Meet the Maker: Dr. Megha Phansalkar – Tisser Rural Handicraft

Tisser is a boon to creators and aficionados of art-inspired products. Get to know them better.

Tisser was founded by Dr. Megha Phansalkar. It provides market linkage to rural women who make Warli and other art-inspired products. Tisser is based out of Mazgaon, Mumbai.

 

To help you get to know our Makers better, as part of our long running Meet the Maker series of conversations, we asked Dr. Phansalkar about Tisser. It made for interesting reading. We invite you to the conversation.

What were you doing before you started doing this?

I was and still work for World Bank on different projects. 

 

Why did you choose to do what you do?

I wanted to revive the handicraft business in India. To that end, Tisser took the inititative to employ rural women and encourage them to develop their skill. 

 

We are fascinated by names. What’s the story behind your brand name?

Tisser is a French word for “weave”. Tisser aims to weave a network of rural products, mostly made by Rural Women Self Help Groups from India. 

Which are your best selling products?  

Our animal planters are our best selling products.

 

What kind of people do you create your products for? 

Our products cater to tasteful, art sensitive audiences in the middle to higher income group.

 

What are the challenges you face in connection with achieving your goals? 

The only problem we face sometimes is to communicate with the women and persuade them to shed their inhibitions and attend the training. Initially, the women are diffident and shy. Happily, most come around.

Where do you see your brand three years from now?

We are currently focussing on entering the home decor sector.

 

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?

I would still be working for the upliftment of rural women in a different setup.  

 

Visit the Tisser Rural Handicraft Shop on Engrave

Avinash Subramaniam

Avinash has been an advertising writer, fiction writer, poetry writer, freelance writer and serial wronger. Other roles he has been in include those of an editor, brand builder, and teacher. His interests include advertising, scrabble, body building, chess, cinema, making money, reading, internet culture, cricket, photography. To hear him air his thoughts, follow him on Twitter @armchairexpert.

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