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Sushreeja – empowering women through art-based livelihood

Written by Puja Saraf

“As women, we have to start appreciating our worth and each other’s worth. Seek out strong women to befriend, to align yourself with, to learn from, to collaborate with, to be inspired by, to support, and enlightened by” – said ‘Queen of Pop’ Madonna Louise Ciccone. Taking a leaf out of this, Adrija empowers small-town ladies endowed with the artistic talent of saree weaving, helping them to make art a source of livelihood.

Adrija along with her husband runs Sushreeja – empowering handloom of Bengal, which primarily promotes sarees made by women weavers of Bengal’s villages and also unique handcrafted jewelry pieces, conceptualized by the duo.

Adrija flaunting her handmade jewelries.

Link to the Facebook Page

Sushreeja connotes to a beautiful story where Sus is Adrija’s husband’s name and Shree, her daughter’s pet name, followed by Ja from her’s. Together they created Sushreeja – Sushreejan, which means, creation, with the blessings of Lord Lakshmi, whose other name is Shreejan.

On the occasion of Mahashivratri, Adrija has created a remarkable Objet d’art depicting an Odissi dancer taking blessing from Shiva or Nataraj – the lord of dance. She dedicated piece to Kajol for her outstanding performance in Tribhanga film. “Nataraj, a Sanskrit word, symbolizes performance by the King as a cosmic dancer. Here, the Odissi dancer is taking an oath in front of the Natarajan before the performance. All the postures of Nataraja symbolize something in our life,” shared Adrija and added, “The movie, Tribhanga touched both of our hearts, and my husband and I got so inspired by the performance of Kajol that we decided to dedicate this piece to her fascinating acting. So that’s how tis special Shivratri piece was created.”

Adrija’s handmade Nataraj neck piece, on the occasion of maha shivratri.

“I started the journey long ago but stopped the business after my daughter was born as I wanted to give her my full attention. Meanwhile, I felt that why not empower other mothers like me who have dreams in their eyes. Eventually, I got in touch with some lady weavers from Bolpur and started the venture together,” informed Adrija.

Talking about her journey of handmade jewellery, she added, “The ladies played a key role in inspiring me. While I was doing this venture of hand-loom saree, I saw many weavers making handmade jewelry and being an art lover I learned the techniques from them and tried to add our signature to it,” disclosed the she-preneur.

Adrija beams with happiness while recounting her first customer experience in a hand-loom jewelry venture back in 2020 on the auspicious occasion of Navratri. She clearly remembers how she randomly made two pieces of jewelry – one for herself and another one for anyone who wishes to buy. It elated her to receive seven back to back orders making her run out of raw materials. That moment pushed her to create a business and nurture her talent for art. Adrija firmly believes that empowering other women is equally important, and she is glad to empower women of Bengal.

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Puja Saraf

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