Chennai’s Sudha and Neha are popularizing clay art and Indian cuisine worldwide

Neha Chandranarayanan, a 20-year-old engineering student, gives wings to her mother’s dream

God always has better plans for us than we have for ourselves. This line seems true for the mother-daughter pair from Chennai. A 49-year-old, Sudha Chandranarayanan along with her daughter, Neha pursued her passion for clay art. They have got a huge fan base online who demand their food clay miniature. 

How they started a business?

The whole thing started with a birthday!

“I asked my mother for a clay miniature of dosa on my 18th birthday,” Neha recalls the day things started to change for them. 

“My mother has a creative mind and she has been making miniatures for the last 15 years. Everyone in my family loves her clay craft, especially me.” The moment Neha saw that present, she couldn’t hide her happiness. She promptly suggested ‘Amma, you are amazing. How about starting a business of making clay miniatures?’ 

An introvert and shy Sudha doubted if she really wanted her hobby to become her profession. And how she would handle this huge business responsibility. But, after getting support and encouragement from friends and family, she plunged in. “Two years ago, we started promoting and selling our clay products through our Instagram and Facebook page, CN Arts miniature”, Neha said. The response they were getting was unexpected and overwhelming. 

Story of an ideal homemaker cum an entrepreneur

From a homemaker to an entrepreneur, Sudha’s journey was not as easy as it looks. We asked Neha, the co-founder of CN Arts miniature, what she thinks about her mother’s journey. “My mother has been doing clay art for a long time. She even used to give classes to kids in our neighborhood. Now, she conducts online workshops for making clay succulent plants and pots, food miniature, flowers, and many other things. She is a true inspiration for all of us and I wanted everyone to acknowledge her talent. She is not just a perfect mother or a wife, she is a passionate artist.”    

Neha couldn’t stop praising her mother and she continues. “Like every mother, my Amma is also a multitasker. I wonder how she manages us (her, father, younger brother) and her craftwork. She is hardworking and her planning to achieve any goal is better than mine.” 

Mother-daughter relationship

It was the mother and daughter’s strong bond that moved mountains and made way for their dreams. Neha never left her mother’s side and that helped them to enjoy the clay art together. “It takes 4-8 hours per food miniature and sometimes more, depending on the detailing of the dish. I and Amma enjoy each other’s company and we love to work together.”

Also, Sudha doesn’t manage the business all alone; she gets full support from her daughter Neha, who is equally efficient. “I learned clay craft from my mother and I enjoy working with her. My friends have always loved her food clay miniatures because it looks real and lively”, said Neha. 

Promoting Indian cuisine because it’s healthy

They want to promote Indian cuisine on the international platform and make the world aware of the variety of Indian dishes. 

Recalling funny comment banter with a famous chef online, Neha said, “His comment ‘Who made finger-licking food on thali’ made us laugh hard. He thought that clay thali was real. I told him it’s not and I also added that mother-daughter duo has sculpted this clay thali with equal love and joy as you cook food for people.”  

The demand for food miniatures in the form of fridge magnet and showpieces are heavy, and people from various states of India and abroad are giving orders through their social media pages.