Ipsita Johri’s AIZA: New face to Indian furniture

Having spent more than 10 years in the media world, Ipsita finally decided to do what was always her passion – make creative furniture
Growing up in the old districts of Bengal, living in the British constructed houses, the fascination for wooden furniture, long byzantine pillars, high ceilings and fabulous architecture, along with their history, inspired Ipsita to push her creative cells that crystallized in the unique concept of AIZA.
This allows her to indulge in discovering India and its people, and in that journey, creatively interpreting cultures and developing them into designs for AIZA’s collections.

Furniture is her passion. Along with that, she enjoys reading, watching movies only in cinema halls as that still thrills her, traveling and collecting artifacts, and music and classical dance remain her best pursued skills.

Let us find out more about Ipsita and her creation AIZA

1. NS: How did you come up with the idea of AIZA?
Ipsita: I think I was just driven by the idea of doing something that hadn’t been done before in terms of the concept. I am one of those who go out looking for good furniture. I felt a huge gap in the market in terms of what people were looking for and what is available. There are a lot of people who want unique and exclusive pieces, at the same time giving comfort, while fitting in aesthetically in their homes. This made me think and come up with the concept of AIZA.

The concept stems from the fact that India is many countries in one country – this gives a vast open canvas to play with. It allows me to have a vast portfolio – as every collection of mine will be inspired by a culture of India; every state has its own culture, and its own style of living. E.g. People in some parts at their pace of life would prefer to have furniture designed to maximize comfort. In some other parts they would want more functional kind of furniture, for smaller spaces. Yet some parts may believe in simplicity. No pomp, yet very artistic, rich and beautiful. If we look at the history and mythology of India, everything that we have done or made has been befitting Gods or Kings. We have always believed in handcrafting. It will not be perfect, but the beauty lies in the imperfection.

AIZA’s first collection is called Quintessential Bengal. It is a tribute to great Bengal. It is quintessentially colonial yet contemporary. Bengal is about its artistic finesse, fabric of living woven around Tagore, and famous British architecture. This collection represents the familiar images of Bengal, and more especially of Kolkata. The USP of my collections, as with the ethos of AIZA is that this is a unique concept and that is why none of my designs will be found anywhere else. Its premium-ness comes because of this exclusivity. Each product is hand crafted, hand painted, and not machine-created.

2. NS: Where do you see yourself in the coming 5 years? 
Ipsita: AIZA will be a brand to reckon with, a brand which is associated with a unique concept, exclusive designs, premium furniture, good quality solid wood, and something which represents the cultures of India.

3. NS: How do you market your business? 
Ispita: AIZA products are available online at www.aizadesigns.in where they can be viewed. It’s retailing at The Bombay Store, Fort, Mumbai, and The Bombay Store, Market City, Pune. The press and word of mouth has worked very well for us, as also social media marketing. Participation or presence in relevant B 2 B platforms where trade takes place is another avenue. I am considering other models as well for future.

4. NS: Can you please brief us about your designs, price range and how to buy your products? 

Ipsita: All AIZA products can be viewed on www.aizadesigns.in the price ranges from 6000 to 40000, depending on what you buy. To purchase anything you can send me a mail on info@aizadesigns.in

5. NS: What do you think are areas that an entrepreneur should give prime importance to?
Ipsita: The most significant thing to begin with is the idea. Once you have the idea you need to make sure there is a plausible and executable plan of action to implement your idea. This must be backed by a sound marketing strategy. It is of course important to have some basic initial capital to start you off.

6. NS: What difficulties women has to face being an entrepreneur and what are the strengths Women has to be a successful women entrepreneur?
Ipsita: A woman faces the same difficulties a man would when starting a new business. In fact there are special bank schemes for loans to women entrepreneurs. You need to be competent and confident. Nothing can stop you.

7. NS: What advice would you give to women who want to be an entrepreneur?
Ipsita: Just go for it. The world is out there to explore and expand horizons. With every information being available with the click of a mouse, and visibility and access globally via social network, this is the time to grab the opportunity.

8. NS: Did you make any mistakes related to your business and if so what did you learn from it?
Ipsita: More than mistakes I would say there are challenges. This is the challenge that most start-ups face in the beginning – the need for more human resources and manpower. It’s tough to handle everything by oneself. However there is a cycle which every business goes through, and manpower and other resources will also eventually be in place, shortly.

Ipsita’s Favorites 

Color: Green
Music: Anything melodious
Season: Monsoon
Movies: Romantic Comedies, Spy thrillers, and all Bachchan films – big fan
Cuisine: Oriental

To know more about AIZA visit www.aizadesigns.in

————————————————-Interviewed by Laxmi Khalap Bhatt, editor, www.narisakhi.com

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