Creating fashion ethics in a creative world: A young entrepreneur’s story of inspiration and success
The most celebrated entrepreneurs are those, who did not study the past to create their future. They are obviously those who took chances, fought risks and tried technologies to establish themselves. Madhulika Mehta is one such name, in the world of fashion. It was a dream come true when she set up SatinVogue, her very own clothing brand. As a young and aspiring fashion entrepreneur, she designs and markets her products in a way that embodies the interests, preferences, backgrounds and attitudes of her target customers. Thus began her journey watching her passion metamorph to reality.
How did this young talent foray into fashion we were keen to know. She explains that she was always attracted to fashion designing. As she was graduating from Commerce she looked forward to career options in law. But as she felt, it was as if destiny had knocked her doors. She says “deeply drawn to entrepreneurial management and sales & marketing by the end of graduation, I undertook a one year program in Sales & Marketing from IIM-Calcutta.”
A chance meeting with and sound advice from Mr. Ram Lashkari (in a train) propelled her towards fashion designing and the rest is a success saga of ‘SatinVogue’ saying it all!
Madhulika expresses with confidence that SatinVogue is one of the top brands. As an entrepreneur, she has built attributes like ‘refreshing’, ‘reliability’ and ‘quality’ into her products. She states, good business in the fashion industry reflects consumer sense ie., “creating a design which is unique and appealing to the eyes of the customers is always the real job.”
She explains fashion business is a world full of creativity, breakthroughs, and endless possibilities. Elaborating fashion she avers “according to me fashion is any trend which develops and nourishes itself.” Breaking the rules of conventional dressing and interpreting what fashion means to each is what this industry is about. But all is not beauty and colors alone here. She points out that it’s one of the most challenging industries to work in.
The inside world of entrepreneurs is never devoid of challenges. It requires an immense struggle to build a relationship with one’s customers. SatinVogue had its own moments of handling rejection and non-payment issues but the learning period proved to be immensely beneficial for Madhulika to understand the pros and cons of entrepreneurship.
When asked about her relationship with the clients, she believes that responding to their preferences and interests, most importantly catering to their needs helps retain clients. “The emphasis is not on mass production, but the satisfaction of the customers” she reiterates.
As a fashion designer, she attempts to design clothes which are functional as well as aesthetic and pleasing. What goes into consideration is who is likely to wear a garment and the situations in which it will be worn. Yet, when it comes to traditional wears, to her the ‘Indian saree’ is the epitome of all fashion. She emphasizes that the uniqueness of saree lies in the fact that it is never out of fashion in a world where ‘change’ is the only constant!
Revealing the secret of success in her industry Madhulika’s advice to all young designers is that change and evolution take place every day and so do taste and trends of the public. Keeping pace with these transitions is an important aspect of the industry. Also reading inspirational stories on fellow designers is a great way of learning. She philosophically councils:
“Before the rainbow comes there is a storm and to become who we are we need to go through the storm to feel the rainbow. So work hard with zeal and interest. Failure and success are part of life so do not get discouraged by setbacks.”
In other words, to her, to be successful it is hard work, an innovative mind and willingness to accept mistakes which are the quintessential ingredients. She observes entrepreneurship is not a cakewalk; it needs continuous engagement and balancing act.
Talking about the art of balancing work, we wondered how she could multi-task shouldering huge responsibilities. Madhulika is an enthusiastic traveler and a writer, proficient in Mandarin, and loves to read. For her, it’s all in the game.
On a lighter note, she preaches, “A cup of black coffee and a few moments with self and God is the way to go.” Inspiration, she says comes from traveling and reading. Nature inspires with ideas about colors, designs, patterns and a fusion of these reflect in her clothing line.
SatinVogue did not happen overnight. It is not a mere clothing brand either. It’s an outcome of burning the midnight oil to create vivid designs to meet individual preferences. But then starting from a stranger’s advice to creating one’s own brand, the journey seems justified. As they say, ‘Success finds its own way.’