Meet the maker: Shikha & Pratik – Square Barrel
My name is Pratik Barasia and together with my wife Shikha Barasia, I own and run Square Barrel. Square Barrel, in fact, originally started as a furniture brand where we drew inspiration from tribal to pop to modern art and sometimes, simple everyday incidents or items that piqued our curiosity.
My name is Pratik Barasia and together with my wife Shikha Barasia, I own and run Square Barrel. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, USA and a businessman by profession, I teamed up with Shikha to complement her terrific design skills with my business acumen. We work out of Mumbai, and together, we aim to provide the creativity, enthusiasm, and the entrepreneurial spirit of our brand, Square Barrel.
Growing up with formal period furniture around her, Shikha, an interior designer by profession, decided to break the mould by creating furniture that, as we like to call it, is ‘anything but serious’. At Square Barrel, we specialise in producing furniture that isn’t ordinary, breaks monotony, and can be deemed by the buyer to be ‘funky’ and ‘quirky’. To fully portray that, though, we needed a brand name that would be deemed unconventional in itself. Since barrels are actually round whereas our ‘barrels’ are anything but, we decided to go with the name Square Barrel. Long story short, we create objects that aren’t ordinary; objects that force you to look twice because they are chock-a-block with differentiating, striking elements.
Square Barrel, in fact, originally started as a furniture brand where we drew inspiration from tribal to pop to modern art and sometimes, simple everyday incidents or items that piqued our curiosity. Shikha and I tend to use themes that are close to our hearts; those which we connect with at a personal level, thereby enabling us to create innovative designs. As our ideas, designs, innovative drive, and subsequently, our brand grew, we decided to branch out into everyday home accessories as well. We firmly believe that no home should be drab, and small funky elements can definitely help liven a place up.
That being said, having ideas is one thing — implementing it to perfection, quite another. We believe in maintaining high standards, and to achieve that, we try and use a variety of materials and finishes that we have grown to trust. These include materials like solid wooden slabs, corian, metals, and iron, to name a few. To add a little more funk, we also get a lot of our furniture either hand-painted or digitally printed by talented artists. The process to complete a single design is quite taxing, because there are constant changes and developments while the piece is being made. A lot of effort goes into making every piece of furniture, and we’re are lucky to have a splendid team of carpenters who understand our design aesthetics and share our enthusiasm to settle for nothing less than perfection.
At Square Barrel, we believe a person’s home should reflect their personality — and this extends to the furniture they own as well. And thus, we provide the option of customisation to all our customers. If you look at our Rubik’s Cube, for example, you will see that we offer the option to customise the theme of cube. Different customers have asked us for varying themes, which you can see below.
The Rubik’s Cube, though, is just one of the many products we sell. Cabinets, chairs, coffee tables, accent tables, bookshelves, and a wide variety of home accessories form a larger part of the Square Barrel collection. If you asked me to pick one, I’d say the London Phone Booth Rack is our best-selling item. Book lovers often yearn a bookshelf that’s peculiar, and its design caters to the idea to a tee. As the name suggests, it’s based on the gorgeously quaint phone booths of London, which makes it immediately eye-catching.
Currently, we are focused on increasing our range and creating a wider variety of products for both, furniture and home accessories. But the truth is, no matter how brilliant an idea might be, furniture is not easy to sell. Given the size and the space required for it, one only buys furniture so many times in their life — when they’re either moving homes or redoing their apartment. It might be difficult, but it still feels great to start a venture with your significant other and watch it blossom everyday. Who knows, in another ten years, the words ‘Square Barrel’ might just be synonymous with ‘funky’ or ‘quirky’. Sky’s the limit, as they say, but till then, remember, each piece we create calls out to you to stop in front of it, explore it, enjoy it, and of course, to use it!
Visit the Square Barrel Shop on Engrave.
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