Tura Turi – The Story Weavers
“My sister used to live abroad when she had her baby. She realised that baby products are so generic; there’s no real aesthetic sense put into baby stuff and we thought that the world needs more access to Indian stories and art,” says Payal, co- founder of the brand Tura Turi that creates art and story based products for babies. Payal, a calligrapher and artist got together with her journalist sister Priyanka to create a line of products that tell a story using traditional Indian art forms. “My nephew learnt what peacocks are just an hour before he saw them. There’s a lot of Winnie The Pooh and Disney stuff but not enough Indian stories on baby products and we wanted to change that.” Priyanka used her writing skills to weave stories and Payal created colourful illustrations for baby quilts, blankets, swaddles and other products.
Tura Turi means ‘munna-munni’ or ‘chora-chori’ in Chattisgarhi (that’s where the sisters hail from) and the brand name came up during a brain-storming session. “We were trying to think of a name for the brand when my father joked, why don’t you name it Tura Turi and we actually liked the name,” says Payal.
Tura Turi’s first collection was inspired from the story of a Haathi (Elephant) because of Payal’s obsession with the animal and because the animal is considered lucky in their family. Payal created five different designs for an elephant and calligraphed the word ‘Haathi’ in nine different Indian scripts. There’s a lot of thought that goes into each design. “I treat every design as a piece of art”, she says. One of their most beautiful designs is the Chanda Suraj reversible quilt. One side depicts the night with a design of the moon, tree and owl and the other side depicts the day with a design of a sun, tree and parrot. There’s a little poem on each side too: ‘A parrot green sat on a tree chirping at the sun so bright, along came an owl and nudged it aside cause hey look now it’s night.’
While Priyanka uses her creative writing skills to come up with different poems ofr the designs, Payal uses traditional motifs and Indian folk arts like Phad and Madhubani to create the artwork for the designs.
Every product of Tura Turi is made out of 100 percent cotton, “My sister does the quality control for the products while I try to make it look aesthetically beautiful, making sure we work towards finding a balance” says Payal. It took them six months to find the perfect fabric for their muslin swaddles because the duo were simply not happy with the softness of the swaddles that are available in the market. Now they make muslin dohars, blankets and swaddles. Their picture quilts are 100 percent cotton and there are limited edition muslin shirts and kurtas too.
Tura Turi products are available online on www.turaturi.com and shipped all over India for free. They’re also available on Amazon, Firstcry, Hopscotch and at a few stores in Mumbai and Delhi including The Bombay Store in Khar.