If you have a burning desire to do something nothing can stop you, even if you are a small town girl. Shailee, who hails from Nasik in Maharashtra, had always been passionate about art and craft. This passion took her to Srishti Design School in Bangalore, where she studied Textile Art, took it up as a career and later went on to launch Shailee’s Handpainted Shoes and Match Box Accessories, her two “handmade” ventures. The USP of her brand Shailee’s Handpainted Shoes is that everything is customized and hand-painted- Shoes, baby clothes and accessories like laptop sleeves, tote bags etc. Whereas Match Box is a brand of hand-embroidered fashion accessories – handbags, footwear, scarves etc.
‘Match Box’ – a brand of handcrafted fashion accessories, was a result of Shailee’s graduation project at Srishti, where she got an opportunity to work with a group of women who came from economically backward families in Ramangaram, a town near Bangalore. The women were trained in ‘aari’ embroidery and they used this beautiful technique to create traditional, yet contemporary products. Shailee believed that these products had the potential to go beyond Bangalore and of course across the seas! She worked with a design firm creating home textiles for a while, before starting her own brand- Match Box.
It has been a long but fun roller coaster ride!
Shailee’s core hobby has always been painting and that’s how Shailee’s Handpainted Shoes her other venture was born. She always preferred gifting hand-made, personalized gifts to her family and friends. This gave her an idea to make a business out of it. While still working on Match Box, she started painting shoes for her other brand. Social media helped her to spread the awareness of her brand and orders started pouring in. Friends, and acquaintances from all over started placing their orders with her. While her handpainted shoes have reached the corners of the world, her other baby Matchbox is still waiting to fly high!
Turning a hobby into career is truly satisfying. Creating something with your own hands and being known for it gives her immense joy and satisfaction.
What keeps her going? She has been painting shoes, t-shirts and accessories for about 4-5 years now. And her products have found a place in homes across the world. The appreciation that she gets from the people for having chosen an unconventional career motivates her to keep going day after day. Typically her day begins with playing her favourite music which refreshes her for a new day of work. She loves to create magic with her sewing machine or paint brushes all the day.
I’m my own boss! That’s the best part about being a freelancer.
Shailee quotes JK Rowling, her favourite author – “It is important to remember that we all have magic inside of us” and she creates something new every day to keep that magic alive! Shailee dreams of having her own studio where she can create new and unique fashion accessories – one for everyone!
Painting may not be new, but Shailee’s canvas surely is. She knows how to create a whole world though her art. Shailee’s Handpainted Shoes and Match Box are a gift from a small town girl to the whole wide world. We wish her a successful global presence, painting lives of happy customers.