It was while helping a friend set up a home in Bengaluru that Radeesh Shetty chanced upon his calling.
“I was always interested in the concept of design, the aesthetics and structure of it. While looking for lights for my friend’s home, we realised the huge gap in the Indian market for concept or design lighting for homes or even public spaces,” shares Shetty, the founder and proprietor of the concept lighting and décor brand, The Purple Turtles.
“We are talking about the year 2009. Lighting options were limited to either the mass-made-in-China ones or the outrageously expensive European brands; there were no in-betweens,” he says.
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Illuminating the world of design
Research by Shetty and his partner and director, Gaurav Rai, revealed that several Indian lighting designers from Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and even Jaipur were already operating. But, there was no platform to represent them.
“This is where we came in. We pitched the work of these designers to architects and interior designers. The response was tremendous! Among the spaces we first designed, including lighting and furniture, were the Social restaurant spaces of Riyaz Amlani, the Google office in Hyderabad, as well as the Bengaluru airport. We are also currently designing the lighting and look of Goa’s international airport at Mopa,” adds Shetty.
After carrying samples to client offices for a couple of months, Shetty and his partner opened a retail space on 100 Ft Road Indira Nagar, Bengaluru in December 2009.
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Slowly, the repertoire of The Purple Turtles expanded to quirky, colour-distressed, grunge, metal furniture, which was not common those days.
Currently, there are six stores in South India, with four in Bengaluru, one each in Chennai and Hyderabad. Plans to open another in Hyderabad this year, as well as in Mumbai, Kolkata, and Goa are afoot.
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The Hyderabad store was launched in August in partnership with Hyderabad-based entrepreneurs Subbaraju Penmatsa and Vidhatha Annamaneni, and global entrepreneur Sree Harsha Vadlamudi.
“We did not have the luxury of space like in our Bengaluru store though it is about 6,500 sq ft, spread over two floors and has about 6,000 carefully selected indoor pieces,” he shares.
On the ground floor is a good presence of Beruru. It is their outdoor spaces/garden accessories brand, which was launched just before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
Beru means roots in Kannada, and Uru means village or one’s place of habitation. The “root-to-roof” brand is all about bringing back the earth and garden to the centre of one’s home.
Artistry and craftsmanship
True to its name, there are carefully crafted terracotta and stone planters, vases, water bodies, and plants both at the entrance and the ground floor. If home fragrances is what you seek, you can check out the essential oils diffusers. And, in reflection of the times we live in, some organic mosquito repellents too!
One section has ceramic tableware in pretty pastels with warm matte finish.
The first floor, which is an ode to Indian art and craftsmanship, houses an eclectic and elegant collection.
Pichwai artwork of Nathdwara, a Rajasthani couple crafted in wood and the most vivid vegetable dyes, is a stunning representation of traditional Indian artistry.
True to their mainstay of providing personalised lighting solutions for homes, offices, resorts, restaurants, and spas, the options are many. From lamps and chandeliers floor, table, and ceiling lamps, to bric-à-brac, wooden metal, paper, bamboo — there is something for every discerning client.
Shetty adds that all the lamps and artefacts are limited editions, and they work mostly in customisation mode.
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The brand holds recycling close to its heart. Following this philosophy, there is a section of repurposed table décor items, which are economically priced, though the unique ones can go up to ₹4-5 lakh.
Classic teakwood and contemporary furniture as well as antique pieces have been strewn seamlessly around the store.
What stands out is the use of earthy elements. Handcrafted paper, bamboo, teak, banana fibre, wood, jute, blown glass, beads, shells, stylised fabrics, and metals are all a work of art.
Sourcing rare artefacts and antiques is Shetty’s passion. One such at the store is an antique wood and brass door which was the original door of an ancient fort in Rajasthan.
“We source our décor pieces with great care and attention, just as we would do for our own living spaces. It is a journey which I am never tired of,” shares Shetty. Amen to that thought!
Location: The Purple Turtles & Beruru,
Plot No 885, Rd Number 45, Masthan Nagar, CBI Colony,
Jubilee Hills. Hyderabad. Instagram @thepurpleturtles