In this episode of The Design Your Thinking Podcast I speak with Akanksha Chhabra and Neha from Pastels and Pop about the dying art of Juttis, why, and how they are focused on saving this ancient 400-year old handicraft.
Who are Akanksha Chhabra and Neha?
Akanksha, Neha, and Aarti are three sisters who founded an ethnic designer label called Pastels and Pop, inspired by the vibrant handcrafting culture of India. Their handcrafted products include Punjabi juttis, mojaris, khussas, and Indo-Western clothing.
Why Should You Listen to Akanksha and Neha?
There are plenty of reasons why you should listen to both Akanksha and Neha. Let me give the top 3:
- They are women most people can relate to – middle-class upbringing, did an engineering degree, settled down for an (IT) job, got married (Neha).
- The three sisters describe in great detail, how they picked a dying handicraft and how they made it popular – including giving artisans meaningful and respectable jobs.
- During the course of the conversation, you will realize how much importance they give to values, and how they built a business around the fundamental values they believed in.
What Do They Talk about in this Interview?
- what are pastels and pop?
- what is Jutis?
- where do you come from?
- First, fascinated with the idea of doing business?
- what does business mean to you?
- when did you first start thinking about doing business?
- what convinced you that there was a business in wedding dressing?
- next day after quitting your job?
- what was driving you to start a clothing brand?
- how many people did you get feedback from? what were you looking for?
- how did you figure out how to design Jutis?
- were you planning to sell Jutis for people in Bangalore? Naming and branding?
- how much of a role did your father play in helping you in money and business?
- what are the lessons you learned on customer management?
- how do you make decisions on what the business should be or which direction to head?
- challenges doing business online in India and from India?
- what skill were you looking to bring to the table with your first employee?
- how was your Juti-making process when you started?
- the toughest decision you had to make in the last 3 years.
- how big is the business today?
- what’s the metric that you use to track your business?
- how does it feel like doing business as three women?
- how has your experience been working with artisans?
- do you incentivize artisans to stay motivated?
- what are your plans for the future?
How Can You Listen?
Akanksha and Neha’s interview is available in audio:
Direct Link to Audio
How to Get In Touch with Akanksha and Neha?
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