Sulagna Ghosh, aka Shuli, has successfully turned her mother’s part-time firm into much more. Shuli was born in the US and had done her undergrad in English literature from the Ivy league institute of Columbia University in New York.
Once she was done with her studies, Shuli decided to head back home to Kolkata where her mother Shanta Ghosh ran a part-time business. Shanta Ghosh, who was an architect, ran an engineering firm. She had a passion for ceramics and pottery and had started a small Confetti with one of her friends in the early 90s. The workshop was set up in Santiniketan where Shuli spent most of her vacations. This is where she got in touch with her creative side.
When Shuli returned from the US, she wanted to give her time and effort to the workshop. She shared how they where not that big of a workplace and would often get a few big orders from people traveling to Santiniketan from Kolkata and also sold to a few regional hotels.
Shuli also shared that even though they had a good start with the workshop, business dropped after a while. This made her refurbish her old family home into her new store cum cafe in 2016.
The cafe had incorporated a lot of Shuli’s mother’s recipe’s and in no time the food had become famous locally. The cafe is now a popular venue for live music events, book clubs, and product launches, ensuring a steady revenue inflow.
The products featured at the Sienna store (that’s the name) include ceramics and pottery ranging from small incense holders, magnets to dinner sets and big vases. The store ‘will customize anything,’ depending on the customer’s taste and wishes. Sienna also sells small to large tiles ranging from glazed to terracotta.
It also sells textiles sourced from weavers in Bengal, as well as jewelry made from waste fabric. It makes women’s clothing like dresses, tunics, kurtas, and gowns. They have also sold its products through Fabindia in the past.
The cafe-cum-store, that started from Shanta Ghosh’s savings today has a turnover of around 3 crores. Shuli also shared her plans of starting up a similar concept in the US but for now, they have been focusing more on the export business.