Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Decidedly Indian in Appeal - SMS Trading Company Inc.! (Part 1) (Gallery Tour)

I've unearthed a gem of a furniture boutique that's based here in Atlanta, USA - "SMS Trading Company Inc". For those of you looking to create a home (here in the US) away from home (India), this is your answer to creating that visual symbolic link in your home to showcase your roots. Each piece at SMS is decidedly Indian and exemplifies the highest standards in terms of quality. Choices range from SMS's signature teak furniture line, hand carved wooden panels to South Indian style temple statues.
Expertly hand crafted, the signature furniture collection is versatile enough to complement a variety of decor styles - from traditional Indian, eclectic to a touch of Indian in a global/transitional or contemporary style of setting.  The refined pieces are sure to create dramatic interiors that exude an ambiance of nobility and sophistication. Arti, the heart and soul of SMS, either hand picks the pieces or as in the case of the signature line exclusively designs and customizes the collection herself, in collaboration with her in-house design and manufacturing base in India. Her passion for the Indian heritage and her interest in decor shines right through in every piece. The furniture boutique has a home gallery setup, judiciously displayed on various floors and an additional warehouse ready to ship goods globally!
I had so much to share about this lovely space that I decided to do a two part feature on SMS Trading Company. The first, is a showcase of her furniture and traditional sculptures boutique store and the next is going to be a tour of part of Arti's private home that highlights the pieces in a home environment.
TECD: Arti, so glad to have you here on TECD! Let's start by asking you to share a little about yourself?
Arti: "Thank you Sruthi for this lovely showcase here on TECD! I am blessed to be who I am and where I am, to be born to and nurtured by loving parents who gave me the values I live by and who are now my guardian angels! By education, I am a Chemical Engineer. I worked professionally in Project Management for International Engineering Consultancies, both in India and the US and then became an Entrepreneur by choice and started my own Company - SMS Trading Company Inc., in 2002. I love Décor, Travel, Music, Nature, Poetry, Photography, Technology, Reading, Reflecting, Experiencing.....and being an Eternal Curious Student!
TECD: Tell us more about your transitional journey from being a Chemical Engineer to an Entrepreneur?
Arti: "Sometimes, not getting what you want is the best stroke of luck! I worked my 8-5 job for a good decade and lived a structured “within the box” life. I was a Project Engineer but it was a black and white world of sorts where your path crossed mostly with folks of similar educational background and orientation, who spoke and conducted themselves in a predictable “in the box”, “within the lines” fashion so, while the functionality of the role was fine, nothing more stirred inside... And then it happened... the Engineering Company I worked for went through a reorganization and many Engineering positions became redundant. It came as a forced break and what we call as a setback in traditional terms but that was the turning point of recognizing what lay dormant within and that when stirred was frightening but turned into something beautiful and fulfilling.
My left brain was cajoling my right brain and my beautiful journey with colors, décor, vibrancy and creativity was about to begin! I still love technology and tools and gadgets but I am equally at home in a creative, abstract world where I can intuitively and naturally put things together rather well. Discovering, creating, decorating comes naturally to me and I can say I have a very good eye and a keen sense of décor and balance. And thus, SMS Trading Company was born in 2002. I named my Company after my dad’s initials (SMS) who passed on in 2001."
TECD: What is the USP and Inspiration behind the collections/curated pieces at SMS Trading Company Inc.?
Arti: "My USP for everything that I design, create or source is that it is handmade. These are NOT bulk, cookie cutter, machine made pieces that are just functional but have no conversational value. My pieces have design inspiration drawn from our rich cultural heritage and trademark talent of Artisans that create them by hand, one piece at a time! If one understands the journey of these pieces from concept and creation to being door delivered to their homes here in the US and other parts of the World, one will truly appreciate what we do."
TECD: Owning a non-traditional style furniture boutique, how has the experience been so far?
Arti: "Very rewarding! I welcome people into my personal space as I would welcome and relate to my friends and that, in turn, also makes them immediately feel comfortable and “at home” and they also respond and engage positively and almost always leave as friends, well wishers and Evangelists and start becoming my extended family and opening up their homes and hearts to me. It just happens naturally.
Since the people who walk through my doors call me first and come through some referred channel, I have not had any negative experience of opening up my home to them. I truly feel that if we live and do business from our hearts and with integrity and treat everyone the same as they walk through our doors, the inherent goodness in people also comes to the surface. Everybody appreciates warmth, honesty and respect. 
I enjoy the Creative expression, Freedom, Flexibility and having this platform to meet people from all walks of life and backgrounds that has made this journey truly beautiful and has enriched my life and me as a person."
TECD: Is your personal style insync with that showcased at SMS Trading Company Inc.?
Arti: "Yes, I like things that people make with hands that are perfect in their somewhat imperfect beauty. I have mixed pieces in couple of rooms to show how the décor can be eclectically mixed up. I love collecting accessories from around the world and tie them in with our beautiful handmade carved furniture. I have also picked up pieces from my travels from roadside vendors and from under piles of forgotten items sitting in a corner and whatever I bring back has a soul that speaks to people.
I am also very fond of handmade traditional wood sculptures and temple carvings that I also source and sell and have them all over my house. I have people urging me to get into selling home décor accessories as they love everything I have in my house and want to buy it! I am looking to add that on to my core business of Furniture and Sculptures. I do, however, carry small gift items like framed Art, traditional lamps etc. at all times."
TECD: What life lessons would you like to share with my readers? 
Arti: "Life is a beautiful journey of growth and reinventing yourself and peeling back layers and discovering many new layers within. If you just gather the courage and break your shackles (whatever they may be!) and be open to and truly engage with life, life also responds back and reveals itself to you in so many different and beautiful hues that just like the proverbial caterpillar who thinks it is going to die, you become a butterfly!
I have also learnt that true success and freedom is when you can live life on your own terms, in an environment that is a reflection of your true essence and is in sync with your energy language. It is a blossoming of sorts where you rearrange the building blocks of your life and create an environment that reflects who you are and what speaks to you and what speaks to others about you."
Those were some extremely important words of wisdom that we needed to hear. After that wonderful furniture gallery tour, aren't you all geared up to make room for some of these beauties in your home. Take a browse through her website (limited access from certain locations). Connect with Arti on FB and follow her on Instagram (New to this space!). To experience the SMS Trading WOW-factor in person, please write to Arti at arti@smstradingcompany.com or call her at +1 (678) 445-3756 (Landline) to set up an appointment for your visit. Arti also strongly recommends that potential customers call ahead of time and talk to her so that they can get a sense of what SMS Trading Company is all about and in turn Arti may understand your custom decor requirements better and answer any questions you may have.
FYI: The Memorial Day weekend, SMS Trading Company will be in St. Louis showcasing some of their signature furniture and  decor accessories. Those of you who would like more details on this, please contact Arti via mail/phone (deets provided above). 

Stay tuned for part 2!!! You don't want to miss it........

(Image  Copyright/Credit : SMS Trading Company Inc. The images may not be copied or reproduced for commercial or non-commercial purpose without the prior written permission of Arti and TECD) 

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