What is curation and why do I do it?

A question that I get asked often is why do I sell other people’s stuff rather than creating my own? What exactly is curation and why not creation instead? Am I thinking of ever creating something of my own?

Figured why not write straight out of my heart, and maybe head, to answer some of these questions and share with you the ever evolving plans of this mompreneur.

Dictionary definition of curation is: the action or process of selecting, organizing, and looking after the items in a collection or exhibition. In today’s day of information overload and internet dictating our thoughts, I like Collin Wright’s definition better as it fits how I approach curation: Curators welcome others to see the world as they see it, and to experience whatever it is they’re passionate and knowledgeable about. By filtering and remixing and organizing and presenting others’ work, you’re presenting, in a sense, completely new work.

Why curate? You may ask. The answer is simple, you see, something just clicks when you become a parent and you have no control over that “click” or multiple clicks. For me it was passing down my heritage in the most authentic sense possible yet maintaining the sensitivity to multi-cultural environment I am raising him in. I want him to learn about where his parents came from, the foods we eat, the celebrations we have, the clothes we wear and the lifestyle we live; which is a mix of our roots (Indian) and our surroundings (American).

In this strong NEED to provide this education in a fun way for my son, I started to write a book. Then, it dawned on me that by the time this book gets edited, illustrated, printed and shipped to the US; he will have outgrown the book. So, that’s when I started curating. This process was cumbersome and …I say this with all modesty as I purchased over 400 books from India and started going through them.

What do I look for in these books? Sensitivity in the language, depiction of the culture (not society), kid friendly and appropriate illustrations, printing quality, paper quality and the purpose of the publisher/author. I like to connect with the publisher and author to better understand their purpose before adding their book to the offerings. For the amount of hustle and passion I put in to this process, I absolutely have to believe in them.

What started as something to fulfill the needs of my family, organically turned into providing for the community. We live in this multi-cultural and fascinating society where we are curious about each other and where we all come from. In the process to pass down my heritage, I started to learn about others and share mine with other families. It is so gratifying to see these books on the shelves of people’s homes, school libraries, temples and public libraries.

Does this mean I will always be a curator? Yes and No. The vision is to curate and create. To give outlet to purposeful books and products that align with my vision as well as create content of my own. The creations can be a book, curriculum for schools, workshops for teachers, workshops for libraries or a product. There is no limit to the marriage of passion and purpose.

Kulture Khazana and Ayaan are growing up together, they are getting their personalities and are ever evolving. It is challenging, beautiful and absolutely gratifying to nurture them both.


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