A Note From India

It was a packed two weeks in India. My days were filled with developing new block and screen print designs, working on new color palettes, exploring new printing techniques, and coming up with ways to incorporate embroidery and embellishment techniques in our finished products and fabric by the yard.

Most importantly, each design filled day meant spending quality time with our manufacturers, which is the part that makes my job all the more meaningful - and fun.

Vibrant Inspiration: Springtime in Jaipur

spring time in jaipur


Spring in Jaipur is pretty magical. For being as dry as Rajasthan is (it’s a desert!), the city is in full bloom during the spring. Bougainvillea, Hibiscus, Gudhal flowers, every little corner of the city at this time of year is bursting with color. The smell of the blooms mask the usual scents of India :) If you know, you know!

I jumped off the plane and drove through the city to our office, and the floral air brought me immediately back to the spring of 2018 when I was living in Jaipur. I’ve only been back to India twice since my year here, and both times I’ve arrived with a wave of emotion. This place set the tone for my career, and I’m always grateful to the 22 year old Olivia that leaned into her curiosity and immersed herself into a world she didn’t know, yet she didn’t fear.

Day 1: Dive into Design Work

I landed in Jaipur at 7:30 AM and by 9 AM, was sitting next to the block carver, sharing final artwork for a new design. Putting new designs into work on day one is so important. It allows you to see each little detail that goes into printing a design. I drew this artwork while in Morocco right before Christmas. I wanted to create a block print style design that had a different feel from the original heritage block prints we see everywhere today.

Unveiling Marguerite: A New Design Emerges

block print design


Above, you can see our new design, Marguerite, in a few phases of her life. The drawing (left) was my first sketch, which I continued to work on to perfect the repeat, layout, and color balance. Once handing off the finished design with the motif’s separated by color, the masterji, Banu, starts drafting the blocks. You can see Banu beginning to carve the first block by hand out of basswood.

The background is a sneak peak of the final printed design. We printed a number of color strike offs during my trip, and Verde (above) was one of my favorites. Marguerite came out SO WELL and will be available soon :)

I’ll be sharing more about the block carving process as we launch our next group of designs.

Partnership With Rough Linen

This trip involved a really exciting partnership for Maison Venu, and included hosting Denver, Chelsey, and Tricia from Rough Linen in Jaipur. I couldn’t stop smiling the day they visited one of our block printing studio’s. We will be sharing what we’ve been up to later this spring.

We spent a few days hard at work, balanced with site seeing and taking in as much of Jaipur as possible. It’s always nice to be a tourist when I can get away from the design studio.

We visited Jaipur’s City Palace as the architectural detailing is truly a feast for the eyes. The current Maharaja (king) and the Palace was just featured in Architectural Digest India if you want to transport yourself to Jaipur during your morning coffee.

Photography at Jobner Bagh and Amber Fort

A priority during my trip was to take a few images of our designs in the environment they were inspired by. Day One was at the lovely Jobner Bagh, where I stayed for parts of my trip, and day two was at Amber Fort. 


women in front of a decorative door


The Fort is located about 10 minutes from the village I lived in when I was in Jaipur called Achrol. A small village off the Delhi highway, Achrol was like living on a farm.

A market buzzed daily with locals buying fruits, vegetables, and WiFi right off the highway, but the moment you headed down the main road, sweeping views of Ashoka tree’s and arid stretches of land became the norm. I loved living in this humble village because it taught me what life was life for many of the people I worked with.

It was an experience that I will hold onto for the rest of my life. Weekly, I took the communal bus to Amber to explore. Walking around the streets of the fort last week felt surreal.

A highlight of the trip for me was spending quality time with two of our manufacturing partners in Jaipur and Delhi. Our partners are integral collaborative additions to my team. With the time difference, they are the first people I speak to in the morning, and the last people I talk to at night. Being in person and getting to talk through the next phase of my business, design ideas and concepts we have, new fabrics we can incorporate… the list goes on. They are a huge reason why I love what I do and I couldn’t be more grateful to them.

Supporting Artisan Communities

My time in India always reminds me why I love this work and am determined to build Maison Venu. Our products are created by artisans in communities from Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu to Delhi, Gurugram and soon Jammu and Kashmir (think high quality cashmere for Christmas!).

artisan makers in india


We are creating products, but I am committed to supporting communities who are dedicated to their craft. Their commitment gives me enduring inspiration.

Counting down the days until my next visit… In the meantime, you can explore our current collections HERE.