Meet the maker: Swati Seraan – By The Riverside

Swati Seraan loves the woods and the country-side. And this is reflected in the design ethos of her brand By The Riverside - which makes wine racks, vintage mirror frames, clocks, wall hooks, bar tables, wall murals - all out of reclaimed materials from old factories, barns and warehouses. Let's meet and find out more about her journey.

We love to introduce you to our Makers. They bring a lot to what we have in store for you. We believe getting to know them is a large part of helping us build a better relationship with you. On that introductory note, let’s meet one of our most talented makers, Swati Seraan of By the riverside.

Like all good things, By the riverside was created out of a desire to make something interesting out of nothing and add vibrancy to people’s lives with enchanting pieces of home décor that would be cherished for years to come.

Naming By The Riverside

By the riverside is inspired by nature and the good old days. In the absence of a real time machine, Swati wanted to create something that would take people back to a golden era. By the riverside is an expression of this heartfelt desire. It’s not just a name, it’s a feeling. Inspired by her love for nature, Swati wanted a name that evoked the rustic and the old-worldly, and reminded people of the gifts of the natural world. By the riverside fit the bill naturally.

Swati Seraan – Founder, By The Riverside

Building By The Riverside

As a child, Swati was inclined to doing up homes. In fact, very early in life, she wanted to be an architect, but chose to pursue a career in computer technology. That said, the desire to explore the artistic side of life via home décor refused to go away.

After 14 years of exploring the corporate side of computer technology, Swati decided it was time to finally follow her heart. This was in the year 2014.

To begin with, Swati created small pieces of home décor items such as planters, wine racks and murals through exhibitions. Then she started crafting bespoke furniture. Soon, people turned to her for pretty much everything – from bars to storage trunks to crockery cabinets to dining tables and more.

Initially it took a lot of experimentation and hands-on effort for Swati to achieve the aesthetic she desired. Once she got it down pat, she set about teaching her ways to a skilled and committed set of teamsters she put together to execute her vision for By the riverside.

Her team has been working closely with Swati for the over two years now. The mission they all share is to endeavour extremely hard to do something different from the run-of-the-mill and ensure the results are gorgeous, original, and elicit nothing less than delight from customers.

Today, By the riverside is all about creating end-to-end interiors in a style that harks back to the old world with a contemporary touch of the rustic countryside.

Inside By The Riverside

Swati has a team of carpenters and painters who specialise in working on solid wood. Their design studio is located in Whitefield, Bangalore. Here, every piece By the riverside curates is from natural timber, which is then individually hand-crafted and polished or painted, depending on what the customer wants. While this is all very time-consuming, it goes a long way in making their products special, unique, and extremely personalised.

Challenges By The Riverside

Currently Swati’s biggest challenges are logistics and the means to extend the reach of By the riverside.

They often get orders from customers from cities in other parts of the country who are willing to pay a huge premium for their products, which By the riverside tries to its best to service by finding a way to transport products at a reasonable cost. It’s a problem they still haven’t managed to resolve satisfactorily.

While they do deliver all over India, it’s only the small items that are easy to send out everywhere. The prohibitive cost of transportation makes big ticket items virtually impossible to courier to remote parts of India. Because of this, the pleasures of By the riverside are experienced mostly by people who live in and around Bangalore.

Another fairly daunting challenge By the riverside faces is encouraging more customers open their minds to the unique and classical style of décor Swati and her team champion. It is an opportunity (not a problem) By the riverside tries to tap into using better communication, conversation, and collaborative thinking with all their customers.

Future By The Riverside

Looking immediately ahead, the desire is to bring the extraordinary By the riverside touch to many more commercial and personal spaces like hotels, resorts, and boutique homes. Of course the long term goal is to take By the riverside to customers across Asia, Europe, the world. In other words, the sky’s the limit.

Way to go, By the riverside! We wish you well and look forward to being an integral part of this journey.

Visit the By The Riverside Shop on Engrave.

To read stories about all our makers, click here.

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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