There is beauty in the ordinary. And LivingClays Founder, Devika Kulkarni rediscovered it in clay and ceramic.
LivingClay Ceramicware is what everyone secretly wants to adorn in their kitchen. Sure, plastic is affordable and your mother’s steel utensils are a necessity, but LivingClay also promotes a unique lifestyle.
Why we ❤️ cutlery
As far as basic human nature goes, we have been interested in cutlery ever since we learned to tame fire. Why are we interested in cutlery you might ask?
“We are driven by a purpose to make everyday moments and rituals joyful and memorable!” Devika explains.
Since its launch in December 2016, LivingClay has been a reflection of Devika’s passion for the ceramic craft and her firm belief that beautifully crafted ceramics play an important role in making everyday rituals like cooking and dining enjoyable and memorable experiences.
We got in touch with Devika to know more about her unique lifestyle brand, and the enthusiastic circle of loyal customers she has curated ‘LivingClay experiences’ with.
France to China, spread on a table in India
How did the idea of a lifestyle brand using clay come to life?
A French linguist, Devika has been researching ceramic craft traditions across different parts of the world. Since 2010, she studied the origin of the ceramic craft in China. This led to a fascination for the techniques, materials, influences, and applications across cultures.
Devika also knew that to create a brand selling ceramicware, it needed to be useful.
Devika’s Business Tip #1: “A product must be useful, relatable and must cater to a need.”
LivingClay Design – Nostalgia with a stylish finish
LivingClay focuses on creating timeless designs and lasting value. Devika did not just want her products to look good, she needed them to provide value. When a customer looks at a LivingClay product, Devika wants them to think of a recipe or a place that it would look perfect in.
“A big part of our design work is to observe people’s lifestyle and how it is influenced by social and cultural trends. We stay away from passing trends but look deeper into core values and aspirations. These inspirations lead to ideas for collections or products, which then are prototyped and showcased.” – Devika
“A citrus fruit juice mixer reminded my customer of her grandmother’s kitchen!”
Each of these design stories is part of the creative process, and Devika carries the essence of the stories through the designs. That in turn, leads to a conversation with buyers and other storytellers who use these as a backdrop to their ‘design’ of food stories.
“Our ‘design stories’ don’t end with people buying the products but also by building and creating their own narratives around them. In essence, we are making a canvas for creative culinary people.
In fact, one happy customer said to me ‘The juicer epitomises LivingClay – you’ve brought back to life what our grannies used 40 years ago!’
It’s one of our best sellers today.” – Devika
She explains this with a story –
One of Devika’s favourite customer stories revolves around the Citrus Fruit Juicer – a very simple rustic looking juicer crafted with flutes on the ream. The Citrus Fruit juicer has inspired customers to be creative and use it in many different ways.
A culinary expert came up with an idea to plate his creation in the juicer. Another customer loved the form and is using them as wall mountings in the kitchen!
“Our customers are people with good taste!”
LivingClay reflects a contemporary lifestyle.
“We are inspired by nature and people’s motivation to explore and share together with family and friends.” – Devika
You see a bowl, but LivingClay sees material that stood the test of time so, they use clay to make their products, with a warm natural feel that can be used in everyday rituals like cooking and dining.
“Those who go for natural organic food do love our wabi-sabi collection. Such products enhance these rituals – they liven up a conversation, set the mood for a memorable meal can be used and handed down all embellished in culinary stories and stories of use.” – Devika
And over time, they transform into precious heirlooms! For example, the Farmhouse collection is inspired by casual yet charming meals outdoors, hand-tossed preparations, and lively conversations. The products are simple in form with textures and glazes that evoke a rustic charm.
A sustainable, eco-friendly production process
Apart from careful research and a sentimental design, Devika also makes sure that production is carried out in a responsible and ethical manner and quality checks are done for batches.
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From the start we’ve always believed in the happiness that beautiful objects bring. And as a maker it’s just simply pure joy to see my objects in the hands of those who put them to use creatively. ************************************************************ So here I am designing and making for the wonderful folks of @itcgardenia ! Stepping into the culinary world with their team, talking creativity on the plate and conversations around forms and glazes and textures give a deep meaning to LivingClay pottery and that makes me truly happy!!!. 🙂 . .#livingclay #livingclayexperience #dining #pottery #handcrafted #happiness #beauty #joy #culinary #ceramictableware #functionalceramics #beautifulobjects #design #gooddesign #homedecor #potterylove #maker #wheelthrown
“During production, we keep sustainability and wellness of our customers in mind. The Greenware is bisqued (first firing) and the bisque ware is then high fired at about 1230 C. Clays, glazes and materials we work with are safe and environmentally friendly.” – Devika
LivingClay Experiences – When customers promote the brand
Devika’s business tip #2: Make your products so good, your customers do your marketing for you!
LivingClay asks their customers to talk about their experiences with the products called the ‘LivingCLay Experiences’.
People show off their beautiful bowls, mugs, and plates on social media along with their recipes.
Besides this, Devika connects with her audience with ‘LivingClay Recipes’ – where she shares homely, cozy recipes for a lazy weekend.
Pay for your Clay with Instamojo
LivingClay is a modern yet traditional ceramic brand that uses social media and Instamojo online store to bring their products to customers.
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The little fruit juicer – one of my favourites …. a wheel thrown piece finished in a beautiful matte white glaze. Many say they love it for that #nostalgic feeling it evokes – and of course the joy of fresh juice ! So here are a couple of pieces back on my instamojo store ! ( link in bio)
“ I learnt about Instamojo through an entrepreneur friend. Instamojo seemed like a very quick option. When I got down to starting my account, it all happened within a few hours! That is what I liked about the payment gateway.”
One can find LivingClay’s aesthetic collections on their Instamojo online store – from the Ocean collection (if you love anything blue in your house) to the farmhouse collection (for a Sunday brunch).
“ Instamojo’s set up is very transparent and for any enquiries, I can immediately go on Instamojo’s chat feature and sort things out.”
Apart from create an online store on Instamojo, Devika also loves the Faster Payouts feature on Instamojo.
“ I quite enjoy the option of Instant payouts. I feel it’s a useful option when in need, like now, during the pandemic. Also, the extra 1% fee isn’t too much either.” – Devika
Looking to receive payouts faster than before? Try Instamojo’s faster payouts features for your products.
How it works:
Next-Day Payouts: With NDP, you receive your payouts within 24 hours, for a small additional charge.
Instant Payouts: Instant Payouts helps businesses transact the payments received on Instamojo within minutes. Just select the payments you have received and get the money in your bank account.
Same Day Payout: Same Day Payouts give you the convenience and flexibility to receive payouts once or multiple times in a day. You can get a payout up to 3 times a day and you get to choose the schedule (once, twice or thrice) that suits your requirements.
If you have a business dream, make it happen. Like Devika, over 1 million other businesses believed in their vision and signed up on Instamojo. You can too!