Designer Dreams: By Sarita Handa

By Kavita Shyam in Starting Up 31/05/2016

Sarita Handa, a true visionary channeled her passion for textiles to build a multimillion dollar company- Sarita Handa which was started 25 years ago. The powerhouse of energy began with nothing other than her name, a list of customers she wanted to be associated with and plenty of zeal to create a company with all her heart. Today, driven by this passion for arts, textiles and the finer things in life, she has set the tone for Sarita Handa Exports, the manufacturing arm of the business which does private label bedding for the Pottery Barn, Macys, Ethan Allen and Bloomingdales to name a few.

 

After two decades, in the business her infatuation for her work has not declined, which is evident in the bursts of creative energy, her ingenious designs and her extreme attention to detail.

Her unparalleled discipline, an unerring vision and trusting her instinct to take calculated risks is what makes Sarita Handa the kind of business woman that many look up to.

Designing..

 

“A big part of my career in textiles wasn’t planned, but I always wanted to live life to the fullest.

In the 1970s, I never thought I would set up a business and was actually considering becoming a teacher.

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In the late 1980s, however, I decided to take up a job with a furnishing store in Delhi, but quit in 1990. For two years I researched before starting a home furnishing product manufacturing unit in 1992. Since I was married to an army officer, I travelled across the country with him and even learned to stitch my own clothes. In 1972, he was at the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington, Tamil Nadu, where I came across beautiful hand-embroidered linen and then we never looked back.

 
Challenges as a Woman Entrepreneur
 

Everyday is a challenge in any business. Each hardship which comes your way teaches you the lesson that with courage of conviction you can face it head on. With grit and determination you can succeed and resolve every challenge. There will always be numerous challenges and risks.

But remember to Plan and Invest outside the business to take care of adverse circumstances.

 
Paving the way for women to enter the workforce..
 
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It is an extremely satisfying feeling that the textile industry which we are a part of allows great options for women to work with us. Thereby making a difference to lots of people, those who are semi skilled , uneducated and especially women. Our trade is labor oriented and we are providing employment to them in the form of hand quilting, hand embroidery, stitching and finishing etc.

Also, we have many employment opportunities for under privileged women and by empowering one women you can empower the entire family.

Our product is signature hand embroideries, hand quilting and other types of hand work in bedding, cushions and other home furnishings. With this old-world needlework and handwork, women get ample opportunity at Sarita Handa.

 
India’s placement of design aesthetics and contribution among other countries..
 

India has always been looked upon by all other countries as a leader in rich textiles which hail from all the different states. The cultural heritage and hand embroidered textiles in varied techniques are inspirations for many designers all over. The palampore, kalamkari, woven sari like kanchivaram, Ikat, madhubani, jamdani, Kota, tinchio,  phulkari, batik, and so many more are Indian contributions to the world of design and fashion.

 
Indian design sensibilities: Shaping Up for a Better Future..
 

The amalgamation of traditional Indian designs, embroideries with modern western patterns, structures, and subtle simplicity have been successful.

In Fact our brand, with its export background have incorporated the global influence of designs and taken inspiration to create many newer designs.

Internet and accessibility to travel has opened up avenues for all designers to share ideas, textile, designs and create a whole new range.

 
Challenges with a new brand..
 

It is a fast growing market and one that is not only influenced by India’s aesthetic (past and present), but a global aesthetic. Launching a brand has nothing to do with the time; the hardships are always there just different in different times. it truly is about having the vision, drive and passion to succeed.

 
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Vision
 

Markets always keep changing, in fact, it would be correct to say that it is an evolving industry. It has become more demanding, more quality conscious and definitely very designs conscious.

 

It is not like a cottage industry anymore and we as a company have given utmost importance to “Innovation in design” and “Uncompromising quality”.

 

What we have identified as the most crucial thing is the requirement of “Constant Research and Development” and also adoption of automation wherever necessary. The above are imperative to grow.

 
The Great Indian consumer..
 

The Indian customer is not only well traveled but also has the sensibility to appreciate finer details in all aspects of life, including art’. Our new line launched understands that the Indian customer, is not only demanding but also more quality and design conscious.

The Indian customer deserves and wants the best the world has to offer and I want our brand to be there to fill the need.

 
Inspiring message to budding entrepreneurs..
 

Be self motivated and wait for no one to motivate you or charge you, believe in your dreams and follow them. Life is an ongoing process, every day you learn and discover new things. Small or big every failure is a step leading to your success. Success Is Failure Turned Inside Out.

 
 

Kavita Shyam
With 9 years of writing experience in lifestyle writing from fashion, fitness, décor, food to travelogues, reporting and writing is a sheer passion for me. That beside shopping, DIY fashion designing, brunching and travelling makes me the happiest dreamer in town!

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