A Chettinad boy, Karthik Vaidyanathan is excitedly reviving their 200 year old toy-craft with VARNAM- a social enterprise that works with the Channapatna artisans to create lifestyle products, jewellry & toys.
This traditional craft was originally brought to India by Persian King Tipu Sultan in the 18th century. Varnam smartly imbibes the buzzwords of the 21st century- eco-friendly and sustainable, for it’s practical and aesthetically trendy products. Their lac-turnery uses natural resin secreted by a microscopic tiny insect, ‘laccifer lacca’ and moulded out of ‘wrightia tinctoria’ wood which is locally cultivated and known for its medicinal qualities. Being socially proactive they have employed the local women who are mainly self-taught despite being in the pre-dominantly male industry.