1. Tell us more about you and where you come from.
2. Did you always have a passion for textiles?
3. Why did you decide to start a business in this industry?
I got married pretty early and after my first daughter was school bound, by around 2004 I began designing and customising outfits for my friends, which soon spread through word-of-mouth and being present in countless events, to a full-blown business. It became monotonous at one point and I took a step back to figure out if this was where I wanted to be. The answer was an emphatic no.
On a chance holiday to Rajasthan, I had the privilege of watching some amazing craftsmen at work. Brilliant but not greatly motivated. Spent some time and figured out that they had a shrinking client base and the reason was obvious, their garments were not being promoted by modern methods. Quite possibly an entire generation would never even be aware of their art form.
4. Your business is not just one of textiles but one of culture and history. How do you ensure that you maintain authenticity whilst at the same time trying to make a profit?
At present profit is possibly not really in the equation. Since I work with individual craftsmen from across India on one Sari at a time, the cost of produce itself is rather high. As a business model, since this is not volume driven, there is not much leverage that I have on material cost at sourcing , nor at the artisan level. I need to pay them what they ask for.
To add to this are costs incurred for digital marketing, models, photography etc. these costs cannot be loaded to the garment entirely. So I have some money set aside to invest in this venture and I’m sure things will get better. Right now I’m focussed on happy customers, one at a time. I’m sure they will return.