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Varun Manchanda

Artisan Organization: Varun Manchanda

Country: India

"I was born and brought up in Delhi. My childhood was a very quiet one. Instead of playing around, I used to enjoy nature and my surroundings. It was fun!

"My father crafted costume jewelry. His workshop was in the same compound as our house, so I used to see a lot of colorful stones and jewels, which really fascinated me. My father never did any formal training but his passion and determination were so strong that he did very well in this field. However, my younger brother is currently taking a course in jewelry design to meet the current trends and styles.

"My rendezvous with leather happened in 2006. During a trip to a jewelry exhibition with my father, I saw how popular leather products were. So I told my father, 'Why not start something in leather?' He agreed, since he always wanted me to do something different and new.

"When we came back home, I started learning about leather and set up an area for myself in my father's workshop. I found a designer and some craftspeople to collaborate with me, and we spent six months designing and sampling. I showed my leather work at a gift fair and it got a good response – such a thrilling experience. My father was so supportive.

"Since then it has been a great journey. Leather is such a wonderful material to work with! My designs are basically for everyday – fresh and casual. I most love earthy colors.""