India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Verve People
May 02, 2018

Love Is In The Paper: Whimsical, Dreamy Wedding Invitations From Kanika Jain Gupta’s iktaara

Text by Zaral Shah

From wedding invites and personalised stationery to customised gifts, wallpapers and murals, Kanika Jain Gupta’s iktaara has something for every taste and need

Founded in 2009 by Kanika Jain Gupta, iktaara is a bespoke design house that lends its creative expertise to projects ranging from corporate and festive gifting to wedding stationery, books and customised spaces.

A unique homegrown design and lifestyle brand, Gupta’s approach to design is driven by Indian elements and traditional arts but with a contemporary twist. A quick chat with her takes us through the genesis of iktaara, what we would find on her table, what she does when not working and more.  

How it started
I find inspiration in many things, but the biggest factor is Meerabai – her passion and true love for Krishna. In fact, iktaara gets its name from Meera’s instrument – Ektara.

On your table
My table is always messy. I’m a wannabe Monica from Friends! I like everything to be organised and clean, but unfortunately, it all lands up in a mess. On my desk, you will find tons of pens, markers, gateway sheets, toys, pencils and lots of cases and stands for my pencils. Recently, globes have found themselves a place on my desk too. And at all times, there will be music playing in the background. It’s a creative renaissance.

The highs and the lows
The most challenging part is the production. Since it is a new thing every time, there’s always so much exploring and experimenting at every step of the way. And when I get to see the end result pan out physically, that is extremely rewarding. What’s most rewarding though is when clients send us “we love it” messages!

A quirky client
It always starts with, “Kanika, make us something that no one has seen before, something absolutely unique.” But the weirdest request came in when a couple asked me to make their invitations in a day because they were getting married in the next two days!

An alternative passion is…
Munching on chips! I am so addicted to chips; if there’s a new one in the market, I don’t want to miss it. But on a more serious note, I’m passionate about travelling and being in the midst of nature. That to me is like homework, it gets the creative juices flowing, which are eventually translated into my real work. And I love learning about different forms of healing.

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