In Conversation with Fashion Entrepreneur ~ Vanshika Ahuja

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Vanshika Ahuja

“My mother has always been my Inspiration and she is the one who motivated me “subconsciously” to become an independent strong woman just like her.”

Le Amusant believes in recognizing young and budding talent from different parts of the country. Needless to say that we love sharing the experiences of women entrepreneurs who have dared to step out of their comfort zone and create an identity for themselves. I came across  one such successful entrepreneur who has dedicated her life for fashion designing.

Vanshika and myself happen to have shared two years of high school life together but little did I know that she would turn out to be a business woman later on. Le Amusant was lucky enough to get in touch with her and find out her secret to becoming an entrepreneur.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a Pearl Academy Graduate, I started my own venture when I was in 3rd Year i.e. 2014.

I graduated in 2015 when I completed my Graduation Project and also celebrated 1st Year Anniversary of my Label. My college taught me basically everything from working on different materials with different people, with a 6 months experience of Industrial Internships and a lot more.

Although my specialization is in clothing but we are taught design almost anything and everything from the Foundation Year.

 What motivated you to start your own business?

 Since I was in grade 8 I always knew I wanted to be a Fashion Designer and aspired to be an entrepreneur as well. I have always been a creative person and all thanks to my Mom, who is also a Fashion Designer and had a boutique for 10 years or so I remember.

I saw my mom juggling between her married and professional life. She managed a household with 3 Daughters and also her work with such ease and passion. She has always been my Inspiration and she is the one who motivated me “unintentionally” to become an independent strong woman just like her.

I initially started designing for myself since I felt the things that I was looking for were not available in the market ‘for me’. I realised my friends and my family appreciated my designs, wanted me to design the same thing for them too.

Even though I wanted to start my own venture I dint know I would start this early, All thanks to the tremendous support and response I got from the people around me which also motivated me to start my own business at the age of 20.

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Company Logo for the website

Tell me how did you go about it and what kept you going to become a successful business woman?

( Could see her eyes blooming with excitement to share her story)

My best friend is a jewelry designer, We started together as partners in our 3rd year. Initially started with market study, literally going to every possible market to see what all has already been designed and at what price, to understand customer behavior towards products. We held surveys in our college as the age group matched our target audience as well.

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We started all the work from scratch fabric sourcing , screen printing , stitching , packaging, photo shoots etc with no labor appointed as we did not take any monetary help from our families and we had to save every penny to invest further in our venture.

 Tell us a little bit about your organisation.

We are an online setup based in Delhi, besides having our own website we also have a collaboration with 28 other websites and a few multi-designer stores. We are a Team of 9 People and some of us work 7 days a week.

 Who or what motivates you every morning?

 The support from my Team is mainly what keeps me going. Also making people happy and seeing them delighted wearing something I created gives me immense happiness.

I just had the opportunity to quickly run through your website and I should tell you that I ended up spending an hour browsing through the amazing collection you have.

Well , Thank you so much ( with a modest laugh)

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Collections get tempting as you browse through

Why would you choose women accessories and shoes?

Have you seen a guy fuss over shoes with every outfit? Probably not. And girls? Hell yes!

They need different footwear with different outfits and I don’t blame them.The color,mood, occasion , style etc of the footwear must got with outfit. So,there was more scope in girl’s accessories.

 

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Those shimmery clutches and funky colors are tempting for my soul. How do you come up with such beautiful designs? Does it involve brainstorming sessions and caffeine overdose?

Thank you.

It surely involves a lot of brainstorming sessions since people are constantly looking for something new and fresh. Thanks to my Design Team for their passion towards work and the effort they put in.

Since Punk and metal is are niche, we like to play around that, creating something innovative and interesting and not loosing the essence of the brand at the same time. Not only that but also keeping ourselves updated about what is being designed around us and at what price that’s how we are always able to give our customers something different at an affordable price.

What is your personal favorite from the entire collection?

My personal favorite from the entire collection has to be the Metallico collection which has mostly black base juttis and clutches with metal embellishments which are fierce, sassy, edgy, bold and beautiful at the same time.

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I see that you have a separate section of kids collection which looks amazing. Do you plan to venture into men’s accessories anytime soon?

Designing for Men? A lot of my friends have been pushing me for it, but I am not too sure about it now. I want to take things slow just so I can handle it well.

For now the number of categories that we have keeps us working almost 24*7 , Until we master women’s and kid’s fashion we won’t be getting our hands into Men’s accessories anytime soon.

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The collection seems never ending….

What are the challenges you faced during the start-up in your business?

There are people who still don’t take girls seriously. They think they can take us for a ride. There were people who thought I am doing this just to pass time. And because it required a lot of field work-like going to be by-lanes of Chandni chowk, Karol Bagh, I was told to drop it since it wasn’t worth the effort many people said.

My father wanted me home before 8PM.

Initially I had started working with my best friend but that dint last for very long, we ended our partnership in 3 months along with our friendship. Our working methods did not match, our way of doing things were totally different. That’swhen I learnt never to mix relationships into business. Since the brand was constantly growing I had to find the right people for my organization which is the biggest issue I think, who can help you progress.

Then as a startup you are expected to keep highly nominal prices to establish your footing in the market and let yourself be known to people. On top of all the hassles of establishing a brand, we always try to give our customers the best experience shopping with us.

Where do you see yourself and your organization in 10 years?

My dream & our aim is to become a large company, a recognized brand with hundreds of employees and perhaps thousands of orders in a day.  To do so, we have to invest in acquiring customers and giving them a great experience of premium, high quality & affordable products. I want to reach out to as many customers as we can and want my brand to be a Global one with stores all around the world.

Would you tell our readers about any new collection that they can look forward to.

We have recently launched a new collection of quirky, floral prints. Perfect for the Summer!

There are many women out there who have the talent and the qualities of a successful entrepreneur but not many succeed. Would you like to give them any advise or tips?

Designing sounds very fancy and glamorous but it isn’t. Its is like any other business.

You design only 10% of the time and the remaining 90% goes in managing karigars/staff/maintainance/rent/electricity bills and GST haha.. It took us quite some time to understand that one. It just added on to the trouble now we file GST returns every month and the list is endless.

 So figure out what you want right at the outset,if you love to design, then work with a designer/firm and become irreplaceable there, aim big and if you want to own a business and take on all the paraphernalia that comes with it then do that, but get ready to hit rock bottom before you rise.

College , internships is the best time to figure out your strengths and who you are.Sometimes it is important to be on your own because it teaches you a lot—so travel ,study abroad to step out of your comfort zone if possible.

Any other message you would like to give to our readers.

Take your time to set up your own business even if you think you are talented and have sufficient funds,work under someone for a year or two,learn at their expense not your own.

Keep in touch with your faculty and friends and don’t be impatient. One needs to realize that they need to make the maximum of their time in college because that’s where you are laying down the foundation for your future career.

Le Amusant thanks Vanshika to agree to be a part of this enlightening interview and wishes that she continues to following her passion and inspire many other girls who wish to do the same.

If you have any story to tell or wish to be featured on our blog~azine, please leave a comment on the comment box below or mail us your story at fairyqueenbz@gmail.com.

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