Interview: Avik Soni, Industrial Designer & Founder at Shunya Wellness

Avik Soni

Interview with Avik Soni, Industrial Designer & Founder at Shunya Wellness, a brand dedicated to crafting high-quality products for meditation, ritual, and self-care

Embarking on a journey that seamlessly intertwines creativity with purpose, Avik Soni stands as a visionary industrial designer and the founder of Shunya Wellness. With a passion for melding design innovation with holistic well-being, Avik has pioneered a brand dedicated to crafting premium products tailored for meditation, ritual, and self-care.

His relentless pursuit of excellence and commitment to mindfulness has not only redefined the boundaries of industrial design but also inspired a global community to embrace wellness as a way of life.

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind starting Shunya Wellness and how your personal journey influenced the creation of unique spiritual wellness products?

Avik Soni: Post-COVID, I’ve noticed a significant shift in consumer needs towards products and experiences focused on mindfulness and self-care. The demand for holistic wellness has never been more prominent. I’ve observed a growing interest, particularly among the millennial and Gen Z generations, in practices such as yoga, meditation, and sound healing.

The concept of spiritual wellness has become increasingly intriguing. However, I’ve found that existing product innovations are limited; some are merely concepts lacking scalability, while others are mass-produced by export companies but lack the desired quality.

As an Industrial Designer from India, I’m well-acquainted with my country’s rich spiritual heritage and its positive global reputation. Through my design thesis, titled “SHUNYA,” which focused on creating a sensory meditation enclosure, I delved deep into the mindfulness lifestyle and various aspects of spiritual wellness.

Recognizing an opportunity, I set out to establish a lifestyle brand for meditation in India. To date, all our products have been designed in-house, with my team of designers and spiritual wellness experts.

Shunya Wellness focuses on meditation, ritual, and self-care. How do you define these concepts within your brand, and what sets your products apart in each category?

Avik Soni: We define meditation as a sacred practice of inner exploration and connection. Rituals are revered as transformative acts of self-love and reverence, while self-care is seen as a holistic commitment to nurturing the body, mind, and soul.

Our products help you create an ecosystem of enablers to tap into this sacred lifestyle. With unwavering dedication to authenticity, quality, and innovation, our products are designed for all kinds of wellness seekers, whether they are practicing Sri Vidya Sadhaks or young individuals seeking to embark on their spiritual journey. Every product reflects our commitment to empowering individuals on their spiritual journey.

What specific elements do you consider when designing spiritual wellness products that effectively nurture meditation practices?

Avik Soni: Depending on the context and the collection, we prioritize elements that uphold our commitment to quality, storytelling, and individuality. Everything from materials, aesthetics, functionality, to inspiration is carefully considered to enhance the meditation experience.

Comfort, support, and durability are paramount for meditation cushions and accessories, while sensory elements such as aromatherapy and texture play a crucial role in creating a serene atmosphere conducive to inner exploration.

Rituals can vary greatly across cultures and belief systems. How does Shunya Wellness approach incorporating diverse cultural perspectives into your product offerings while maintaining authenticity and respect?

Avik Soni: By rituals, we mean a personal practice one commits to and performs regularly to improve oneself. It could be meditation, or simply the act of journaling, for example. Our products complement your sacred practices by enhancing the experience in ways that don’t interfere with cultural backgrounds or beliefs.

For larger projects that may require sensitivity in this regard, we collaborate with experts and practitioners from various backgrounds to ensure authenticity and sensitivity in our designs and formulations.

Self-care is a broad concept. How does Shunya Wellness address the diverse needs of individuals seeking self-care through your products?

Avik Soni: We target a very specific type of self-care, which is, in fact, the most important kind: Care for The Mind. For individuals who wish to be more in sync with themselves and in control of their minds, they naturally gravitate towards mindfulness practices such as meditation, reading, journaling, etc.

Our products are tailored to this niche, allowing us to be very targeted in our brand offerings and cater to all the major needs of our customers.

Self-care is a deeply personal journey, and so is spirituality. Our products help you bridge both without any disruptions to your current lifestyle.

How do you ensure that your products align with the principles of sustainability and ethical sourcing, considering the increasing demand for eco-conscious and socially responsible brands?

Avik Soni: Our NET ZERO COMMITMENTS guide us in making conscious decisions at each stage of the product lifecycle:

Sustainable Raw Material Sourcing – We meticulously select partners who uphold ethical practices and prioritize fair labor conditions. We have championed local sourcing that helps bolster communities & minimize our carbon footprint.

Our commitment to sustainable methods safeguards ecosystems and promotes responsible resource utilization. By incorporating recycled and up-cycled materials, we contribute to a circular economy and reduce waste.

Eco-friendly Production – We implement energy-efficient technologies, reduce water consumption, and minimize emissions. Continuously optimizing our processes and using eco-friendly materials ensures that every product we create leaves a smaller ecological footprint.

Green Packaging, Efficient Shipping – Our dedication to sustainability extends to packaging and shipping. We utilize minimalistic, recyclable packaging materials to reduce waste. Through careful planning and optimized logistics, we minimize shipping distances, ultimately reducing carbon emissions. Our aim is to protect your products while safeguarding the planet.

Empowering Conscious Living – When you choose to purchase a Shunya product, you’re choosing sustainable product utilization. Our items are designed for longevity, durability, and energy efficiency, empowering you to make environmentally responsible choices.

We provide usage guidelines and tips to ensure that your products contribute to a greener lifestyle, helping you minimize your environmental impact.

Closing the Loop Responsibly – Our commitment to sustainability doesn’t end when a product reaches the end of its life cycle. We encourage responsible disposal through recycling and proper waste management.

Many of our products are designed to be easily disassembled and recycled, closing the loop and reducing landfill waste. Ensuring that the last stage of a product’s life is just as environmentally friendly as the first is our priority.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start a business in the spiritual wellness industry, based on your own experiences with Shunya Wellness?

Avik Soni: Every Journey is different. Don’t follow the herd. Leverage your skills and your privileges and build what you can be an expert at. There are a lot of gimmicks in the market. If you can build something unique in this space, I think it could work well.

In the ever-evolving landscape of wellness and design, Avik Soni emerges as a trailblazer, seamlessly weaving together artistry and functionality to elevate the human experience. Through Shunya Wellness, he has not only crafted exquisite products but has also sparked a movement towards greater self-awareness and holistic living.

As his journey continues to unfold, Avik’s dedication to enhancing well-being through thoughtful design serves as a beacon of inspiration for generations to come, shaping a world where mindfulness and creativity converge for the betterment of humanity.

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