Mrs. Pragnya Mishra is the Director of Marketing at BEADS, a design studio that creates elegant, ethnically inspired, and environmentally friendly products. In this interview, she shares BEADS’ vision and mission, how they incorporate traditional arts and crafts practices into their contemporary lifestyle products, and their strategies for promoting and showcasing their products to a wider audience. She also discusses the challenges they face in the art and design industry and how they overcome them.
1. Can you tell us more about the vision and mission of BEADS? How did the idea of starting a modern, mindful experimental art and design studio come about?
BEADS is a design studio based in Bhubaneswar, India, that creates elegant, ethnically inspired, and environmentally friendly products. We are a team of designers, artists, ceramists, and art enthusiasts mentored by renowned artist Jagannath Panda. We aim to bring Odisha’s creative spirit into people’s lives through inspiring designs and eco-conscious products.
2. What makes BEADS unique in the market? How do you differentiate yourselves from other art and design studios?
We are known for our fusion of minimalist Dongria Kandha-inspired designs with eco-friendly practices and sustainable materials. Our products are meticulously handmade by a team of skilled ceramists and artists, and each piece is unique and imbued with a level of craftsmanship that machine-produced items cannot replicate. In addition to our signature products, we also offer a variety of other unique features, such as our ONE WALL Residency program, The Belgadia Palace X BEADS Residency, and collaborations with ceramists and artists across India. Through these initiatives, we are committed to supporting creativity, fostering sustainability, and bringing joy to individuals through our designs.
3. How do you incorporate traditional arts and crafts practices into your contemporary lifestyle products? Could you provide some examples?
BEADS’ design language is minimalist and inspired by Odisha’s art and craft motifs. Our products are handcrafted using traditional materials and methods, and each piece tells a story about Odisha’s rich cultural heritage. For example, our Inaugural Edition is inspired by the Dongria Kandha people, their art, culture, and lifestyle. We use bamboo and sabai grass, which are traditional materials in Odisha, to create utilitarian items as well as ceramics. We believe that the infusion of craftsmanship adds uniqueness and authenticity to our products. Each piece is made with care and attention to detail, and the story it tells helps connect our customers to the Odia culture.
4. Could you elaborate on the creative process at BEADS? How do you explore, design, and create your products?
BEADS’ design process is a five-step journey that begins with research and exploration, followed by conceptualization and design, QA, packaging, and launch. Each step is carefully crafted to ensure that BEADS’ products are minimalist, ethnically inspired, environmentally friendly, and tell stories about Odisha’s rich cultural heritage.
5. How do you believe art and design can improve people’s lives? Have you witnessed any specific instances where your products have had a positive impact on customers?
Art and design can enhance people’s lives by evoking positive emotions, sparking inspiration, connecting them with their culture, elevating daily experiences, and sparking curiosity and engagement.
For example, a cherished coffee mug can be more than just a vessel; it can be a silent witness to our lives, holding the memories of our joy and pain. Art and design have the power to transform our lives in countless ways.
6. As the Director of Marketing, what are your strategies for promoting and showcasing BEADS’ products to a wider audience? How do you communicate the studio’s values and story effectively?
To promote and showcase BEADS’ products to a wider audience, I use a multifaceted approach that effectively communicates the studio’s values and story.
Storytelling: I share BEADS’ Odia heritage, eco-conscious practices, stories of making products, and customer stories through pictures and videos on social media platforms and in the BEADS BEAT newsletter.
Collaboration: I collaborate and promote the art of artists and support a community of artists and artisans.
E-commerce: I optimize BEADS’ e-commerce presence to reach more people and share BEADS’ work.
7. What are some challenges you’ve faced in the art and design industry, and how have you overcome them?
The challenges facing BEADS include market reach, artist’s financial stability, creative blockage, and balancing art, design, and business. To overcome these challenges, BEADS attends industry events, joins online communities, and reaches out to fellow artists and designers to collaborate. They also run awareness campaigns and encourage people to experience their products. Additionally, they embrace sustainability as a core value and communicate their eco-conscious efforts to attract like-minded consumers. By taking these steps, BEADS is able to reach a wider audience, communicate its values and story, and support the community of artists and artisans that it works with.
8. How do you stay updated with the latest trends and innovations in the art and design world? How does BEADS stay ahead of the curve?
BEADS is committed to continuous learning and innovation. They introduce their team of designers and artists to new techniques, styles, and methods. They also meet and greet multiple artists and designers to understand the latest trends. Additionally, they collaborate with other artists and designers, and explore cross-disciplinary approaches, such as the Belgadia Palace X BEADS residency, where they combined sabai grass and ceramics. BEADS is also fortunate to have Jagannath Panda as their design mentor. He is a renowned artist and sculptor who is able to provide the team with valuable guidance and support. Overall, BEADS is committed to creating innovative and high-quality products that reflect their values of sustainability, craftsmanship, and cultural heritage.
9. Can you share any future plans or upcoming projects that BEADS has in store for its customers?
BEADS is experimenting with new projects and products, including an exploration of the paper mache craft of Odisha. While Kashmir’s paper mache crafts are well-known, people are less familiar with Odisha’s paper mache tradition, which has been around for centuries. BEADS is exploring how to add new elements and stories to the craft and style.
I am excited to see what new and innovative products BEADS comes up with next!
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