Close to a year after the Graminno Community Makerspace Workshop was inaugurated in the village of Atale in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, India, it was time to expose the team and the products to the public. We had organized a series of events in Mumbai for the team to attend, and planned a hectic itinerary for them.
15th to 25th Jan - Preparations at Atale
The preparations for the events started well in advance. The team got busy with making a sufficientstock of all the products that would be required for all the events planned.
Once all the wooden branches and pieces were collected, each product was constructed, treated with protection and finished with utmost care.
After the products were ready, they were tested for comfort and strength, as well as design and aesthetics.
The kids of the village spent most of their time at the workshop as well, enjoying the hustle and bustle of activity, and helped the artisans to take care of errands and odd jobs.
Final step is a new addition - branding of the products. Thanks to the efforts of Sameer Naik, who is a new volunteering advisor for Graminno, we were able to create a method to brand the products with the Graminno logo, and they just look fantastic!
25th to 26th Jan - Arrival and Final Preparations in Mumbai
The team truly worked hard to get everything organized in time. They had to juggle other responsibilities along with the Graminno work, and everyone pitched in to help them get things ready. After an all night marathon the previous day, they finally loaded all the products in Sameer's truck and arrived in Mumbai!
After unloading all the products, they were spread out on the terrace and examined in detail for any scratches or final touches that were required. The smaller products branding was yet to be completed as well, and so the team got busy doing all the last minute preparations.
The team had never tasted Chhole Bhature, a very popular Punjabi dish that consists of large fluffy bhature (fried bread) and spicy chhole (made from chickpeas). We visited the well known restaurant - Gulati's to get the team to taste authentic Chhole Bhature, and they seemed to have loved it! We topped the meal off with some yummy Ras Malai too!
26th to 27th Jan - Installations at Velociti Cycle Cafe
Velociti Cycle Cafe is one of the premier outlets for end to end services to cyclists and fitness enthusiasts. Velociti's founder - Firoza Suresh is also the Bicycle Mayor of Mumbai, and an avid supporter of sustainability.
Thanks to Firoza's support for sustainability, she has kindly agreed to showcase Graminno products in her store, located at the following address:
One of the shelves in the shop hosted the rest of Graminno's Home and Office Decoration product range, along with information placards placed on handmade stands.
The premium garden chair occupied a cute corner in the store, where visitors could rest and contemplate which model of bicycle they would like to buy and start their fitness journey!
After finishing the setup at the shop, we all posed for a final photograph with Firoza. The Graminno artisan team was very grateful to Firoza for allowing their products to be featured in her store!
29th Jan - Showcase at IIT Powai
On Saturday, 29th January 2022, we showcased Graminno's product range at the premier technology institution in Mumbai - the Indian Institute of Technology located at Powai, next to Powai lake.
The venue was the foyer near the Staff Canteen, a nice shady area where residents of the campus visit often. We spread out the products in the foyer creating clusters, and we featured the Home and Office Decoration product range on a table at one end of the foyer.
The Two Seater Sofa was placed at the other end of the foyer, and made a perfect spot for a photograph!
The response was truly very warm. Residents of the campus spent time trying all the products, talking to the artisans team about their experience, and of course, purchasing the products! The team was excited by the positive feedback received by all the visitors!
30th Jan - Showcase at Bandra Farmers Market
On the next day, the team was featured at the Bandra Farmers Market. A brainchild of Kavita Mukhi, the Farmers’ Market promotes rural, certified organic farmers with small holdings, features new and exciting earth-friendly trade, workshops, live performances & an organic cafe.
Kavita had kindly provided our team a spot that was right in front of the entrance that every visitor would see without fail!
Next to our counter, there was a bench on which shoppers could relax. We kept the Two Seater Sofa next to it, to add more space for seating. The sofa was a special attraction, as many people were quite intrigued by the folding design. (Photo credit: Tanvesh Patil. Thanks Tanvesh for visiting us at the event!)
We were also fortunate to have Ananya, who is an expert in making Handmade Paper join the team. Ananya will be conducting a workshop at the Graminno Community Makerspace to teach the village kids and youth to make handmade paper and various products from it.
After a hectic day at the Farmers Market, we were exhausted but full of enthusiasm and excitement, and looking forward to the next installation at the Rare Earth Vegan Cafe!
30th Jan - Showcase at Rare Earth Vegan Cafe
The Rare Earth Vegan Cafe is the brainchild of Shammi Sethi, an avid cyclist and a vegan activist. He lives a life that exemplifies his beliefs, and the cute cafe and Vegan products store located in the suburb of Khar in Mumbai is a place that exudes his energy.
After a hectic day at the Bandra Farmers Market, the team was exhausted and famished. A late lunch at the Rare Earth Vegan Cafe was exactly what they needed! The mock meats and pizza was a big hit with the artisan team, and they could not believe that the food they ate was free of animal slaughter!
The next task at hand was to setup the Graminno furniture and decorative products in one corner of the cafe, to allow patrons to enjoy the great food while sitting on sustainable furniture!
The decorative products were displayed on a table that Shammi kindly arranged for the team. The team was very pleased with the way that their handmade products complimented and enhanced the atmosphere of the cafe.
Please do visit the cafe and enjoy the food, great conversations with Shammi, and Graminno's products on display!
The cafe is located at this address:
We hope that you will continue to spread the word about the Graminno project and patronize the efforts by purchasing their handmade sustainable products!