If you remember a bit of your childhood, you might remember learning how to make arts and crafts at school. A papier-mâché box, a photo frame, a beaded bracelet that your mum saved all these years, or something that you created lovingly and were proud to take home and say “I made this. For you.”
One man’s hobby is another’s masterpiece. Jasmine and Amrita Sihra, sisters and working professionals brought up in Dubai, decided to take their love of arts and crafts and turn it into an inspiring home-based handicrafts business. And that is how dorri was launched last July and their first exhibition was held at the ARTE fair in Times Square Centre in September.
Historically speaking, the word dorri holds a different meaning in different languages. In Greek, dorri is known as a gift of the Gods, in Hindi, the word dorri means a thread. In Farsi, dorri is a sparkling star glittering like a gem. Little wonder that the brand name is a true representation of the heritage and culture of the two Indian sisters; a thread that creates and holds together what is unique and special.
With a variety of items all painstakingly handcrafted by the Sihra sisters such as jewelry, diaries, candles, exquisite woodwork, gift cards, tags, envelopes, wine bottle covers, personalized wedding cards, wedding favors and other unique knick-knacks, dorri truly epitomizes everything that is traditionally Indian.
Attributing their in-born creativity to their artist mother, the sisters spent a year in their hometown of New Delhi and began working on their dream, supplying their handmade items to popular craft and home decor stores with the help of a cousin. Later when they returned to Dubai and their regular day jobs, they committed themselves to researching the local market. The rising popularity of art fairs and exhibitions and an appreciation for all things unique encouraged the sisters to take a short trip back to Delhi to hunt for raw materials. Back in Dubai and armed with purpose, a luggage full of supplies and great ideas, they eventually launched their own brand with the blessings and support of their parents.
Despite being occupied with their full time jobs, the two are passionately following their love for the art whilst sometimes having to burn the midnight oil to complete a customer’s order or stock before a big exhibition. “It gets pretty tiring to juggle between our day jobs and dorri but when you are passionate about something you can never be too tired.” says Amrita.
Their most popular pieces among the scores of products are their desi (traditionally Indian) doll pencils and bookmarks. When asked where they get the ideas and inspiration for such innovative and individual pieces, Amrita said, “We usually buy all our raw materials without thinking what it will be transformed into. When we sit down to make things, it usually just comes to us.”
As their business is relatively young, the sisters are still learning and testing the market, taking it slow and steady. Ongoing plans include working on supplying certain products to specific stores in the UAE and running campaigns mainly for their jewelry on desado.com. Their dream is to open a dorri boutique appealing to a wide range of shoppers’ tastes and styles.
Their advice to anyone starting a home-based business venture? “When starting a small home-based business you have to start small and take a step at a time. A lot of times people start a business with full force and shut down pretty quickly as well. The main thing is to work on your passion and have something different that isn’t there in the market already.” Amrita smilingly concludes.
So when Confucius said “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” he really knew what he was talking about.
For further enquiries, please email Jasmine and Amrita Sihra at firstname.lastname@example.org or give them a buzz at +97150 224 2281