My Sumsaara journey essentially started in September of 2017 with the Sumsaara Essence Clutch Purse although in essence it started in my childhood:) I am told that even as a child I was forever making envelopes and boxes out of paper, fabric, cardboard....anything I could lay my hands on and turn them into some kind of packaging! My mother would encourage me to think outside the ‘literal box’ that I would create and see how it could be innovatively used for trash or holding money or flowers while looking aesthetically beautiful and be made out of paper mache or ribbon or clay...anything that could be recycled or repurposed
This became a hunger and a passion - that led me to explore Design (while in high school) during the summers at Academy of Art in San Francisco and Art Center in Pasadena. I discovered a world of tools and mentors to give practical and potential commercial expression to my ideas and beliefs. This led me to a degree in Design with emphasis on Industrial Design and Graphic Design in the initial years at California State University at Long Beach and finishing up at San Jose State University. I consider myself very fortunate that I got trained at the four very best Schools for Design in CA:)
Soon after my graduation I introduced the Essence Clutch at a show in San Mateo. It was received with much excitement and appreciation and garnered a lot of attention. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was exhibiting in trade shows all over California and occasionally outside too
This journey although very satisfying was very challenging. To bring ideas to life the first need is capital. Thankfully with the help of crowdfunding through Kiva and a grant from City of San Jose I was able to stay true to my wish to have my products read ‘Made in America’. The second most challenging aspect was ‘selling’. I was trained to be a designer and would rather spend my time behind the drawing board. After talking to thousands of people at the trade shows, I am happy to say that I am now comfortable in front of the drawing board too!!
My belief for my products remains the same that I have carried over from my childhood. To boldly transform everyday things into works of art - by designing innovative, exciting yet functional and visually beautiful products handcrafted locally from materials that are as eco-friendly as possible