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Artists performing various steps of making Terracotta products at company’s workshop.
Artists performing various steps of making Terracotta products at company’s workshop.

Inspiration for terracotta products

Terra Cotta jewelry designer Ritu Thapar was not always involved in this delicate form of art. Having worked in the corporate sector for most of her life, the hunt for an arts and crafts teacher for her daughter led her to a teacher of terracotta jewelry making.

Complicated art form – patience required

Terracotta jewelry is completely handcrafted. After the design is finalized, the pattern is molded using wet clay. It is sun-dried and baked in a furnace. The jewelry is then cleaned, dried and painted. Taking anywhere from five to 25 days to make, every piece is unique and made by an artist.

After learning the art herself, Thapar today employs women from underprivileged backgrounds. Two percent of the proceeds from the sale of terracotta jewelry goes toward the uplifting of rural women by empowering them with this form of art.

Bona Dea, based in Delhi, was born with a passion towards rendering handcrafted jewelry a new meaning through use of ethnic, traditional designs. Conceptualized and handcrafted by jewelry designer Ritu Thapar, the jewelry line features delicate and intricate pieces made for the modern woman.

Setting standards for style, design, detailing, quality and elegance, each piece is one-of-a-kind. Unusual and vibrant colors combined with stone and metal embellishments are the basis for these designs, crafted with techniques that are age-old and yet designs that are contemporary.

Bona Dea has also diversified into temple jewelry and German silver jewelry also. Each piece of jewelry has a story to tell.

Doubling exports, creating more jobs

I was approached by Hinrich Foundation export consultant a year back and after meeting him I realized that there is a foundation which works for creating job for people of smaller societies. I liked it.

I have the same kind of mindset; my company’s first worker was my maid. I learnt from my maid that she was not able to earn enough to complete her daily needs so I wanted to pay her more and take some work for her from my company. She did well and also invited her other family members and neighbors to engage in this work.

Now I have many people working for Bona Dea, though it took some time and patience to train them. They do beading and painting on terracotta jewelry.

It has been a good experience working with the Hinrich Foundation’s Export Assistance Program. My products received international exposure to large buyer communities through China Sourcing Fairs. Global Sources Online has been a dynamic platform for my business. I have gained access into the international market with business queries from globalsources.com. I would recommend every entrepreneur and exporter to join this program. My business has doubled in the past one year. This program is such a great support for small manufacturers like us.

About the Author – Ritu Thapar

Ritu Thapar

Ritu Thapar is the owner and designer of Bona Dea Exports. Before starting this company she worked as Customer service professional in a reputed private organization.