I have never been motivated to wake up like clockwork every day and go work at a corporate office, come back by 8 pm too tired to do anything, fall asleep and wake up again only to repeat the same monotonous routine the next day. Don’t get me wrong, many of my friends find this lifestyle rewarding and are in fact passionate about their jobs. It’s just that I am passionate about something completely different and I knew that from very early on. In fact, that is how Style Chirp and Desi Hues came about.
Right after graduation when most of my friends were scurrying about trying to get good, well-paying jobs I decided to enroll myself to a fashion institute to pursue my passion for fabrics, designs and stitches. Midway through my degree, I started Style Chirp with the help of my best friend and we had a blast curating outfits and shooting them. However, just when Style Chirp began to take off I felt like there was something more that I could do. I couldn’t quite place my finger on it, though.
I found the missing piece of the puzzle one afternoon when I was lazing on the couch and talking to my parents while browsing through some designs. My parents have never been the kind that asks me what I am doing with my life even though I was doing absolutely nothing with it. There was no pressure to do something by a certain age or to “settle down” and get serious. I carry that comfort with them as my biggest strength and without even thinking about it I began to tell them about how my dream to start my own venture seemed like such a distant one. Then as a joke, I sat up and told them if I start my own boutique they will have to invest in it since I’ll never make enough on my own in time to start my own boutique. And since they don’t put pressure on me to “make something of myself soon” it is their responsibility to invest in me. I said all this in slightly ungrateful jest, however, what happened next is something that I never thought would happen and it is a moment I look back to every time I feel like I’m taking on too much at a time. They simply looked at me and said, “Okay, how much will this cost?” I couldn’t believe my ears! I thought it was something they said just to get me to shut up but it wasn’t!
The next few months passed in a blur. I drew out business plans, made countless number of lists, lost most of them, called so many people and vendors that every time I look at my phone I find a new contact, I shouted instructions at no one in particular, I cried and I was so stressed that I thought there was no point in all of this. All through the low points of the planning, a single sentence found resonance with me – “Okay, how much will this cost?” – It is that sentence that I constantly drew confidence and strength from. I knew I would have to repay them soon and my zest to make that as soon as possible made the initial stress bearable. At the end of all those months of stress and complete confusion, the details of which only those closest to me know down to the dot, I was finally ready to open Desi Hues.
Today, I stand on my own feet, the proud owner of Desi Hues a boutique which makes customized and readymade western, Indian and Indo-western clothes for women of all ages. I also undertake hand embroidery and often offer styling tips to my clients. I pick out the fabrics and design clothes that compliment my client’s body type and make sure I am always available as a fashion consultant for them.
The piece you see in the pictures is something I designed for my cousin’s wedding. I’m really into tassels now and I wanted to incorporate it somewhere in my designs. This was initially stitched for a silk saree but I ended up wearing it with a skirt I designed for a western top. Usually, with outfits like these, the lesser the accessories the better the look. So I decided to wear only the statement earrings and it tied the look beautifully.
At the end of this very special post, I’d like to thank every single individual who has made this dream of mine a reality. To all who helped, you know who you are, you know you have a friend in me at all times.
Store Details – DESI HUES, No.96/127, MSP Complex, 7th main, Jayanagar 4th block, Bangalore -560011
Mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Content by: Anjali Devaiah & Nikita Mahendra
Photography by Rajeev C
Outfit – Desi Hues by Nikita Mahendra | Earrings – Outhouse Jewellery