Indian artisanal handcrafts are being thrown into the limelight with a more local approach to shopping.
Both Indian, as well as foreign customers, cannot get enough of the expert skills of India’s artisans. Global is local now.
Across the nation, different regions have vastly different cultures and styles of art and handicrafts. If you think of Kashmir, you will be reminded of lush silks and meticulously embroidered fabrics such as pashmina. You will also think of engraved wood furniture and trinkets.
Preety Agrawal, along with her husband Rahul Sharma, has been in love with Kashmir’s handicrafts for a long time. Mecraaz is the brainchild of their personal and professional knowledge of the valley.
Mecraaz is a Jammu and Kashmir-based slow fashion home and lifestyle brand that sells heirloom pashminas, sumptuous scarves made of silk, hand-carved walnut wood, copperware, and other useful items.
Love For The Valley
Preety Agrawal, and Rahul Sharma, a husband-and-wife team, created Mecraaz in March 2020 with a deep passion for the enduring craftsmanship of the Kashmir valley. Professionally, Rahul has an MBA and is a marketing whiz, while Preety is a tech expert.
She has been present in the entrepreneurial scene for some time now. She has a second venture named KesarCo, which she co-founded as well. Its specialties include saffron, honey, nuts, and other high-quality regional foodstuffs from Kashmir.
Personally, they both have strong ties to Jammu and Kashmir. Rahul grew up there while Preety used to visit as a child. Their early recollections are vivid in the picturesque Himalayan valleys, and they are connected by their shared appreciation of Kashmiri culture and craftsmanship.
Mecraaz is a straightforward yet profound portrait of two passionate people, Rahul Sharma and Preety Agrawal, whose hearts and souls are deeply ingrained in the tradition and color of the breathtaking valley.
After considerable travel around India, they came to the many crafts that are a source of pride for our nation, which strengthened their appreciation for Indian ability and artistry.
However, as they saw people proudly displaying their Pashmina shawls and scarves worldwide, they were reminded of the beauty and importance of the Kashmiri craft.
They made the decision to restore the valley’s beauty through their venture. Add a contemporary flavor to it. Make it known to the globe. Make it something you will always remember. Thus, “Mecraaz” was born.
Currently, Mecraaz has a small team of 15, and everyone works closely with one another in sales, marketing, digital, customer service, and vendor management to ensure they don’t miss anything.
What Makes It Different?
Mecraaz provides customers with the essence of Kashmir—tastefully chosen, meticulously curated, artistically wrapped, and given with the passion and gratitude of our artisans—in everything from heritage Pashminas to priceless silk scarves to handcrafted home utility products.
Pashminas from the firm comes as beautiful stoles in various designs, embroidered and zari, and solid pieces. Silk scarves come in various “Kashmir valley-inspired designer prints” as well.
From its founders, Preety and Rahul:
“Authenticity, creativity and culture are what we stand for here at Mecraaz and it is our sincere effort to help our artisans reach out to the world, showcase their unmatched skill and for them to earn a livelihood.”
Mecraaz’s copperware includes pieces like hand-engraved decorative copper plates and copper flask bottles. It also offers hand-crafted walnut wood decorative items and boxes, from salvers to jewelry boxes to bookcases.
Mecraaz’s goal is to support the local artists of the Kashmir Valley in their efforts to display their unparalleled talent to the world so they may support more families, create more jobs, and provide more smiles to more people.
Mecraaz isn’t just an online store, it is a project to give Kashmir’s traditional workmanship a new style and a contemporary flavor in an effort to restore its former splendor. Going local and promoting slow fashion is a bigger goal, and this is only one small step toward that goal.
Growing The Tapestry of Culture
Since the market is flooded with adulterated/blended items, developing consumer confidence was one of the biggest challenges Mecraaz encountered as a handcrafted artisanal products brand.
The firm overcame this by having all of its items, including its Pashmina and copperware lines, evaluated and certified by regulatory agencies. At Mecraaz, authenticity, originality, and culture are at the core of every product.
Mecraaz’s annual revenue increased eightfold between FY 20-21 and FY 21-22. Initially, the brand just offered one collection in the women’s accessories area, but as of now, it provides a variety of goods in a number of different categories, including home decor, cookware, tableware, and recently announced home fragrances such as scented candles.
Today, Mecraaz’s products can be found on many different marketplaces, such as Nykaa Fashion, Myntra, and Taggd.
At Pickrr’s The Super Startups 2022 awards, Mecraaz emerged as an ‘Emerging Superstar’.
Looking to the future, the Mecraaz team is busy developing its men’s collection and will have an amazing selection of daily wear and accessories available soon. Mecraaz has consistently gotten good sales from the Home category. Thus, the emphasis is on growing this sector.