In 2008, Vishakha and Nandini, the founders of Mrittika, met and became friends in Kota, Rajasthan while preparing for their engineering entrances. Over the years, these two girls who were supposed to become engineers ended up becoming designers and on one sunny San Franciscan afternoon in 2015, as the two sat discussing their love for Indian textiles, Mrittika was conceptualised. A little over a year later they met again, this time in India, to convert this concept into reality and formed RuMi Craft LLP.- the parent company of Mrittika.
Through Mrittika, Vishakha and Nandini want to use social entrepreneurship to build a transparent, socially conscious and sustainable brand, which will involve customers in its efforts and encourage them to buy sustainable products and make a difference in the Indian handloom and handcrafted textile scenario.
She pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Textile Design from National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) – Kannur, which included a scholarship to study at De Montfort University in Leicester and attend a design workshop at the University of Wolverhampton. Her graduation project led her to intern at Upasana Design Studio in Auroville, near the French Riviera of India called Pondicherry, which ended up becoming her spiritual abode. At her first job at a start-up in Bengaluru, she realised that instead of working for a set-up company, she always wanted to work towards creating jobs and be an entrepreneur.
Her love for writing articles and quotes, graffiti and street art hunting, listening to rock music and drawing illustrations is expressed through her blog called ‘Wiser Budweiser.’ This motor-bike riding mad nomad considers herself a global citizen and has always been passionate about travelling, meeting new people, sipping all kinds of beers and learning about different cultures. During her journeys, she understood how vast India as a nation is, and how varied the culture is from state to state which made her think that there is so much out there in the world; so many places and cultures to explore, books to read, ideas to draw and people to love. Her hunger for that never dies and she keeps striving to understand the universe around her.
Nandini’s relationship with fashion started while learning how to draw figures as a child when she started modifying the styles and cuts of the garments by noticing what people around her wore. Through this she developed a love for fashion, imagination and innovation- something that was evident in the margins of her school textbooks which were full of odd-looking fashion illustrations.
She pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Knitwear Design from National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT)-Hyderabad. Immediately after graduating from NIFT, Nandini enrolled in the Master’s program for Textile Design at Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. During the course, she interned at Stevie Howell Studio, where she got the opportunity to see all the aspects of a nascent business. This helped her realise that she wanted to come back to India and start her own venture as soon as possible.
Nandini believes that she has inherited a love for traditional Indian textiles from her mother and a passion for novelty and experimentation from her father. She wants to bring the two together, along with the knowledge gained from her academic experiences, to create contemporary pieces with traditional Indian textiles, while working with artisans and handloom workers. A trained classical singer, she also enjoys baking, trying out new eateries and reading. Her Dalmatians at home in Allahabad help her maintain her sanity and keep her grounded, and she is a popular figure among the neighbourhood strays. Her goal in life is to realise her vision of a better world and she endeavours towards the same through Mrittika.