Dutch by birth, Indian by heritage. Combining Western aesthetics with Indian colours, design, and crafts are what Monica Sharma Patnekar is all about. Best of both worlds you can say. She is constantly looking for and discovering many more interesting designers and brands in India. So what did she do? She left the corporate world to follow her dream.
With Chutney – the flavour of Indian design, she wants to give you the flavour of Indian design for your home. Contemporary design from India. Curated in The Netherlands.
She always had the dream. At some point, you have to go for it. At least you have to try it. When you really believe in it, it will succeed. Bringing Indian design to Europe, merging her upbringing and her heritage, has always been something she wanted to do. She even wrote her Master thesis on bringing Indian fashion designs to Europe for the Fashion Design Council of India.
‘You can’t have a business that profits one and harms the other. You have to be ethical, fair and think about the people and the world around you. This can come in all forms and shapes and sizes. What works for your business is a choice.’
She believes in being fair. For her that’s principle. It always has been and something she doesn’t need to think about. But it’s not what she promotes her business on. It’s not about buying from her because it’s fair or sustainable. Buy from her because It’s great design, it’s new and creative. And guess, what, they also think about the world around. It’s a basic principle of business for her. But it comes in different ways. And you see that in the brands she sells. The following 3 levels you find back on her platform:
All brands featured on Chutney are fair. All the brands believe in ‘fair trade & labour laws’. Which means they treat employees fairly, fair pay, no child labour, etc.
Some of these are also handmade: by local artisans (‘Karigars’) in villages, using traditional Indian techniques in a new way or with new designs
A few of these are also sustainable made from up-cycled material
It’s all about how you style and mix and match it. So to open up people’s eyes to gorgeous design that is different from what is presented here currently, but can easily fit into any home here. And for people to realize that there is more to Indian design than what they think. It’s a new flavour for their home. All the designs she has are made by designers and design houses in India, who are very much impacted by daily life, surroundings and things they see in the world. You will see that come back in their designs, prints, colours.
‘I do strongly believe it’s a matter of choice, and the more you tell people what to do, the less likely they will. It’s better to showcase these products, bring them in front of people and show the great work, both in terms of design and the impact.’