It’s when people say you are role model to them, you actually realize that the dreams you followed weren’t completely insane, they were the reason for all the courage built you needed to choose that path.
I have a little story of my own, where efforts, intellect, time management, and fearlessness gave me an identity of being called as a Fashion Designer and an enthusiast Travel Writer.
Me, Shivangi Bajpai, along with my friend and partner Neha Sharma are the Founders of a Designer Women Wear Label ‘PINESSAA’. This brand recently has shot up for its unique designs that promote Traditional Indian Textiles and Art forms in amalgamation for its every collection. Going to complete its 2 years on 4th Aug of this year, our label is retailing all over India in cities like Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai etc through Multi Designer outlets and e-commerce portals like Amazon etc. It has been part of several Fashion Runway Shows having celebrity show stoppers like Nushrat Bharucha for its recent collection and yet many more are to go.
My struggle along this journey has been a mixed experience of fears and fun but yes as said ‘If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary’ , which I couldn’t do.
It was an overnight bus journey from Delhi to Himachal when we discussed over this idea and had kept it in our minds till we graduated from the Textile Department of National Institute of Fashion Technology, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. I graduated with an award for best graduation collection and got placed through campus placements before getting our degree. Like any other excited new graduate I took up the appointment but the business idea never left our mind. Placed at a startup in Ajmer, Rajasthan where I got myself settled and started my job, I commenced planning out my savings to put it up and initiate our business idea. Every weekend I use to leave from my office at 7 pm to catch an 8 pm bus traveling Delhi, reaching early morning and scurrying to discuss with Neha how we could execute the entire idea and this continued about two months.
To my luck, after two months I got called for a job at the position of a Project Associate for Ministry of Minority Affairs Project, USTTAD, which focussed on upliftment of Indian Craft and Artisans. This saved me from the entire hectic schedule of travel and could give more time to plan and built the business model. I came back Delhi to start a government job of 9–5:30. Daily after office, I use to travel from Green Park to Old Delhi where we started setting up our workshop bit by bit, returning home by 11-12o’clock in a night. It was continuous routine for Eight months.
My job didn’t give me enough to invest my share of initial capital required for the startup of a luxury designer brand. Hence I started taking up freelance content writing and styling projects in addition to my already hectic schedule, to earn enough and invest, least realizing it would become one of my greatest part-time occupations. And thus my Travel Writing started…
I travel to several destinations across India and write about it as a freelance which has paid me off well, adding to it I started giving training workshops to artisans for Skill development across several craft clusters in India. All this collectively made me work 19 hours each day but all hard-earned funds helped us to set up the foundation of our business. These course of events made me take the decision of leaving my job at the Ministry Project and start giving full attention to the label along with my travel writing, finally both of which start to bloom.
Balancing my time and energy between the two great passion and profession I pursue, our business idea came to a success when we had our own unit set up with our first set of manpower and yes our first Runway Show. By now my parents were sure of the idea I had in mind. They now stood as support. My dad was proud of my clear perspective and my mom, of course, had tears in her eyes.
Today I along with Neha and our team run this Pvt. Ltd. Company ‘Pinessaa’ to give the best designer wear, unique in its surface work and design aesthetics while almost twice a month I run off to a new destination in India to cover its ancient architectures, unique tourist destinations and ancient stories writing about it for the world to know. This all has given me a new social marketing job of being an influencer too.
Well, it all comes to you when you really put in the efforts. I yet have my sleepless nights, working back to back on pending travel articles for clients before deadlines and day times struggling with silhouettes and designs. But deep in my heart, I am deeply satisfied with how each day I feel a bit more brighter and closer to success.
I strongly believe in a saying by Anthony Robbins-“There is a powerful driving force inside every human being that, once unleashed, can make any vision, dream, or desire a reality.”