Placeholder canvas
Igniting Ideas For impact

Embarking on a transformative journey through six chapters, we traverse India's landscape, exploring pioneering startups and their revolutionary...

4 months

Cutlery to Decor, This Pune Studio’s Hand-Crafted Copperware is a Must Have!

Cutlery to Decor, This Pune Studio’s Hand-Crafted Copperware is a Must Have!

Studio Coppre has uplifted the lives of over 200 artisans and does so in style. Have a look! #CopperArt #Decor #GreenHome

Neeta Baxi, a Pune-based entrepreneur, speaks about the time when her mother and grandmother would use copper vessels to prepare delicacies. “Copper has been used in our culture for a very long time. I still remember my grandmother storing water in copper vessels,” she reminisces. And when she learnt about Studio Coppre, an enterprise working with metalworking artisans in Maharashtra to promote heritage crafts of India, she was hooked.

Want to buy beautiful copper-ware handcrafted by Studio Coppre? Click here to check out what they have to offer.

“When Studio Coppre was first launched, I went to check out their line of products at an event. I loved what they had to offer and they have such a beautiful story about how they began,” she says.

Studio Coppre crafted beautiful copper ware

Studio Coppre, a social-venture formally conceptualised in 2014, works for the promotion and preservation of handcrafting traditions through design and marketing intervention. They work closely with rural and urban artisans, designing products which are modern to look at but are deeply-rooted in tradition. The startup has impacted the lives of 250 artisans with whom they work closely. These artisans belong to states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

With people becoming more aware of the material used to make modern cookware, traditional materials like iron, stone, copper, and clay now coming back in the Indian kitchens. There are many reports of stainless steel leaching chromium and nickel and and plastics leaking BPA into food. People are now turning to brands that specialise in heirloom and heritage cookware. And Studio Coppre is one such brand.

Chhanda Bihari, one of the four co-founders of Studio Coppre, says that they established this start-up because they saw the powerhouse of artisanal skills and knowhow in Maharashtra on the verge of redundancy. They also saw the transformative power of design on our ancient crafting traditions. “How we could reinvent traditional forms and contours to suit contemporary homes and living was a challenge we embraced,” says Chhanda.

The beginning of Studio Coppre and the products they make

Chhanda Bihari (left) and Rashmi Ranade, two of Coppre’s four co-founders

The four co-founders had been working unofficially as a project team in 2012 with INTACH. This team then laid the foundation of Studio Coppre with the help of INTACH and the Forbes Marshall Foundation. Chhanda, who has corporate experience, heads Finance and Operations in the enterprise.

Rashmi Ranade heads Design and has been instrumental in bringing back the focus on the traditional arts. Sudakshina handles Market Outreach for Studio Coppre while, Seemantini brings her two-fold expertise in branding and communications as well as social ventures management to Studio Coppre.

“So, with a diverse range of operational excellence in various fields, the idea was to create a successful Livelihood Project (focused on metal-working artisans) and which can be replicated across other handcrafted sectors also. And today we stand at an intersection point of Design, Craft, Social impact and Business,” says Rashmi.

Studio Coppre produced sustainable straws and a water jug

Rashmi explains that most of their designing begins with mini-explorations. “From theme boards for each season to the culmination of a product or collection, it could take anywhere between 6-12 months. Product planning for successive seasons based on trends is an important exercise for us,” she says.

From the design boards, they then get into prototype development to hone the ideas further. “This is a long process as we may have to do these multiple times. Once the production sample is finalised we start our production,” says Rashmi.

Since they also take customised orders, delivering it to customers may take any where between 4-12 months depending on the complexity of the design and the number of pieces in each collection.

Made with care and attention to detail

Kishore Karde, 69, from the Raigad district in the Konkan region has been working as an artisan since he was 16 years old. For the past eight years, Karde has been working with Studio Coppre and has been handling his workshop in the Pune cluster. There is a collective of eight to ten people in his workshop now who work with Coppre regularly, along with a few vendors in the market.

Karde explains that since he started working with Coppre, not only is he earning three times more in a month but is also getting regular assignments. “Before, there would be a stretch of almost four months where I would not get any kind of orders. Now, I get regular orders and I am also learning about new designs which are modern and beautiful to look at,” he says.

Vijay, one of the many artisans who work with Studio Coppre to produce the copper ware

Chhanda explains that empowering the vendors with fair-trade practices and preserving the craftsmanship is at the core of Studio Coppre’s values since inception.

However, there have been a substantial number of challenges that the co-founders encounter.
One of them is training clusters of artisans and maintaining uniformity in the quality of products. The other includes maintaining a smooth supply chain starting from the design, production and sales to timely delivery of the goods.

It is also challenging for them to venture into international markets as they are still a small social enterprise. “It becomes imperative that our councils and bodies working in the Handcrafted sector become significantly more active in this,” says Chhanda.

She adds that most of their artisans work in precincts which are more than 200 years old. “Though we do help them to upgrade their facilities with soft loans, as a social enterprise, we do not have access to larger grants to improve their workspaces and give them a better environment to work,” adds Chhanda.

The way forward

Studio Coppre items are both decorative and utilitarian.

As a social venture, Studio Coppre aims toward sustainable growth with a focus on livelihood generation, product development, exploring new target markets, increasing artisanal footprint and working with more metal craft forms to increase the reach and impact of their work.

“We have been instrumental in reviving the copper craft of Maharashtra and aims to be a model for sustainable craft-based ventures across states,” Chhanda says.

For Baxi, who nurtures her love for all things bespoke by collecting heritage handloom and handicraft, Studio Coppre is to her what a candy store is to a child!

Want to buy beautiful copper-ware handcrafted by Studio Coppre? Click here to check out what they have to offer.

(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)

Like this story? Or have something to share?
Write to us:
Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

We bring stories straight from the heart of India, to inspire millions and create a wave of impact. Our positive movement is growing bigger everyday, and we would love for you to join it.

Please contribute whatever you can, every little penny helps our team in bringing you more stories that support dreams and spread hope.

Support the biggest positivity movement section image Support the biggest positivity movement section image

This story made me

  • feel inspired icon
  • more aware icon
  • better informative icon
  • do something icon

Tell Us More

Sign in to get free benefits
  • Get positive stories daily on email
  • Join our community of positive ambassadors
  • Become a part of the positive movement