Making Kashmiri shawls a global brand
Self-taught fashion designer Sugandha Kedia is on a mission to promote authentic Kashmiri shawls through her latest venture Dusala Kashmir
Working with 50 Kashmiri weavers, former Zoom and NDTV reporter, Sugandha Kedia is on a mission to promote authentic Kashmiri shawls through her venture Dusala Kashmir.
Sugandha (32), who hails from Delhi NCR from a well to do family, is married into a renowned business family, pioneers in rice manufacturing in Raipur (Chhattisgarh).
She completed her Bachelors in Journalism and has worked with various media houses including NDTV Good Times, Zoom, Property TV Dubai, Focus TV, HY TV, IBN7, Home Shop 18. She has been a well known stage emcee in Delhi since her class 12. Speaking about her journey as a fashion designer, Sugandha says, "As a North Indian, I always enjoyed our winters and was fascinated by beautiful shawls. Since then, I use to style them and decided to take Kashmiri Shawls worldwide. My mother-in-law persuaded me to pursue my dreams, it was by her support and my husband and father-in-law's persuasion I could really think of experimenting something new."
According to her, for her store, they have a good merchandising and local team who help her in curating the best designs as per the season. Along with this, knowing each client personally helps her in selection of outfit.
"We take pride in dressing the crème de la crème of Chhattisgarh. We started with two weavers and with multiple trips to Kashmir, today we are a little less than 50 weavers. We give them some classic designs as well as latest ones to make it accordingly. We are trying to cater not only the elder but also a lot of young people to get in to a world where they love our handmade stuff from Kashmir," adds Sugandha. During the pandemic, she created contents and went live on her Facebook and Instagram with many designers, doctors, influencers, social activists and she also spent some quality time with her family and specifically two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Since her business needs a lot of traveling, during the lockdown she managed to do her work in Kashmir through video calls and phones. The major things were managed through mails.
It was a challenge for her to find the right weavers and convincing them to make custom designs. It took her three years to launch these things with new rules for Kashmir our work completely stopped in between. Now we have a warehouse facility in Kashmir, Delhi and Raipur, At times getting our own pieces from Kashmir is a task because of various issues. They also struggled due to competitors.
People, who have posted our designs includes Dia Mirza , Shilpa Shetty, Neha Dhupia, Soha Ali Khan, Vidya Balan, Karishma Kapoor and Anaita Shroff Adajania.