Strings of life
Monday, August 4, 2014
Juhi Malhotra, a young entrepreneur, on launching her new label
Life-changing moments can push one towards fulfilling one’s dreams. Right after I graduated from college, my three-week internship with designer Manish Arora changed everything for me. I learnt what I didn’t in the classroom – the business aspect of design or the importance of collaboration between colours in a garment. I worked with him as an employee for some time before taking off on my own.
It has not been easy though. My mother passed away during my job. She has been my biggest inspiration and I decided to honour her through my work. Initially, I had huge financial challenges. With Rs 25,000 I had saved while working with Arora, I set up a unit at home, got a desktop, and bought raw material from Delhi and Mumbai.
I launched my label on Facebook in March 2014. Though I specialised as an apparel designer, I thought it was the accessories that gave a garment a different feel. I started experimenting with key rings and jewellery by using a variety of material such as safety pins, plastic wires, etc. This would appeal to a limited number of people because it is handmade. In India, the concept of handmade material is still evolving and most professionals do not use it because it is labour-intensive. Foreigners, however, know its value. I have exhibited my products at various places, where they bought the items enthusiastically.
I have started another fashion and lifestyle accessories label. I work on a wide variety of accessories and home furnishings. This is also the time I understood the difference between online and offline selling. When you sell face to face, people can touch and feel the fabric, so certain items sell better offline.
My label’s motto is: ‘Weaving cords into fabrics and dreams into reality.’ My inner personality is reflected in my work as I want to spread warmth and love through my products and hence, they are handmade with finesse. I started out small. Now, we have expanded and are selling our products globally through sites like Amazon, Snapdeal, Etsy and Facebook.
It is not easy to make it big in this field. Timing and deadlines matter a lot but the creative satisfaction one gets is unparalleled. Everyone is creative. One just has to tap that potential to bring one’s ideas to life.
-As told to Aaditi Isaac