Crafting with colour and nature | Sunday Observer

Crafting with colour and nature

LU Crafts is a new handicraft online brand, started by craft lover and environment conscious Upeka Jayasinghe. Inspired by nature’s colour and vibrancy Upeka began creating handicrafts - handbags, laundry baskets and the like, providing opportunity for local craftsmen.

Her goods currently sell online, having very active social media accounts. She is looking forward to expanding the brand into a concept store. In conversation with Youth Observer, Upeka elaborates.

What made you start Lu Crafts?

I was always passionate about local crafts and amazed by what craftsmen could do. It was sad to see how people go after imported products paying high prices while they have the opportunity to get something beautiful with locally sourced items. At the same time, I wanted to provide our craftsmen and women a platform to earn an income utilizing their skills. I am 100% against polythene and plastic which harm nature. All raw material that go to make products for LU Crafts are naturally sourced with zero harm to the environment.

I want to encourage society to use eco-friendly, sustainable items.

How has selling online been?

I have started this small online platform and it has helped me a lot. Rather than going for a physical store which will limit access for my audience, I believe online selling can open up an easy, convenient and cost-effective method for retailers as well as shoppers.

What are the products that sell fast?

Mainly ladies fashion accessories such as handbags, beach bags and clutches.

Your designs are very colourful, where do you get your inspiration from?

I think travelling has inspired me in terms of colours. When travelling in different cultures I have seen many colourful products and themes created out of it. I feel we need colours in our life. It can express yourself more and create a vibrant outlook.

Compared to many tropical cultures Sri Lankans have fewer tendencies for colours and they mostly prefer plain and dull colours such as black and white or grey. Not that I don’t like black and white. But colours can add more beauty to our surroundings and lifestyle.

Why do your laundry baskets, gift boxes and even the bags, have a vintage look?

Maybe its natural because in the old days we did not have any plastic or synthetic items and everything was made out of natural things such as wood. So now when I make things from similar raw material it gives a vintage look.

What are the materials you use for the designs?

My main materials are cane and rattan. Others are reed and palmyrah.

Will you be collaborating with any brand or store in the future?

I haven’t thought about any collaboration at the moment. I am looking at expanding to a concept store in the future.