Shwetha Rao grew up drawing figures on practically any sheet of paper she found, be it in her school classroom or on newspapers lying on the dining table! Although these sketches started with inspirations from the world of fashion and books on fiction, it soon changed to Indian mythology. She was fascinated with the Gods for the power they held, the Goddesses for their strength of spirit and mind, and the rishis for their austerity. Not to mention the many stories of Bhaktas and Bhaktikas like Meera and Kannappa that also captured her imagination.
As she grew up, life happened and it took her away from her pencil and paper. She found herself diving headlong into the world of spirituality and nurturing a love for modeling simultaneously! She started modeling at the age of 19, with a scratch shoot for Levis which lead her to further opportunities like work for Pantene, Apple, Accenture, Reliance, E-zone, MTR, Navrathan Jewellers, Getty Images and so on. Later, marriage took her further away, to the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon in the United States of America where she now resides with her husband.
Parting from her beloved country rekindled her love for her own culture and deepened her curiosity towards the age old practices of ancient India. She completed her Yoga Teacher Training in Mysore and began volunteering as a Yoga instructor in the city of Portland. This proved to be a great way to channel her passion for her roots.
A brief period of poor health forced her to see first-hand the mind-body connect that she had only known in theory thus far .She saw the power the mind can have over body and how the use of Mantras, Mudras, positive affirmations, chants and Homas can act as tools to master the mind and there-by the body. With much love from family and blessings from the Universe, healing happened. She felt a deep need to create more awareness about these tools passed down the generations .She wanted every Indian to know of his grand heritage and for every human being to benefit from it.
It was then that she and her dear twin sister, Shruthi Rao decided to start Parijata .The intention was to bring all they held close to their heart - Yoga, philosophy, Mudras, Mantras, mythology as an archetype for a higher consciousness on a platform that they both loved- clothing! Shwetha sketches the art she has in mind, which is then printed on the garments using discharge dye technique.
She hopes that with each piece of Parijata ,one can take a step closer to exploring different dimensions of their own consciousness, just like she does while making them!
Shruthi, the first born among the twins, was always a leader. She was the first to walk, first to ride, first to swim and even the first to cart-wheel! She easily stood out in her school. She was the school basket ball team captain, her sports house captain and even won an award for "best junior sportsman" It’s safe to say that she was pretty popular!
Although she started out to pursue her dream job as a pilot, she soon realized that being a pilot wouldn't do justice to the multifarious things she wanted out of life .While she took a break to figure out her true path, she ended up working for her father who co-incidentally was also in Textiles. She learnt from him the importance of dedication and the art of paying attention to detail. She then moved on to work for a delightfully inspired company called "The Fuller Life" in Bangalore. She learnt a lot of her organisational and people skills here. During this time, she was also drawn to spirituality.
Then, marriage inspired her to follow her passions. She started learning the classical dance form, “Kathak”. She also started doodling. Her "Shroodles"on Facebook gained quite some popularity and even gave her some opportunity with doodling for new moms, business doodles so on and so forth. She also rekindled her love for Yoga at this time. She feels that, nothing can truly be as balancing and calming as Yoga.
The combination of her desire for making art, practicing yoga and her love for comfortable yet stylish clothing, motivated her to start thinking on the lines of creating a brand that could nurture this love for them all.
It was at this juncture that she and her sister, Shwetha Rao decided to start Parijata.
Parijata is an opportunity to embrace and share with the world, the love for both their art forms – art inspired by Mantras, Yoga and Mythology.
Parijata is born from the heart and Shruthi hopes that one can see and appreciate the passion for their art on each and every garment!