Arts and crafts: Sunday Soul Sante showcases creativity in design

In our first photo essay from this outstanding flea market in Bengaluru, we share creative highlights and artisan profiles.

Arts and crafts: Sunday Soul Sante showcases creativity in design

Sunday January 28, 2024,

4 min Read

Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 745 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery, world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

The first edition of Sunday Soul Sante was launched by Asha Rao and Sanam Malhotra in September 2010 at Bangalore Palace Grounds. See our coverage of the 2016 edition at ITPB grounds in Whitefield here, and photo essays on ten editions of Chitra Santhe.

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The Colourplay Edition of the popular flea market was held at Jayamahal Palace Exhibition Grounds in Bengaluru, and featured over 200 colourful stalls from across the country. Special sections included Soles Of Sante, dedicated to sneakers and streetwear culture.

Musical highlights were a performance by Ankur Tewari and the Ghalat Family, with a blend of folk-rock and acoustic ballads. Other performers were Easy Wanderlings, a soul-folk collective.

From food and jewellery to crafts and toys, the pet-friendly festival truly delivered on its promise of fulfilling the soul with artistic creativity.

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Festival experience

Sushmitha Mounesh, Founder of My Earth Store, has been exhibiting at Sunday Soul Sante since 2017. “My brand and I have been well recognised from this platform. Each time, I got good contacts for retail and B2B clients,” she tells YourStory.

The brand has built a good presence in the gardening and home decor category. “For new startups and home-grown brands, I can say Soul Sante is the one of the best flea markets in Bengaluru,” she enthuses.

“The Sunday Soul Sante is a wonderful platform to showcase our products to a younger audience,” says Mayura Balasubramanian, Founder of Craftizen.

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She recently come up with a new brand called Kobokai which translates to ‘Child in You.’ It includes stress-busters, puzzles and accessories for young adults and working professionals.

“This was the perfect event to test-market this new range. We received some bulk enquiries and very encouraging feedback on our products,” she adds.

“The experience was amazing as usual! It was my fifth time exhibiting at Sunday Soul Sante,” says Harshita Marda, ‘Creative Nerd’ at H-ETCH.

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Coming to Bengaluru as an outsider, the platform has helped in building her brand. “Sales were good as the festival has a great network and footfall. Some enquiries have turned to orders too,” she adds.

“This was my second time exhibiting at the Sante. The Bengaluru audience is very receiving, and different from other cities,” observes Soumya Kalluri, Founder of DWIJ, a Mumbai-based startup specialising in upcycled textile waste.

For example, Bangalorean visitors bring their own bags to carry festival purchases. “They are environmentally conscious,” Kalluri says.

Some sales for her products were repeats from the previous year. “This shows our customer experience is good. We also got a number of wholesale orders,” she adds.

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Trends

The exhibitors also share insights on trends in Indian arts and crafts. “I can see many people getting into sustainable living and going back to the roots,” Mounesh observes.

Consumers are paying attention to forgotten Indian arts and handicrafts. “Pottery is becoming popular among children and elders,” she adds.

Marda of H-ETCH sees a mixed batch of younger and older generations creating wonders at such flea markets. “A lot of handmade products are available and the varieties are numerous. It is amazing how everyone is so conscious of arts and crafts along with sustainability,” she observes.

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“On the supply side things are a bit challenging with many younger artisans wanting to move away from practising traditional crafts and switching to white collar jobs,” Balasubramanian cautions.

This is especially the case when they are in clusters close to large cities, such as Channapatna near Bengaluru, which is famous for its wooden toys.

“On the demand side, there is a growing interest in crafts that are functional and not purely decorative, with contemporary flavours in design, colour and aesthetics,” she adds.

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Artisans are doing more to differentiate themselves while blending modern and traditional forms, Kalluri observes.

“Consumer appreciation for crafts is increasing. This pushes artisans to do more with their designs,” she signs off.

Now what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and harness your creative side for a better world?

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(All photographs were taken by Madanmohan Rao on location at the festival.)

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.


Edited by Suman Singh