning to more environment friendly options. Cloth can be the best alternative for plastic, in many cases, especially for shopping bags. To make grocery and vegetable marketing easy, Shreya Khedekar, the proprietor of Shreya’s Silai, a venture that offers homemade, handstitched fabric products, has innovated a multi pocketed, multi-utility shopping bag that has seven separate compartments inside, so that things bought do not get mixed up.   

“My prices depend on the size and design of the product and I keep it reasonable. When I have time I indulge myself in making new designs which are unique and innovative, latest being the multi compartment vegetable bag in trendy colours. Shopping culture in earlier days was so different but now a days stores give out unlimited amounts of plastic bags for free even when the customer doesn’t really need one. So I came up with an idea of stitching this multi compartment veggie bag where it becomes easier for one to carry everything in one single bag and these bags are washable, durable and reusable. Delivery time depends on the quantity and design of the bags ordered,” briefs Shreya.   

Her multi-utility bags come in two varieties - one has fabric compartments whereas the other one has net cloth with price tags of Rs 250 and Rs 300 respectively. The compartments inside the bag help to keep items like vegetables or fruits separate and fresh. The response for these multi-utility bags is fabulous, admits Shreya who has sold 40 such bags in just few days only on word of mouth publicity. “The response is good as plastic bags are banned now and maximum people are using cloth bags,” adds Shreya, claiming to be the only person in Goa to stitch such bags. Admitting that factory made bags can be cheaper but the quality and colour of the material differs, she says, “I stitch my bags with hand and use trendy and bright colours. Also I make it sure that the stitching is sturdy and durable with a capacity to hold 7 kilos.”

Shrey’s Silai has other things to offer too - handmade purses, bags, saree pouches, envelopes, paper bags, potli bags, saree covers, saree holders, vegetable bags, baby quilts, rajai and godhdi. She has customers who want to make good use of their heavy sarees by making bags, purses to suit their style. Some want me to make quilts out of old sarees. So products are made according to their requirement and are stitched to perfection. The finished products are home delivered. “I can give a totally new look and shape to old clothes like sarees, suits, shirts and other cloth material which is used,” boasts Shreya. 

“One of my novel creations is pretty string bags or ‘batwas’ made of high-quality satin and raw silk laced with sari border which can serve as a swanky return gift for occasions like birthdays or weddings. There is a golden drawstring offering perfect closure for the ‘batwas’ which are available in range of vibrant colours including deep pink, deep red, teal blue, ivory, purple, blue, yellow, orange and more. In addition to serving the purpose of return gift, the string bag looks attractive when kept for distribution to guests. The price range is between Rs 29-99 and can be customised as per the desired requirement,” she says.   

A bachelor in Physics who has done diploma in Travel and Tourism Management (IATA), Shreya worked in a travel agency in Pune but later quit it job to look after my father’s art gallery cum banquet hall in Goa. She started working with her artist father, Shivanand Khedekar in 2008. Looking at his art and work she too started making handmade paper envelopes, paper bags, vases out of bottles, pen stands, jewellery boxes and bags out of old clothes. “In few days I had a good collection of my work so I wanted to exhibit the same, with my father’s help I organised an exhibition with a group of ladies at our hall in 2009,” recalls Shreya who has inherited art and showed artistic inclination since she was a kid. 

Shreya’s childhood passion of stitching bags out of old sarees turned into her hobby and now it’s a full-time profession. She stitches everything herself and sells through her recently started Facebook page. Social media platform plays a very important role in showing one’s hidden talent to the world, she realised as the number of clients who wanted to get in touch with Shreya’s Silai almost doubled.   

Shreya feels lucky to get to do what she loves for a living. “In future I would like to take my enterprise to new height with a shop to showcase my products. For me it is a one-woman army, but my husband Ravishankar Bakhale, is my inspiration. He helps me in marketing and delivering the products. My father, in laws, siblings help me in promoting my work. I can say my product is purely ‘made in Goa’ as all the material which I use comes from Goa. The youths of Goa must try to discover their hidden talents and skills and start up something of their own,” concludes Shreya.   

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