PT Push – Firoza (Tarapore) Shroff and Kainaz Tarapore, ‘Jophiel’

‘PT Push’ is Parsi Times’ endeavour to promote and encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship, dedicated to furthering the cause of all budding entrepreneurs in our community, by sharing their efforts with our readers, to gain your support for their ventures. In this episode, PT Push presents ‘Jophiel’ founded by the dynamic sisters – Firoza and Kainaz – which aims to preserve, protect and promote the dwindling Parsi Gara embroidery and Indian Zardozi industry, as also support its artisans, by popularising its products in a brilliantly crafted avatar of divinely designs and exquisite elegance.

Founded by the Mumbai-based, sister duo – Firoza (Tarapore) Shroff and Kainaz Tarapore, ‘Jophiel’ is an endeavor to breathe life into Parsi Gara embroidery, Zardozi and Beadwork – the centuries’ old, soulful art forms heavily influenced by Persian, Chinese and Indian cultures. Established under Ahu Fashion Accessories LLP, Jophiel products celebrate artisanal excellence, and stand out as a bold personal statement of regal style and exclusivity, using timeless heritage embroidery forms of Parsi Gara and Zardozi, to deliver divine designs.

Influenced and inspired by their late father’s life-long passion for beautiful crafts to celebrate artful embroidery that would otherwise be lost in the corridors of time, Kainaz and Firoza quit their successful corporate careers to venture into the world of handicrafts. They crossed paths with a home-based master of the bead and Gara craft, who opened her world of knowhow and techniques, marking the beginnings of Jophiel. The initiative endeavors to encourage artisans of this craft and aspires to be a beacon of the women entrepreneurship spirit.

As the Gara embroidery and Zardozi cottage industry struggles to survive, various stitches, techniques and designs could be forever lost unless consistent efforts for its revival and growth are undertaken. These select artisans pass down the generational art forms as family secrets. The dwindling demand for handmade crafts threatens the existence of artisans’ knowledge, skill and trade secrets. This is where ‘Jophiel’, the name of the loving angel, intends to reach out and celebrate the artisans, stoke the senses of the users and stir beautiful experiences for any life it brushes past.

Jophiel products include assorted crafts and accessories like clutches, stoles, smartphone pouches, wallets, as also customised, consultation-based orders for authentic and hand-embroidered Parsi Garas.

“From a very young age we have been exposed to beautiful Parsi Gara embroidered craftwork because of our father. He was a collector of beautiful artifacts and our friends used to address our home as a museum of sorts. When starting our own venture, it was natural to lean into our heritage crafts to help integrate our artisans into the mainstream fashion industry. The push to build brand India has not arrived a day too soon. The potential that remains in the hinterlands of India will play a massive role in building brand-India. And that is what we intend through our modest venture,” shares the dynamic Firoza, an erstwhile successful HR professional who has worked with prestigious clients including UTV, Kotak Bank and the Tata Group, before her passion for the crafts and her independent spirit, combined with her husband, Cyrus Shroff’s vision and encouragement, had her taking the entrepreneurial plunge.

Her vivacious sister, Kainaz, too had a successful career spanning fourteen years in Advertising and Brand Solutions, sharing her expertise with noted agencies including Ogilvy, McCann Erickson and Everest Brand Solutions and leading channels like Times Now and History TV 18. Her inherent desire to do something on her own saw her partnering with her sister Firoza, to set up Jophiel. She says, “The Parsi community has been known for its entrepreneurial spirit. Firoza and I knew it was only a matter of time before we would toss aside our corporate careers to dive into a business of our own. So much about our Parsi culture, art forms, food has not truly reached its deserved level of patronage owing to exclusivity. Now, when Parsis are taking their tremendous talent outside the Parsi circuits, the love and praise is overwhelming. The exquisite art forms of Parsi Gara embroidery and Indian Zardozi work are also true treasures that Jophiel attempts to create a market for helping our artisans flourish.”

In addition to preserving and promoting the art form and supporting the artisans by focussing on bespoke, handcrafted, artisanal products, Jophiel also supports the fight against paediatric cancer, having tied up with ‘Cuddles Foundation’ which works with 33 government and charity cancer hospitals across 20 India cities, helping children cancer survivors to lead happy, healthy lives

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