● By Kirby Tello
By: Kirby Tello Photos by: Rachel Benavides
Recently, the new CC Blissbox – filled with all local goodies – added a new designer to its roster. Ilavarasi Shenbagamoorthy of Ila Designs contributed one of her calendar designs for the box. With its uniquely modern and edgy flair, it’s no wonder her art is generating a lot of buzz. Word on the street was that Shenbagamoorthy had an equally distinctive story about how she ended up in Corpus Christi, so we set out to learn more about her story.
From a very young age, Shenbagamoorthy was passionate about design. Back in India, her father owns a printing press, where she used to spend summer breaks sketching, learning design software, and understanding the commercial printing process. This passion led her to pursue a master's degree in Fine Arts, which only furthered the development of her skills. After graduation, she interned for an advertisement agency and later worked with her dad for a couple of years. It was these experiences that helped her learn about the importance of understanding the link between printing and designing.
Shenbagamoorthy’s first big break came when she was asked to design her sister’s wedding card. It was very well received, which prompted her to start designing invitations and logos for friends and family. Slowly, she gathered the confidence to start a business specializing in designing and branding.
Being a freelance graphic designer, Shenbagamoorthy gets to work on projects which are completely different from each other. Therefore, every day she gets to design something new. Part of what she loves about running her own design business is that she is constantly learning and updating herself on new trends to ensure her work is relevant and desirable. Her husband’s work requires the two of them to move a lot, so the best part of working for herself is that she can take it wherever they go.
Shenbagamoorthy mostly works with clients for branding, logo design, package design, invitations, and custom designs. Additionally, she offers consultations for printing. She is currently working on developing stationery items that she will eventually sell through online platforms such as Etsy.
It was through Instagram that Shenbagamoorthy became familiar with CC Blissbox. “It seemed like a novel way to promote what South Texas has to offer,” she explains, “and I was inspired on how the community supports its local artists and their businesses.” Being an entrepreneur herself, she reached out to them with the hope of including her 2019 Calendar in their next monthly box.
Currently, Shenbagamoorthy sells her products through Etsy, and is in the processes of increasing her online presence.
Overall, she sets the bar sky-high for her career. And for good reason. Her designs foster this happy disposition that makes opening one of her products a sheer joy. As a new customer myself (I purchased her 2019 calendar bookmarks before this interview), I was delighted with her attention to detail, even down to the packaging.
For now, Shenbagamoorthy is focused on helping develop strong and functional brands through her designs. Long-term, however, she sets her sights on creating her own line of stationery items.
With an eye for aesthetics and her keenness for attention to details, her products not only look beautiful, but help us all fall a little bit more in love with where we live and the local artisans that call the Coastal Bend home.
Etsy shop, @ila.designs