Kitchenware from coconut shells | Fusion - WeRIndia

Kitchenware from coconut shells

Kitchenware from coconut shells

Normally coconut shells are discarded. This woman got inspiration from seeing them discarded. Maria Kuriakose from Kerala wants to become an entrepreneur. It has been her dream since her childhood.

Maria worked with a corporate company for two years before quitting it and joined a social enterprise. The social enterprise aimed to make sustainable sanitary pads for women in slums.

While working with the social enterprise, Maria visited a coconut mill and saw the discarded coconut shells. She then wanted to use them productively and launched Thenga. Thenga means coconut.

Before launching the startup to sell coconut-shell based products, Maria spoke to many artisans to make its byproducts. She spent several months exploring ways to bring useful products into the market. In this process, she came to know that certain machinery was needed to make products from coconut shells and give a smooth finish to final products.

But, she did not want to invest huge funds in procuring machinery for conducting trials. At that time, her father, Kuriakose Varoo, came forward to help her. He is a retired mechanical engineer.

With his knowledge and skills, he made a low-cost version of the sanding machine using spare parts. He watched many YouTube videos to make a perfect design. Maria’s mother also helped her by sourcing different sizes of coconut shells.

Maria then made a few kitchenware bowls at home to sell to some businesses. She printed logos on it with the help of a third party company. The shells were polished with coconut oil. Thus, the entire product is natural and made without any chemicals.

Maria also sells these bowls to customers on eCommerce platforms apart from her social media pages. There are four different sizes of bowls. While the smallest is sold at ₹250, the largest is sold at ₹950. The smallest bowl holds 150ml, and the largest can hold 900ml. Thenga offers salad bowls, teacups, cutlery and hanging planters. So far, 8,000 coconut-shell based products are sold.

Image by DMead from Pixabay (Free for commercial use)

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