At last MESH has a staff member expressly for domestic marketing. With the downturn in sales to Europe over the last couple of years and the sense that there is growing consumer demand in India MESH has felt the need to seriously focus on domestic marketing for a while now.
Naazneen Mehra joined us May 1st and already has an event planned for MESH Delhi shop from 13th July which we hope to take to Hyderabad too. But how to scale up given that most of our present ranges are hand crafted items and cannot be made fast? We are looking into that too and perhaps for the first time we shall see one of the groups of disabled people that we work with focusing less of handicrafts on more on systematic assembling of gift type products…watch this space!
Expected in MESH Design Studio in June and July are some new artisans for MESH, young people with disabilities who are part of a support programme run by GMR the company that builds airports in India. We have long wished for local screen printers so when GMR asked if we could provide some training for their group members we immediately thought of screen printing. They will visit first for the day and then begin a 2-4 week training later in June.
At the same time we shall have a young man from Kiran Centre called Sonu in the studio for an exposure visit. MESH Design Studio is committed to providing design exposure to young people from our target community of people affected by leprosy or people with disabilities in the hope that the exposure will guide them into design as a career. Sonu is a keen artist in 11th standard who is considering fine arts at college…who knows this experience in MESH may help him to see how to apply his artistic skills in a different way! We at least are hoping he can give us some art work for screen printing, embroidery or greetings cards.
A couple of students from a prestigious institute of Design (NIFT Bhopal) are also coming to the Design Studio in June and July as interns. Their college project will see them working with embroiderers from Champa and Lucknow and I am sure that Naazneen will be asking them to develop products that she thinks will have the best impact in the domestic market.