It was a raw form of expression that began more as a hobby at a tender age. Little did this young girl know that one day, this passion would lead into a flourishing business. The Punekar in conversation with the pretty, creative head behind Wrapistry, Amruta Walvekar as she talks about what gave rise to her venture and much more. It’s true; sometimes we find our calling when we least expect it.
1. Tell us a bit about how Wrapistry was born.
Wrapistry was born when I was 10; I only named it when I was 23. Even in school its art and craft class that I looked forward to most. Whether it was wrapping gifts, painting posters, or decorating large backdrops for school events sometimes-even schoolbooks; my form of self-expression has been constant. But never once then did I give this a serious thought. Gift-wrapping just made me happy and that was where it ended. But in 2005, when a friend’s sister requested me to help with her trousseau packing, I did it without a thought. The encouragement and praises that followed made me think there could be something more to my hobby. One thing led to another and word of mouth was enough to give me that creative impetus to get started and Wrapistry was born.
2. How would you define creativity?
I feel creativity is not something that can be defined. It’s a personal extension of your ideas, more like your own vocabulary. It’s also very relative; like one could see a plain box and think ‘empty’ while I see it as a blank canvas to fill in with my perceptions. A brilliant example would be the works of Antoni Gaudi who was always inspired by nature for his architectural masterpieces. He used a tree trunk, its branches and the canopy of leaves as the ceiling and created the interiors of Sagarada Familia, in Barcelona. His creation gives an illusion of being in forest whilst standing in a church.
3. Why did you get into gift-wrapping to showcase you creativity? Did you have anything else in mind?
I honestly had nothing particular in mind when I started. It was a hobby that I thoroughly enjoyed. Over the last 4 years I have inculcated a love for photography and table dressing but packaging just happened to come first!
4. You’ve done your MBA from University of London and then went on to start your own venture. Do you think one should complete formal education before taking up their passion?
I think one should identify one’s passion distinctly because it’s only when you love something and are good at it, you will enjoy the journey. Although these vibes are developed early in life; B-schools teach you about management and business application. Education is never wasted, it is the best investment one can make, whether you apply it to your profession or not it will eventually help you. But getting a formal tone to the field you choose is quintessential to tackle competition and maximise your potential.
5. Gift wrapping is something that we’ve always done at home. What made you think that people would avail the services at Wrapistry?
I honestly did not do any market analysis before I embarked on Wrapistry. I just started with an instinct and fuelled it with my passion for the subject. Gift wrapping has a very niche market in India. I am confident that eventually markets will change with the current influx of foreign luxury brands, increased international travel and lifestyle changes. People are now more aware of the delicacy and importance of presentation. When I started I knew my target audience was this niche sector of the society who return back home and wished they had the option of wooing a loved one with beautiful packaging. Now they have Wrapistry.
6. What are the future plans for Wrapistry? Are you planning to expand to different cities?
I have my own studio here in Pune. I do plan to reach other cities through trade fairs and retail shelves but what really excites me is to explore the online business where one would be able to buy Wrapistry’s products like gift boxes, wrapping paper and every day cards. I think online business is going to be the next big thing in India. And eventually I would like to offer the complete package that is gift articles set in beautifully wrapped boxes.
For more information visit www.Wrapistry.com