They're all business women in their own right. What's interesting is that they've turned their passion for paper into a profession. We tell you all about their homespun ideas

Latha Subramaniam — Origami and stories

When Latha Subramaniam says “all you need is a piece of paper”, she means it. Her house is adorned with colourful objects ranging from yellow rockets to green dinosaurs. She attended a workshop two years ago, conducted by internationally-acclaimed storyteller Ruth Stotter. Ruth introduced Latha to story origami — teaching origami through stories.

Latha decided to take it forward, and began to create workbooks for children and adults. “It's almost therapeutic, and improves communication skills. I've even had parents ask me to improve their child's vocabulary,” Latha explains. She has also worked with children in correction homes, and prison inmates. “These children get very emotional, and begin to tell their own stories through the course of the workshop.”

She only uses white paper to teach . “If you use coloured paper, you're already limiting your creative freedom. White paper, on the other hand, has a world of possibilities. You could change your story, dab on some colours and let imagination take over. And, I always tell my students to remember the folds not by their technical name but make up their own. That way, you never forget.”

Latha and her son are currently working on a second origami handbook. Latha teaches origami and also conducts workshops. For details, call 97890-12939.

Deepa Shekar — Hand-made jewellery

When people look at Deepa Shekar's creations they invariably ask the same question: “Is it really paper?” Deepa makes paper jewellery under the name ‘10 Fingers'. The range is said to be made of wood-free recycled paper.

“It is such a humble material, but I wanted to show what a lot can be done with a little imagination,” says Deepa.

“As a consumer product, the jewellery is sustainable, hand-made and eco-friendly.”

Deepa takes three days to make a pair. “Bead, metal work and paper structuring takes a lot of time.” She also experiments with vegetable dye in kalamkari.

The jewellery is priced between Rs. 50 and Rs. 250. Call her at 98403-26354 or visit www.paperjewellery.wordpress.com

Vandana and Priyanka Shah — Paper bags with designs

Vandana and Priyanka Shah began their creative journey by accident. “Mint Street, where our residence is, has everything required to start a crafts business.”

And, a few trials later, ‘Vandana's', a paper bag store, came into being.

“It started off as a hobby. But, when our first batch got sold out immediately (because you don't get readymade paper bags with designs), we decided to take it forward,” explains Vandana, a freelance designer.

“We make sure we use only recycled and hand-made paper. The bags take anywhere between five minutes and a couple of hours to make, depending on the designs. We also make jewellery, shopping, designer and wine bags. The bags can also be customised,” says Vandana's sister Priyanka. Vandana can be reached at 98404-55772. For details, visit www.vandanaspaperbags.com.

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