Paper cutting, as the name suggests, is the art of cutting paper designs. The term and the description sound simple enough, the art is equally intriguing. A single sheet of paper can be turned into a something so beautiful amazes a lot of people. The beauty of Papercuts is that they can all be customized and every design is different from the other. Cutting a paper in various designs and presenting it as an artifact is a very creative and difficult job which can be mastered by few. One such person is Pooja Ajmera! While looking for a gift for a relative’s birthday, she stumbled upon the art of Papercutting and hence was born ‘Teekhii Chhurii.’
Teekhii Chhurii specializes in handmade paper crafts made personally by Pooja. Each craft is unique and different as Pooja doesn’t believe in making two of the same kind. The USP is to own an art piece that is not found just anywhere. These Papercuts are painstakingly hand cut and are not laser cuts or prints or paintings.
Here’s an excerpt from the discussion we had with Pooja!
Tell us a bit about your background and the path that ultimately led you towards Teekhii Chhurii.
I have been always inclined towards arts and crafts but never really got to pursue it due to the importance that society gives to academics. So after I completed my post graduation and took a few degrees, I took a corporate job but soon realized this is not what I want to do forever.
I recently discovered my true calling. Last year, for my sister-in-law’s birthday, I thought of gifting her something special. I knew about Papercutting but had never really tried my hands on it. It was an “AHA moment” for me, when I made my first Papercut and realised – this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and that is how Teekhii Chhurii came into existence.
My goal is to breathe life into this dying art called Sanjhi and give it a modern twist which will also inspire others.
(Love art? Also check out Varnanggall!)
How long did it take to put together Teekhii Chhurii?
I made my first Papercut in March 2012 and Teekhii Chhurii came to existence In January 2013. It took some months of planning to get it up and running.
How difficult has the journey been? Any stories you would like to share?
The biggest challenge is letting people know what Papercuts are. As they are not easily available in Indian market, people are not aware about it. Hence it’s a challenge reaching out to the right audience who are interested in Papercuts. Handling all the aspects of business like designing, cutting, marketing and sales are a real task, especially with little guidance.
Secondly, this is a slow art which demands patience and a lot of concentration. The tricky part is to identify the portions to cut out and the portions to retain! I am a self-taught paper artist and entrepreneur who is trying her best to spread awareness about this art form.
How do you plan to monetize Teekhii Chhurii? Do you have any tie-ups?
I don’t want to make a big empire out of it as I purely do Papercutting for the love of it and it’s not all about money! It will be great to have tie-ups as they can really help any business grow but as of now, I don’t have any. Word of mouth helps me move ahead.
What is next in line for Teekhii Chhurii?
As of now, all I do is making personalized Papercuts, I would like to sell ready designs too. So definitely doing more exhibitions is next on my agenda.
What has been the one important lesson you’ve learned in this journey?
This journey has taught me many lessons but one main thing is hard work pays. You have to work really hard and you will get the results sooner or later.
If not for Teekhii Chhurii, where would you be now?
If not Papercutting, then I think I would be teaching something somewhere.
Lastly, one piece of advice for our budding startup entrepreneurs.
If you believe in your idea and are passionate to make it successful, nothing can come between you and success. It will not happen in a single day and hence you will have to motivate yourself every day and work really hard to achieve the goals you have set for yourself. But just don’t give up and keep practicing.
Beautifully made handicrafts and exclusive designs make them a perfect gift! No more scrambling around trying to put together something different for birthdays and anniversaries, try the art of Papercutting. Visit their website and write to us about the experience.