Home > Female Entrepreneur Hyderabad > Female Entrepreneur | Dr Sharmila Nagaraj

Female Entrepreneur | Dr Sharmila Nagaraj

Tell us about yourself and your backgroundimage-3

I came from a family of high values. When I was growing up, I could see that we were being raised differently than our cousins or peers in the neighbourhood. We had stricter rules about what we did and how we did things. Academia was of utmost importance as my mother felt that was THE thing which would support us in life along with the values of Indian tradition and family.

I wanted to be a doctor but I guess my journey on this earth was already destined to be in the beautiful creative field of Handloom Clothing and Khadi. With a Masters Degree in Clothing and Textiles from SNDT Mumbai there was no looking back. I initially worked at odd jobs like marketing for a trade fair company and at a handloom export house in Hyderabad.

Though at that time I felt I was doing something I didn’t like, it gave me immense confidence to stand up and talk to people and have dialogues and discussions. My frequent visits to the countryside, along with my father who worked closely with farmers through his state department of agriculture, instilled certain flavours of the earth. His passion to work for grass root technologies always inspired me. These small tenures gave me the edge over others to be a good teacher when I went on to be an academic in various fashion schools.

At 28 I was heading the Department of Garment Manufacturing Technology at NIFT Hyderabad, rubbing shoulders with experts from both academia and hard core fashion and garment fields.
Marriage took me took the United States which opened up all the frontiers of learning and using my experience. Life there presented an amazing perspective. I guess it makes one rejoice in the way we are raised and for what India offers to us to grow and flourish. Travelling back and forth to the US, going to schools there, working in retail and finally grounding in 2008 in Hyderabad opened new platforms to explore.

A brief tête-à-tête with a couple of professors to understand the possibilities of doing a PhD in Handlooms gave me the required inspiration and motivation to register for my PhD in 2008. The journey opened up new realms for Handlooms and Khadi for me and my research brought a spotlight and gave new perspectives in the field of handlooms. That was the beginning of a new chapter of my life – a life around handloom clothing and khadi. It was then I founded ‘Kaumudi Studio’!

Tell us about Kaumudi Studio

The seed was planted in 2008 along with the PhD but Kaumudi Studio was formally registered in 2013. Kaumudi means, ‘The one which the earth loves’. What better to describe a clothing company which works mostly in natural fibres. With our Earth Studio located in Hyderabad, Kaumudi Studio was initiated to “Restore, Revive and Retain” handloom clothing and Khadi. We work hard to bring back the weaving traditions of India in their true spirit to match the needs of today’s consumer. We believe in changing the lives of weavers and artisans through our ‘One of a Kind’ hand crafted collaborative Handloom clothing and Khadi integrations. While delivering conscious core in every product, we promise to give the customer high quality and authenticity. At Kaumudi Studio, we want to integrate one awesomeness with another uniqueness to create memories around clothing and make you feel special.

Our Materials
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We have a unique range of cotton, 100% organic cotton, 100% linen, naturally dyed Khadi and Handloom clothing collection. This can bring our weaving to the global consumer in a fair, ethical trade supply chain route.

Our Misstion

Kaumudi Studio’s mission is also to create awareness among consumers to try Khadi and Handlooms with pride and ease. In buying these products, consumers are directly contributing to the support and promotion of sustainable weaving traditions, livelihoods, and designs of India.
We dream to see about 25% of everyone’s wardrobe in handloom clothing / Khadi. Think Handloom clothing, think Kaumudi Studio!
At the moment we are catering to men and women from all over the world. We make clothing range which includes stoles, scarves, kurtas, shirts, blazers, trousers, jackets, waistcoats for men and stoles, scarves, dupattas, kurtas, shirts, blazers, trousers, jackets, waistcoats, skirts, sarees, blouses for women in pure khadi.

Why did you set up the company?

The company was set up with a clear goal. We believe in changing the lives of weavers and artisans through our endeavours. It may be a drop in the ocean at this very moment but each drop makes the ocean.
With over 20 years of experience in apparel, fashion and textile field, there is no better time than now to be an entrepreneur with a doctorate degree. With the world becoming a global village, creating immense opportunities, it is more than apt to venture into eco-socio business of this kind which will empower not only the weavers and artisans, but will bring back age old traditions of handlooms with its goodness into people’s wardrobes.

My PhD has opened new realms for handlooms. With unique handcrafted collaborative handlooms it has been proved that cotton handlooms are good for health and increase the energy field/Aura (which is due to conscious connections of the weaver).
Having taught thousands of students, inspiring and telling them that the best thing one can do in life is to become an entrepreneur, here was my chance to become one myself and I chose it!

What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
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Retaining weavers with the craft, and production of high quality of handlooms.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

Handlooms with a new face and Khadi with a makeover!

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

The many faces of weavers and artisans! Their lives!

How do you balance your work life and home life?

There is nothing to balance when you are in the eternal dance mode. When you love something, when you wake up looking forward to a day, when you know your work is bringing change to the lives of others, you are in a mode to make things work.

What advice do you have for women starting out on their own?

Just believe that you are doing the right thing. It will not only be the right thing for you but for many others who you are roping in.

If you could ask for one thing to help propel your business what would it be?

Convert visits to sales online.

What does the future hold for you?image

Immense opportunities, unlimited successes with infinite wishes from family, friends and clientele.

For further information please contact:
Web: www.kaumudistudio.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Kaumudi.ConsciousCore
Linked In: www.linkedin.com/home?trk=nav_responsive_tab_home

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