Celebrating womanhood

Celebrating womanhoodCelebrating womanhood

Hyderabad-based entrepreneur Uma Mahanti's newly opened designer store is just not any other fashion...

Hyderabad-based entrepreneur Uma Mahanti's newly opened designer store is just not any other fashion boutique, it also works on CSR activities that focus on women and sustainable design and clothing…

The 'Siddheshwari', a designer studio, was recently launched by Uma Mahanti in Hyderabad. A passion to celebrate womanhood and a zeal to offer the latest designer trends led Uma Mahanti to the start 'Siddheshwari'.

Uma Mahanti, an MBA graduate, and a single mother informs that when she found herself in uncomfortable situations in the 'man's world', she turned to be her own boss. "I had worked for years in the hospitality, media, and entertainment industry. As much as I want to refrain from bringing up old topics, I found the men to be hard to work with.

There were long periods of mental trauma. That was when my mother suggested I look after the store that I had established for her years ago to keep her busy. Then I discontinued the job to look after the store and subsequently, I expanded the store. It was a safe option as the store was and still is for women. That was how 'Siddheshwari' was born," she recollects.

Uma took the charge of the 150 sq feet store – Vastra that Uma's mother was managing and decided to expand it and made it into Siddheshwari, with sprawling 14,000 sq feet in the upmarket part of Jubilee Hills. About the collection, she says, "The idea of having 'Siddheshwari' is that it could be a one-stop shop for all the festive needs and is priced at a range that serves all.

The collection at the store includes designer fabric, sarees of all varieties, readymade kurtis, lehengas, pattu lehangas, sherwani, bandhgala, Nehru jacket, dhotis and churidar, dupattas, and more. The material used is pure like ruby on silk, satin organza, silk tussar, raw silk, etc. The clothes can be customised and personalised to one's needs. I personally travel to pockets wherein weavers are on the job. I hand pick every offering that is available in the store."

"I want 'Siddheshwari' to be for everybody. If one wants a grand designer-wear of a higher range, we have it. If one wants affordable yet exquisite wear, we have that too," informs Uma.

Talking about challenges Uma shares, "Finances did pose a challenge. It's a huge collection and the store is also well-spaced. Space and collection require a lot of money to be invested. That was why after I started setting up the store, I had to shut it down in a few months. The first floor got done, but by the time I reached the work for the second floor, I barely had the money to get it going."

The store has an architecture that transports one into the era of kings and queens. The architecture celebrates the grandeur of fashion and style.

"I don't want 'Siddheshwari' to be merely a clothes store. It is not your usual 'kapdon ka dukaan'. I am working on some CSR activities as well that will focus on women and sustainable design/clothing. Everything is in the process now. I hope 'Siddheshwari' will be embraced by men and women all that it has to offer," says Uma.

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