Baro was one of the brands that showcased at Freshly Squeezed, our pop up promoting contemporary and responsible homegrown brands. Srila Chatterjee has always been surrounded by design and launched her furniture and decor brand in 2018. A champion of doing things a little bit differently, she shares her tips on how to live local and think global, even during a pandemic.
“But how could you live, and have no story to tell?”
Stories are born from personal experiences. They have you in them. They are the things your life is made of, and the reason you are you and not somebody else. How, then, can you not fight to keep them, every day, all the time?
That fight is the fight to keep your own space alive, to not let it be swallowed up in the Great Global Myth – in letting a whole world become one Sameness, where everyone eats sushi, everyone wears denim and everyone watches Netflix!
The flip side of the Corona Virus is that its given us a chance to re-set like never before – and I really believe its the time to celebrate the uniqueness of everything. Each person, each place, each tradition, each and every story needs to be seen as a seed that will help create a flourishing forest. Only by going into the micro part of our lives, into our immediate neighbourhoods and communities, can we enrich anything, find new stories, add value to the world.
The world was not created as one homogenous expanse. We’ve done wrong by trying to make it so. Instead of using the best of what comes from being global (science, technology, medicine, the internet) as a tool to get the most out of everything local, we’ve turned our back on the local to become mass produced and story-less…
Here’s a few things I wish we would all do – wherever on earth we are:
Leave the things that don’t grow near you to the excitement of travel : buy produce that is grown locally, eat seasonally, encourage local farmers/brewers/chefs
Know your neighbourhood
Most cities have a story every few steps, and each one is a jewel. Discover it and see if you can use the story to make a bigger tale in some way or the other, even if just going for a walk.
This doesn’t mean you have to settle for second rate quality – push for the quality you expect. This will happen if your local store knows you will be there to support.
Don’t just look for what you know – discover new ways, new tastes, new cultures that exist around you. Open your mind and you will open a a whole new world.
Encourage local enterprise
Kick the mall for the shop around the corner, make it a part of your life.
Champion local craft
Use your imagination to adapt tradition to contemporary living. Add their stories to yours. Show them off to the rest of the world.
Get out of your comfort zone. Travel not just the globe but around you as well. And when you travel far, take a part of your local world with you.
Give back locally
In whatever way you can, add value to the community around you.
Just being more locally sensitive and alive will take away the jadedness that’s become a hallmark of our world, will enrich your own life and the life of everyone around you, and will always have everyone hungry to share your stories.
Before you go... What is your favourite small indulgence?
What are you reading?
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence.
Who are three of your role models?
Pope Francis, Jacinda Ardern and Arundhati Roy.
The moment you realised that design was for you?
When I was born? I think 'design' is ingrained in you.