Monday, December 26, 2011

{Guest Interview} Temple Tree Paper Boutique

Hello All,

Hope you had a fun filled Christmas weekend. Mine was great too . We went for a simple outing to the near by park and enjoyed homemade steaming hot chocolate late in the evening.Will share my version of the recipe soon.

Today's guest is the most talented crafter turned entrepreneur Sonali Maniar of Templetree Paper Boutique.

Following are the excerpts of the interview with her:

1. Tell us something about yourself
I've trained as a "commercial artist" in Mumbai & then got my masters in "graphic design" in the US.
After studying & working in the US, our family moved to Hong Kong, where we lived for 6 years.
Then returning to India after being away for 16 years was an inspiration in itself.
I found that I enjoyed working with pattern, colour & texture that I saw all around me, but with a twist of
contemporary styling. I love creating products for everyday use, which are layered with fun.
I enjoy meeting new people through my work & helping them to create artistic & customized products
that reflect their personalities is what brings me joy.

2. What inspired you to take up this profession?
My parents always encouraged me right from the start & guided me towards this career.
I've always attended art classes growing up & prepared myself with the "art exams" (which is a
requirement in Maharashtra) in order to do commercial art .
During my school years, my parents took me to see various annual exhibitions at the Sophia
Polytechnic to understand what design/advertising was all about.
During the break after my 10th standard exams, my parents took me on a learning trip
for several weeks to Japan - where I learned some wonderful Japanese arts like Sumi-e - brush painting
and Bonseki - small dry landscapes in trays, etc. While in Japan I bought lots of little stationery items
like notebooks, tags, origami paper, stickers... which I have preserved in a box to this day!!

3. Tell us a bit about how you started and what were your first steps in creating Templetree
When I returned to India, I realized that I did not want to work full time at a design studio. I had
been doing a lot of scrapbooking while in Hong Kong & I started to use those techniques to make greeting cards
for my friends & family. Then, I started selling these cards at small sales & bazaars. From there I started getting
orders for Easter, Diwali & Christmas cards. I also started free-lancing from home & started making notecards,
invitations & tags. My dream has always been to have a small store selling fun, colorful & unique products &
so the next logical step was to start a Templetree storefront.

4. What is your success mantra? What are your plans for the future?
Expanding my business leaves me in a dilemma... I want it to grow, but I still want to continue to be hands on,
designing cards & other hand-made products. I enjoy having my studio in my home & being around the kids & family.
The business has grown by word of mouth & our products speak for themselves & new clients approach me.
This year, my friend Rachana Palamreddy has joined with me to take over certain aspects of marketing & sales
and with her help we have been able to reach more customers. Her enthusiasm brings a lot to Templetree.

5. What is your advise for upcoming artists/crafters?
Start a collection of objects or photographs... collect things wherever you travel...
these will give you inspiration. Fully enjoy the craft or art project you take up... and your joy will reflect in your work.

Following are some snap shots of her stores and works

Hope you enjoyed this feature. Please let me know your feedback , it really helps me to improve my work.



  1. Wow!! These works a really good!!
    Thanks for the introduction!!

  2. Wao..! Never heard about Templetree Paper Boutique before.. Thanks for introducing.. :)

  3. thanks swathi for introducing us to crafters who are such professionals... helps in understanding that we can take our hobbies to the next level..

  4. Too good, Sonali.

    I'm a software professional + a wife and mom to two princesses. I hope to do what you are doing someday. Keeping fingers crossed that the day will come soon. All the very very best to TempleTree for continued success :)

    Hey Swathi, I am having a Valentine's week at my blog. Would love to have you drop by...