Smita Ramani, who works in a telecom company, literally moonlights as she hand-paints and customises recycled bottles, cookie jars and lanterns
When you gape in awe at Smita Ramani’s works of art, you might wonder if American poet James Russell Lowell had her in mind when he said: “Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found,” because an empty bottle that may seem like trash to you is in fact Smita’s treasure!
Proprietor and Creative Designer of Lightin’ Up, that custom makes unique hand painted bottles and cookie jars as lamps with LED lighting, Smita Ramani’s imagination and creativity see her leave no stone unturned.
Ask her how it all began and she says: “Personalising gifts for friends and family has always been a passion for me. A personalised gift is unforgettable and gives one that warm and fuzzy feeling that no store-bought gift can. That is how the philosophy of Lightin’ Up came into being and I slowly started receiving custom orders as well and requests for my designs.”
At Lightin’ Up, Smita hand-paints and customises recycled bottles, cookie jars and lanterns which she explains can then be “used as lamps – We have a LED base setup for each lamp inclusive of the adapter, as a decorative centrepiece or as funky cookie jars.” According to Smita, what gives her work that edge is that “Every creation from Lightin’ Up Studio is unique and handmade, which makes it perfect as a gift, a utility item or as a perfect décor item for that nook in your home.”
Being the design genius that she is, conceptualising Lightin’ Up wasn’t much of a hassle. She says: “The biggest challenge but also the most enjoyable one is the process of deciding unique designs. And in case of customisation, creating designs that reflect the personality of the customer is also pleasantly challenging. That apart, a lot of research, time and effort did go into the entire preparation process, right from deciding what paints to use to deciding the best method for lighting.”
Among the innumerable creative themes she’s worked around are the Michael Jackson Forever lamp, the ubiquitous Auto Raja lamp, and even one dedicated to Rajni Sir! Seeing her work, it is but natural for one to assume this designer-entrepreneur must have an educational or professional background in design/art but Smita was a student of psychology! Also, during the day she works as a product manager at a telecom company.
And at night, she pursues her passion as the creative designer for Lightin’ Up and she seems to be balancing both her jobs efficiently.
Currently Lightin’ Up is a home run outfit with a Facebook page for displaying their designs and for accepting orders. They have recently started retailing their designs at the flea markets in the city. Smita informs: “Despite being Bangalore based, through social marketing and word of mouth marketing, we have received orders from Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai as well.”
Looking ahead, “We are aiming to reach out to a wider customer base by showcasing at different events around the city. Lightin’ Up is venturing into custom designs for establishments like restaurants, salons etc, and we’re also expanding our product line,” Smita wraps up.
This column features those who choose to veer off the beaten track.