In conversation with the design team behind the quirky umbrellas in our Monsoon Story Box
The reason we selected The Elephant Company’s umbrellas for our Monsoon Story Box is because they stand defiant in their vivid greens and yellows against the monochrome greys of the monsoon skies. At My Big Red Bag, we are fans of big, bold and distinctive designs, and these umbrellas fit the bill on all three counts.
We were fortunate to hear from Aditi Dalal of The Elephant Company about the inspiration behind these quirky umbrellas, and the story behind them makes them shine even more resplendent. Read on.
Could you tell us a little bit about The Elephant Company, their history, and the kind of people who enjoy TEC’s products?
The Elephant Company stands to make everyday life interesting; it is a celebration of a focus on design, and an ode to an aesthetic that is bright, slightly tongue in cheek, and lends color to one’s world. My husband Asim and I have been involved with handicrafts, home products and lifestyle retail for a while, and came to the realization that there was a niche that we could specifically target. Like most ideas that are really worth it, this one came over coffee and conversation at home. We spent a lot of time nailing down our design philosophy and creating a team that was creative, hardworking and inspiring. So in essence, The Elephant Company is the realization of a dream that started in our dining room. The ideal customer is a young, urban millennial that is looking for statement pieces that tie their home together. The design team places great importance on sentiment, on nostalgia and on the premise that every product must tell a story.
Since we are including your product in our Monsoon box, we’d love to hear about some of your favourite monsoonal and rainy inspirations. How does rain inspire you to design and create?
Travel has always been a very important source of inspiration for us both. We’ve had some of our best memories while travelling, and some of those adventures have translated to design ideas. A great monsoon memory was in Goa, where we were caught unawares on the beach, and enjoyed getting drenched to the bone with our kids. There is a sense of uninhibited joy in dancing in the rain, and it felt like a film sequence. Drinking steaming hot chai and eating fried bhajiyas while all wrapped in fluffy towels was great.
What are some of your favorite place to visit during the Monsoons?
My husband and I went to Tuscany a few years ago, and spent a lovely evening walking through vineyards under a slight drizzle, huddled under an umbrella together. The night ended with wine and canapés in a café overlooking the lush forest, which makes for the perfect monsoon evening.
We love the Morfunk and Flying Elephants design, and have noticed that TEC creates several interesting products with these designs. Could you tell us about the inspiration behind the original designs?
The Morfunk collection played out as homage to the Peacock, the national bird of India, and a symbol of happiness, color and joy. The design team was struck by this significance, and it was the iridescent plumage that formed the central element. Elephants are this company’s namesakes, and regularly feature in our design. They are symbols of royalty, strength and wisdom, which are all qualities that make them fitting as part of accent pieces in a home
What’s the best way to take care for TEC Umbrellas?
After use, make sure the umbrella is dry and kept in the cover.
Apart from TEC, what are some of the other brands in the Design and Lifestyle space whose work you enjoy?
As I said, travel is a major source of inspiration, and our many trips to New York City over the past couple of years have resulted in us visiting lifestyle stores across the country that are brilliant at filling their own niche. My daughter studies in New York, and is always on the lookout for stores that are fresh, new and design oriented. We love Anthropologie, West Elm, and Jonathan Adler. They all focus on accessories that serve as accent pieces in a home. In this way, The Elephant Company draws themes from daily life in India, but those themes are fleshed out from a very international perspective.