ABOUT MAYA

Maya believes that handloom as a craft and the saree, must survive and thrive, for all time to come.  The 6-yard woven wonder is not a mere attire, but a part of our culture. For every woman in India, a saree is a store-house of emotions, memories, and life’s landmarks.  It is important to emphasize the importance of sarees from a handloom, created by a human hand painstakingly in small editions.  It is true that a handloom saree is created, not just by an individual but by his whole family.  70% of all weavers in India are women.

Most often the handloom weaver is the only one who is fully aware of his effort and the creative indulgence that has gone into making his product.  This should be supplemented by mindfulness on the part of the seller, influencer, payer, buyer, and the wearer to appreciate the art.  It is by a heightened awareness that handloom can maintain its viability and flourish amidst a sea of mass-produced apparel.  For this, the craft of handloom needs fervent promotion.

THE MAYA STORY

 

Maya began in 2010 as a micro-retail venture for handloom Kanchi cotton sarees.  The product range was expanded over the years to include Silks but the interest remained the same – traditional and aesthetic handloom Kanjivarams.  Every piece of inventory at Maya is personally curated by its owners.  With a passion for authenticity, they seek out master craftsmen in the Kanchipuram, Arni, Nehamum, Rasipuram, Sirumugai weaving clusters who supply direct to the boutique. Traveling to the weaver locations every 6-8 weeks is an arduous task but continues even today. 

Maya’s business online (weavemaya.com) and its home-store in Bangalore serve an active client base all over India and abroad.  Maya has participated in several exhibitions around India that promote handloom weaves.   

Maya’s marquee offering is the Kanjivaram weave and its strength lies in the curation of authentic handloom sarees.  Sourcing direct from original weavers is a statement of commitment for Maya; a commitment to offering its customers true-to-tradition products with original designs, colors, patterns, motifs, and overall iconography.  Maya frequently undertakes the production of small editions of its own designs and revivals based on vintage saree designs. This is done by collaborating with a master-weaver well-versed in a particular weaving genre, so as to be faithful to the original schema.

GANDABERUNDA

The Gandaberunda or Berunda  is a two-headed bird in Hindu mythology, believed to possess immense magical strength. It is an avatar of Lord Vishnu to fight Lord Sharabha, who in-turn was an avatar of Lord Shiva and had the mission of stopping Narasimha, Vishnu’s lion avatar. 

It was the emblem of the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysore under the Wodeyar kings, and after India attained independence, it was retained by Mysore state as its emblem. That state was enlarged in 1956 and renamed Karnataka in 1973, and the Gandabherunda continues to be the official state emblem of Karnataka. 

It is used as the official emblem of the Karnataka state government because it is a symbol of strength. It is believed to be capable of fighting the forces of destruction. It appears as an intricately carved sculpture motif in Hindu temples.

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FOUNDERS

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Smitha Srinath founded the MAYA in August of 2009, taking a deviation from being an architect. It was an endeavor to build an identity for authentic Kanjivaram weaves. The first-ever collection offered was a small lot of curated Kanchi cotton sarees that could fit a trunk. Then came silk, blends, design variations, limited edition weaves and custom weaving for revivals.

Srinath Rao, an engineer and post-grad in business, retired from his corporate career in marketing to join his wife’s venture in August 2017 to take the brand online and to establish a prominent social media presence. He also undertook to showcase the brand in major cities of India through select exhibitions. His hobby as a lensman and long years in the graphics industry led to establishing an in-house studio for product photography and design.

Smitha and Srinath are from Bangalore. They both love history, travel and classic architecture. Every one of their road-trips is set to seek, explore and study India’s myriad art forms and incredible skill traditions. End-to-end operations of MAYA are entirely handled by the couple.

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