Armeet Chawla, founder of Maati
Q: How did it all start and you ventured into this business?
Maati started with a love for plants and the need for them to be planted in equally beautiful planters, the idea was to conceptualise a line of planters in eco-friendly terracotta that would besides being great for plant growth, also add aesthetic serenity to the gardens and home interiors.
Q: Is it totally eco-friendly? What material are planters? What special points do you keep in mind so that your enterprise stays totally in sync with nature?
We at Maati use terracotta and ceramic planters which, while retaining water, aid the growth and development of the plant. We also do not use plastic and cement as materials to build planters as they are neither plant friendly nor healthy for the world that we live in.
Q: What were the challenges or roadblocks and how did you overcome them?
While being a homegrown small-scale enterprise, the reality of having to do bigger numbers of pieces per design was a challenge. We had to forage through small lines of planters. It is hard to develop with the cost of moulds and the reluctance of artisans to spend time on detailing. Gradually we worked with the artisan and factory workers to do exclusive work for us and after a couple of years, we were able to succeed in creating a series of products that were in line with our vision of products we wanted to sell at Maati.
Q: How has the growth been so far and what are your future goals?
After catering and developing a customer base in our city, we have moved to add more cities where we can spread the joy of plants and planters, with regular exhibitions and online presence now our planters have a bigger audience and user base. In its small way our enterprise has helped in spreading a greener footprint, I’m sure.
Q: Your advice to those interested in joining a similar field?
For anyone wanting to get into this business the guru mantra is not treating plants as a business- they are living species and need to be cared for, nurtured, and loved first.