Being an entrepreneur, being the master of your work is something we all desire secretly. Very few of us are able to live the dream we want to. And on top of that being able to work with something that you love is an added bonus. That is just how Ilika was born.
Ilika is a manifestation of a dream sewn into fabric tales by the very charming and graceful lady Pallavita Nandi. To come straight to the point, Ilika is a venture by Pallavita where she not only nurtures her love for Saree but also specializes in bringing forth for all of you the very special and unique weaves of North East India. We all know that each state of India has its own weave which is unique to that state and thus India is famous and rich in its textile culture. Similarly, North East India is known for a very specific type and texture of weave. Each of the states of the Seven Sisters has their own uniqueness and thus no one can be compared to the other.
Pallavita, herself hails from Silchar, Assam. And her love for her homeland, her native place is so deep-rooted that she has made it her life’s mission to share a part of her homeland through her work. Team WeekendTrivia caught up with the vivacious, lovely and ever-smiling lady and we got to know a lot about herself, her dream project and more. Read on to know –
WT: So firstly, what does Ilika mean or signify?
Pallavita: Ilika is a Sanskrit word for Earth. I feel it brings out the true essence of my work.
WT: Tell us a bit about yourself and your Journey. How you started Ilika?
Pallavita: Accrue from the family of Indian classical music, I completed my Masters in “Indian classical music”. I graduated in a multimedia course and joined a job after that. After a while, I got homesick, went back and completed my masters in Indian Classical music. Business was no way in my list of aspirations or something I have always wanted to do.
It all started after the loss of a very important life “My mother”.
I tried to get myself engaged so that I could take my mind off from the loss and pain and so Ilika happened. When I started, my venture wasn’t so much significant but now, with time, I am completely engaged and in regard for it.
WT: What was your vision with Ilika? What is the kind of weaves or material and products available with Ilika?
Pallavita: As I was home-grown in Silchar, Assam I always prized Northeast. In a very little way, this is my endeavour to project Northeastern handlooms. As northeast is having a Multiplicity of tribes each with its distinct own weaving pattern it’s really very interesting for me to project such patterns in six yards, which is being weaved in such pattern weave.
Rabha pattern weave, Gero Mishing pattern and many more are there which is being displayed in Ilika.
I initiated the Gamucha fabric clutch bags which I believe to be prepossessing and aslo Assam handloom fabric dress material.
It’s so much to explore and show the beauty of Northeastern weave.
WT: Apart from Sarees and Bags, do you also keep other products?
Pallavita: Yes, I do. I have different motifs and traditional symbols of North East handpainted into blouse pieces. I also have dresses with different patterns from North East. I used to keep tribal Naga handmade jewellery but do not continue that. I have clothing items which are native or indigenous to different states of North East. For example – Puan is a traditional Mizo wrap-around which does not require additional stitching like mekhla, they are available in different pattern weaves. In future, I would love to introduce different kinds of dresses, kaftans all done in traditional handloom designs of Northeast.
WT: Do you use organic/recyclable material for your products? Do you own your own weaving unit?
Pallavita: We use Organic material for most of our products which does not harm the nature with its by-products. I believe in ethical shopping. Made in small quantities and with up-cycled products. This helps to preserve locally produced artisanal traditions. I am yet to form my own weaving unit. It’s mostly only one piece weaved Sarees which I get from my native places.
WT: If anyone has to purchase your products what is the best place to avail them?
Pallavita: I regularly upload all my latest products on my Instagram and Facebook pages. Anyone willing to buy anything can contact me there. My pages are linked here:
WT: Finally, where are you currently based in and who else is there in your family?
Pallavita: I am currently based in Kolkata. I live with my husband, my in-laws and the love of my life – my almost 8-year-old daughter 🙂
So dear Weekenders, that is Pallavita for you and her very beautiful and excellent venture Ilika. It really fills our hearts with warmth to see such excellent women who micro manage their homes, and at the same time carry out their own ventures so efficiently. As we felt while talking to her, Ilika is all about connecting to your roots, being proud of them and having the inherent desire to uphold your culture and tradition. It is standing out in the vast ocean and not being thwarted by the huge waves and challenges. We are drooling over the extraordinary collection of Ilika and we are sure you are too.
While you are at it, do not forget to follow Ilika on both Instagram and Facebook (linked above) and stock up your saree wardrobe 😉
It was a pleasure talking to Pallavita and getting to know her. She is such an honest, hardworking and positive person and the best thing is she is ever-smiling. Thank You for giving us an insight into your work and we wish you all the very best for all your future endeavours and work!