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Manisha Gandhi knows her FURNITURE - Cassandra Rudge

Born and brought up in a multi cultural environment, Manisha Gandhi is half Mallu, half gujju, married into a UP family with two little girls. Manisha got married right after B school and as most of us, aspired to live the big corporate life. She worked for a couple of years but realised that it did not fulfil her.

As she says, ‘The gujju blood in me dragged me into business.’ She started her own business when she was based out of Hong Kong. Being closer to China gave her the avenue and ability to source for products for big retailers in India. Manisha worked with a lot of big brands and retail chains in India before plunging into her passion – Oriental furniture.

Here’s what she has to share about her passion:

  1. What brought about the interest in oriental furniture? When did the love affair begin & how?
  2. I am an ardent décor buff and my interest in décor and design and grown immensely over the years. I guess its in my blood. I get this from my mom and dad who have been collectors of colonial furniture, paintings and antiques for years. I started Oriental Living from my passion for Oriental antique furniture. It all started in 2007 when we moved to Hong Kong where I started collecting Oriental furniture for my own home which gradually then progressed to a commercial venture.
  1. What about oriental furniture do you like best as opposed to rustic or eclectic furniture?
  2. Though I’m a fan of colonial and contemporary furniture too, there is something about oriental furniture that I fancy. It is influenced with clean lines, a sense of history, rich patinas and strong personalities, though created over time yet finds resonance in modernity as well.
  1. How long did it take you to start Oriental Living? What went into the start up?
  2. After running a successful sourcing firm for several years, I chose to follow my passion for furniture. The process of individually selecting these exquisite pieces of furniture from different provinces in China and Tibet on basis of their originality and patination as well as the process of restoration, has taken more than a year. This involved a lot of research, travel combined with family holidays, learning about Oriental furniture, but the beginning has been great so far:)
  1. Who is your target market? Age group, gender, income bracket, nationality, profession etc
  2. My endeavour is mostly to find a good home for these exquisite pieces of furniture. Oriental Living is for anyone seeking quality, beauty and inspiration – be it interior designers, architects, retailers and individuals.
  1. If there is one thing about oriental furniture you would love to people to know which most don’t, what would that be?
  2. Each piece is handcrafted and hand finished with traditional techniques which makes it a statement piece of charm in ANY room. And Oriental Living is bringing these Handcrafted and Exquisite pieces of furniture to India.
  1. What type of home would oriental furniture sit best in?
  2. Asian Oriental furniture is wonderful in any setting…modern, traditional, neutral, highly coloured…it looks fabulous everywhere
  1. If there were 3 words to describe the mood oriental furniture puts you in, what would those 3 words be?
  2. Zen, Peace, Harmony
  1. Is it expensive to decorate your house with oriental furniture? How durable is it?
  2. Oriental furniture of good quality is expensive all around the world. But at Oriental Living, we wish to make it more affordable. Majority of these pieces are made out of old elm wood, which is hardwood and durable and easy to maintain as well.
  1. What types of oriental furniture do you sell? How affordable are your pieces?
  2. Well it’s a special piece at a very reasonable price. Oriental Living features an extraordinary range of pieces, from classic Horseshoe back chairs and colorful Chinese buffets to Ming dynasty style classic cabinets to blanket chests to antique with carved iron hardware. The majority of our antique furniture dates from the early 20th century, although some pieces are 18th & 19th century. A range of reproduction furniture is also available. And If you want to see even more, our website www.orientalliving.co.in will be live real soon.
  1. How do customers buy from you?
  2. For all customers Pan India, orders can be placed online at the sitewww.orientalliving.co.in. Delivery is free for all customers across Pan India.For customers not in India, please write to me atoffice@orientalliving.co.in or manisha@moiindia.com and let us know which piece you would be interested in and we will have it delivered to you.
  1. What are some exciting plans you have for your company Oriental furniture?
  2. Well in 2 years time we are hoping to have retail stores across major cities in India so keep posted:)
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