Designer Varsha Mahendra followed her passion and pursued fashion designing two decades ago when Hyderabad didn’t have many designers to boast of.
Talking about how it all started, Varsha says, “I got admission in one of the best business schools in India, but I was more keen on pursuing fashion. I took part in a couple of exhibitions, which did really well. At my first exhibition, within three hours I sold everything. That’s how I got into this line.
“Later, I joined Nift. Earlier, I did a lot of experiments with handlooms. I later started working with kalamkari craftsmen among others. Over a period of time, I have got international exposure as well.”
Varsha’s Jus’ Blouses has grown tremendously, from one store in Khairatabad in 2009, to three stores in 2015, including one at Dallas, US.
“In fact, we are getting a few enquiries and are looking to open more stores in the South. The workshop, too has really expanded. I started off with three to four karigars, which grew to eight, and now I have almost 70 karigars,” she says adding, “The business back in the US is really good as retailers there don’t have the facility of customising, so when they order we customise and send it from Hyderabad. We also retail blouses in the US.”
Varsha takes around 15 days to deliver a blouse and the price varies for every order. “If the blouse is hand embroidered and hand painted, we charge above Rs 5,000. We also do very simple one’s with good fabric, which costs lesser.”
Apart from blouses, Varsha also designs wedding trousseaus and cocktail dresses. She adds, “I’ve had clients from Singapore, New Zealand, UK and Australia as well. I don’t believe in putting up my design on websites, because then it gets copied. Even if my design is a year old, it will still look fresh to the client. I maintain my exclusivity that way.”...