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A Two Week Design & Bag Making Workshop at Tumo Studio, Yerevan, Armenia
When I come to think of it, it has been the most enriching and enchanting experience for me to take a step ahead in the fashion world, to take my brand to another level altogether.
It was a normal day six months ago, when I suddenly got an offer from Tumo Studio. Tumo happens to be a design studio of Tumo centre in Yerevan Armenia. they wanted me to host a two week work shop on design and bag making for local residents of not only people living in Yerevan but whole of Armenia. But Armenia was not someplace I had heard of. Complete stranger to the origin and culture of this unheard realm, I was every bit as hesitant as I could be, one month worth of hesitant to be precise. Delving deeper I discovered that Tumo Studio were an educational hub that provided free education to students who were victims to the age bar. The list of subjects offered seemed unending.
I’ve always been a firm believer of the ideology that what we take from the environment, we must pay back. I’ve always been active in regards to social events that are a chance at doing something bigger than ourselves, doing something that matters. Seeking this as another opportunity to repay my debt to the society, here I was, all prepped and eager to teach the skills unique to me to the people living in a different country. Of course, I said yes. There was no other answer. In the early hours of the 24th of March, I hopped onto a flight and set out on an adventure unlike any I had ever had.
I was pleasantly greeted by eight students who looked up to me and needless to say, the joy of that realisation was priceless. The crowd was a mix of locals and people traveling their way in and around Yerevan
It was a series of highly organised, compact but elaborate training sessions that brushed across topics including rigorous design brainstorming, conceptualisation and formation, bag pattern making, pattern tracing, embroidery, making the inner sticking, adding trims, final stitching with trims, along with pricing and marketing lectures.
Working my way around enthusiastic and driven students, with the aim to cover all these topics in just two weeks, we managed to finish five sale worthy bags and also had a talk session to guide the students about future possibilities in the field.
Singing praises of Nitya Biswas, Tumo Studio says, ‘India based bag designer and atelier leader Nitya Biswas is meticulous and extremely passionate about the little things that go into the making of a miracle. With her open and hands-on approach, she has created her very own empire of a successful luxury accessory label. Inspired from her roots of a place that believes in hand crafted beauty she makes quality pieces with contemporary designs, tinged with influences from her own cultural background.
The two workshop conducted by her was an engaging journey for the students. They learnt the entire bag creation process from the ringmaster herself.
“Conceptualising the design for a bag is a whole lot different than creating one for a garment because you have to fit your design into a much more compact space. But my goal wasn't to just teach them how to design, I wanted them to learn the actual construction process and the know-how of putting together a bag, piece-by-piece. From the pattern to the sewing and embellishments, these are skills that aren't limited to making only bags. What they're learning in my atelier, they can use to make bags, shoes, scarves and garments and whatever else they put their minds on.”
I parted with Yerevan having completing a successful workshop with a bunch of joyful memories and learn a lot about Armenian history. It makes me humbled that there are so many countries, the history of which are so rich but not too many people even know about it’s existence. I hope to see more of such places, meet more of such people and noting would make me more happy and proud than to contribute to growth of an individual, even if at a teeny-tiny level it may be, I look forward to making a change.