Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Rachna and Ruchika Kumar

September 26, 2016

Rachna and Ruchika Kumar

Our makers never fail to motivate us, encourage our creativity, and fill us with inspiration. So, when a new design enters our assortment, we’re always excited to learn more about the people behind the product.

Rachna & Ruchika's Handmade Scarves

What gets an artist going and keeps them creating is certainly worth sharing, and every great connection starts with a simple introduction. Meet Rachna and Ruchika Kumar, creators of our new Patta Leaf Whisper Weave Block Print Scarf, Tree Allusion Reversible Block Print Scarf, and Slanted Chevron Reversible Block Print Scarf.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist/maker?
Ruchika: I was born an artist, or at least I like to think so. I knew from an early age that I wanted to draw, and that led me to apply to art schools until I graduated with a bachelor’s and master’s in arts. I became a full-fledged maker when I completed my master’s, and we both set off on our journey to create block prints.
Rachna: I was always drawn to handmade crafts. But after college, I followed the rat race and got an engineering job. After 11 years there, a day came when I just had to leave because my dreams were becoming larger than I could handle! Luckily, my sister was finishing her master’s at the same time – so we joined forces!

Rachna & Ruchika working in India

Rachna and Ruchika working in India

What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist/maker?
Ruchika: The journey and process. Working with amazing people and making things with your own hands.
Rachna: I agree. I think it’s working with the crafts people and continuously experimenting. I enjoy working outside, on my own time, too. It’s also fun working with my sister.

Indigo dyeing process

The indigo dyeing process

What does your typical day in the studio look like?
Ruchika: It’s all over the place! From emails, to designing, to cleaning up, to shipping out orders. After waking up and getting our chai fix, we move into the office and start with emails. Once that’s caught up on, then there’s usually plenty of fabric lying around that needs to be sorted back into it’s place before things get out of hand. In the midst of that, an idea usually strikes and the sewing machine starts churning with start of a new project. And obviously we distract each other a lot – or shall I say I distract my sister a lot with questions – and the day just passes with her helping me complete my task list while hers remains unfinished. 🙂
Rachna: Haha, yes, I think my sister has summed it up pretty well! That’s exactly how it goes! And I have my never ending task list to prove it! Sigh.

Washing and drying process

The washing and drying process

Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?
Ruchika: A couple of things: my little Buddha statue to keep me calm and peaceful, especially with the ups and downs of business. A frame hand-embroidered by a friend that says, “Agree with me or be wrong.” That helps me fight for things I really believe in. And a tree terrarium my sister got me. It’s just special and a symbolic beginning of our business — the first block we made was a tree.
Rachna: Well, can I say I keep my sister around? Haha! I think she’s a major part of what keeps me going in this business.

Ruchika's trinkets. Note: her Buddha statue has recently been replaced with a mini sewing machine!

Ruchika’s desktop trinkets. Note: a mini sewing machine has recently replaced her Buddha statue!

Imagine you just showed your work to a kindergartner for the first time. What do you think they would say?
Ruchika & Rachna: “Haha, this is interesting.” Actually, that’s what our middle sister says. A kindergartner would probably say: “Can I use it for my tent?” 🙂

The woodblocks Rachna and Ruchika use to make their beautiful prints

The woodblocks Rachna and Ruchika use to make their beautiful prints

What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?
Ruchika: “It’s OKAY.”
Rachna: “Dreams don’t work unless you do.”



1 Comment

  • Reply Karva Chauth October 4, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Amazing successful story by this hard work from Rachna and Ruchika. Loved here both of you here; such a inspirational things you described here EMILY, Loved to know more about both. Every women should get inspiration from them, really.

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