The founder of the art boutique Terra Klay, Manvee Vaid was one among the top 10 winners of the FedEx Contest 2017 that help small businesses to grow. It’s a huge achievement to Manvee, as besides the prize money, her enterprise also gained substantial visibility and her effort its due. Here’s Manvee’s story.
A student of Fine Arts, Manvee moved to America 15 years ago, post her marriage and settled in Naperville. On moving to the US, she started taking up freelance gigs as an artist. Her love for art evolved into a passion for curating unique pieces from across India as well as from other parts of the world. While interacting with the artisans back in India, she realised that many indigenous styles were disappearing due to lack of patronage and exposure. Moreover, being an artist herself she could instantly recognise the sentiments of the artisans as she said in an interview with Hi India, “my interactions made me realise that many extremely talented craftsmen are unable to get their due as the system had failed them to give them recognition”. Thus, Manvee was inspired to resurrect the various traditional art forms and help the community of artisans conserve their talent through the practice of fair trade.
By the time Manvee explored the essence of Terra Klay, she already had a huge collection in her repository, be it the famous Madhubani art from Bihar or Warli from Maharashtra. She was also gradually making her mark as an art curator and showcasing her collection at various exhibitions including the Santa Fe Folk Art Market where her collection was exhibited thrice.
It was in 2014 that she was approached by a group of artisans from Manipur who made pottery out of black clay. The rare beauty of the art form caught Manvee’s attention and despite her doubts about the commercial success of the product in the US, she plunged in. Thanks to her artistic intuition, Terra Klay was born and growing in leaps and bounds, eversince. The Fedex grant is a recognition of her endeavours to revive Indian art and an appreciation of the artisans.
Kudos to Manvee for reclaiming the genius and the lives of these artisans who thrive on Terra Klay.
Image credit: smallbusiness.fedex.com