"I seek constantly to improve my manners and graces, for they are the sugar to which all are attracted. "
- Og Mandino
The trend for embroidery designed clothes is back and customization has opened new doors for the artists to try and experiment with new designs that are unique and help the artists to stand out from others. Shalaka Bojalwar who studied Fashion Designing started her career 10 years back. She ran a boutique of her own for 4 years and then took a break after she got pregnant. For those 2 years, she didn’t work much and gave all her time taking care of her baby.
Two years later, when she decided to make a comeback in the business, the first thing she did was to research about it. Shalaka is really smart I would say because she knew that in any business, the trend completely changes in a couple of years. When she got back, she tried to know about the current trends of her business.
Shalaka says, “I have learned embroidery as a specialization in my fashion designing course. When I was researching I found out that embroidery has become quite popular these days and decided to give it a try.”
Shalaka has always been someone who likes to explore more about her craft. She doesn’t like to make the usual monotonous designs that are already available in the market. She likes to make something unique and out of the box. She runs her own label named as ‘Jahaan by Shalakha’
Customization is indeed a very big change as it enables artists to channelize their creativity. Shalaka believes that artists should try to make something new every time and our knowledge should be useful to people. She got interested in styling bridal outfits. She once travelled to Bangalore and Hyderabad and noticed that brides there wear a lot of embroidered designer outfits.
Beautiful designs like shehnais and bride’s ornaments were made on bride’s blouse and sarees. She got inspired by those designs and thought the same could be done on Maharashtrian bride’s outfits. She started making designs inspired by the Maharashtrian culture and wardrobes like nath and other beautiful embroidery designs.
For Shalaka, finishing is everything. She likes to make the designs clean and perfect. Of course, it takes a lot of time in making intricate designs but is completely worth it. She says, “I give a lot of time and effort in making these unique designs and people used to make designs similar to mine but I never liked it, but then Sonia Konjeti, the owner of PULA (Pune Ladies) explained to me that when people like someone’s designs they get inspired from them and try to make the same. She added, you will face similar situations many a time in your business but you need to learn how to deal with it.
Now I am fine with such incidents and take it in a positive way that they like my work and get inspired by them. And I believe even if they copy my designs, they can’t bring the finishing that I have in my designs.”
Shalaka says she has got tremendous support from her family and her husband is her biggest critic. Her first ever client was her best friend and whenever she tries something new, she needs validation from her friend.
In the future, Shalaka wants to promote her brand and increase the orders through her workshops. She also wants to increase her reach through online platforms by running ads on them. And the advice she would like to give to the budding artists is that there is a lot of competition in this business. This is a creative profession and you should roam around several places to get different ideas. And I would like to insist on every artist to create their own brand and work hard to make it a big one.
There is nothing in this world that one can’t acheive. It only depends on the amount of hard work, discipline and dedication you put for your work. Creating something big takes a lot of time and patience, there is no alternative to it. You need to wait for the right time and till then you have to keep working hard, ultimately you will accomplish what you want to acheive.