Meet the Maker: Chetna and Shishu Suman – Madhubani Motifs

A chat with the Chetna and Shishu, the sisters behind Madhubani Motifs, an initiative to preserve and promote the rich, earthy, enchanting, varied, and ancient art of Mithila.

Madhubani Motifs is an initiative to preserve and promote the rich, earthy, enchanting, varied, and ancient art of Mithila.

Mithila is, also known as Tirhut and Tirabhukti, is a geographical and cultural region located in Bihar. This region is bounded by the Mahananda River in the east, the Ganges in the south, the Gandaki River in the west, and by the foothills of the Himalayas in the north. Further, it also extends into the eastern Terai of Nepal.

Engrave spoke to the sisters behind Madhubani Motifs. Let’s get to know them and their baby better.

Where are you located?

We are currently put up in Pune, but originally belong to the small artistic town of Madhubani (Bihar)

How many members make up your team?

We are two sisters, Shishu, 32 and Chetna, 29

What were you doing before you started doing this?

We were and we are software professionals. This venture is a weekend initiative, something that we run out of sheer passion for Madhubani art.

Why did you choose to do what you do?

Simply because we love creating art; it’s like a meditation to us. The kind of happiness art brings into our lives is incredible and hard to describe.

Madhubani artists have been producing fine art products for a long time. While there has been tremendous workmanship and skill displayed, we have not seen much innovation of late. As art lovers with a taste for unique and soulful things, we had the urge to change something about the products, to make them more appealing. This drove us to what we try to do here at Madhubani motifs.

At Madhubani Motifs, we experiment, innovate, and re-imagine the traditional motifs from Mithila art and create products that carry the ancient elegance and resonate well with modern aesthetics. Our objective is to come up with designs and products that are unique and distinct. We work hard to add value and personality to each product we craft.

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

It came about as a result of fun brainstorming, from pulling each other’s leg for every odd suggestion, before we finally stumbled upon this simple, yet powerful, name – Madhubani Motifs. We feel it represents our brand just perfectly. All the things that we create and curate are motifs from this beautiful art-form called Madhubani.

Which are your best selling products?  

Neem wood Comb, Trinket Boxes and Madhubani art jewellery

What kind of people do you create your products for?

For people who love unique and artistic products. And for those who connect with art and value the love and craftsmanship that goes into the handmade.

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

Lack of patronage and art-sensitivity among people

Where do you see your brand three years from now?

We see Madhubani Motifs as a full-fledged venture crafting wonderful art products for art-sensitive people with fine taste.

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

We would have been just software engineers sulking for not listening to our hearts because the idea of Madhubani Motifs has always been brewing in our heads and hearts.

Visit the Madhubani Motifs 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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