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Name: Aarti Shankar

Business: Zatica Studio

Location: Mumbai, India

Industry: Apparel & Accessories

Reason for starting? I have aspired to be an entrepreneur since my childhood, but I am no exception to being among the rats in the rat race. While I pretended to be busy studying hard to score high marks and get a highly paid corporate job, for me having a career was more about living my passion.

Life moved on, I ended up in a corporate job, got married without realizing life had something in store for me. Even though I was happy with my job, my heart yearned for more. I was pregnant and took a career break, when a casual conversation with my dad not only sparked up the thought of designing apparel but also re-designing my career. And suddenly, fashion became my passion. In less than a month, Zatica was a dream come true.

Related: Read about another fashion entrepreneur here.

How do you define success? I believe
 there is no specific definition of success. It’s a combination of hard work, commitment, personal drive, self-motivation, passion, creativity, luck and constantly asking yourself ‘What next?’ Personal drive and self-motivation help us get through rough times. That’s what has worked for me!

Biggest success: #1 When my clients tell me that the saree/dress is really beautiful and has earned many praises from their family and friends. I get messages from people who appreciate my collection and they are keeping track of what’s new In Zatica!

#2 The majority of my clients have given special mentioning to the packaging. Packing is taken care by my parents and all credits go to them.

#3 A few of my clients constantly keep track of what’s happening and keep asking when I’m going to start with kids wear, western, etc. Thanks to them Zatica has evolved from only sarees to wide category of products.

#4 I just love the fact that some clients get super duper excited to wear my ensembles and do send their pictures with sweet messages. All these scream success to me 🙂

Related: Culture Shock Sparked This Global Entrepreneurs Success 

What is your top challenge
 and how you have addressed it? The majority of my orders are customized so understanding a client’s preferences is a big part of that. Most of the orders are done through Whatsapp as my clients are spread across the globe, so we have to go back and forth to discuss stuff in detail before finalizing the final output. It gets time consuming. Taking last moment orders and urgent orders are a huge task as we need to get it done before deadline and all discussions need to be done within a day or two.

Also explaining and convincing the clients that a replica product can’t be made can be hard. I come across clients who tell me they want the same dress as they saw in a picture. I have to explain to them that I don’t deal with replica products and convince them that we make a different one taking the essence from the picture. Luckily, I have been able to convince the majority of my clients. After this, procurement of fabric, getting it ready on time, photographing each and every product and coding according to the category and promoting it, can also be challenging.

Who is your most important role model? 
I don’t have one specific role model. I take good qualities from all those who inspire me. It could be a simple common man or it could be a popular celebrity. I get inspired by people who make it happen even if they have gone through a lot of problems. Success doesn’t define a person but the way they succeed and how they handle success defines a person to me. That inspires me.


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Edited by The Story Exchange