Sheetal Jadhav is a budding Indian Fashion Designer who has created her name in the industry with her great work on multiple runways. Her journey takes you through the life of a young designer.
How was it to choose an unconventional career? And how did your family react to this?
So basically I come from a middle-class family where education means alot and it’s believed that after education if you have a good job then only you are a successful person. But I was always interested in the colorful and artistic side of things. I loved giving suggestions to my friends about styling. And because they found my styling interesting I was always invited to help them shop. That is when I decided to pursue fashion designing as my career. And finally got fully supported by my family to be in this unconventional field.
How did you start and what is your educational background in fashion?
I completed my Degree in Fashion designing. After my graduation I started my small business, making my home a full time office. As soon as I started I had one thing very clear in my mind that I would always give a chance to small work and never say no for it, which I dedicatedly stuck to.
What is the most nerve wracking part about having a start-up?
When you start a new business the most important thing that has to be taking care of is finance. As you are completely new in the market, financial instability always comes your way and you always have to be ready for it at least 2 to 3 months in advance . Secondly, building a customer base is also pretty hectic. It takes a lot to build customer trust and for that you have to work for less money.
As a young and budding designer what difficulties do you face?
When I started it was very difficult for me to convince people to buy my garments. Sometimes your known people ask you for free work and it is very difficult to handle them because they don’t realize your efforts and hardwork. And many people also demand for barter which is also not easy to handle.
How was your experience designing for beauty pageants and what inspires your collection?
Working for beauty pageants was a good experience. As you meet so many different types of people you learn to accept criticism, showcasing your work at such a huge platform you understand some people will love your work and some won’t and that is completely ok. You have to keep pushing yourself to achieve the best. Coming to your next question, my inspiration comes from these incredible women with different shapes and sizes who walk the ramp. They are not professional models but still are so confident. Also this helps me to burst a myth to my customers that trending garments look great on everyones body, no matter what shape, size or height you are. Not only models even commo people can rock them.
How to crack a big project?
Firstly, you have to be punctual and dedicated towards it. I have literally traveled from one side of the city to the other side just for a 5 minute meeting. It very important to earn the organizers trust and share every detail about your work with them. Taking follow ups and keeping them updated with your work is a crucial part. It’s definitely not easy to find a big project.
Would you like to share any of your experiences?
Sure I would love to share my experiences. It would be very helpful for others. When I started I had worked as a backstage attender in order to gain experience. This is how you build your identity in the market by taking up every work to learn as much as you can. It is not easy to work backstage, you have to do so many things at once backstage is pretty chaotic. I have seen a lot of students have this mindset that right after their graduation they will directly get a job in a big brand and they will have a good salary which is not true, you always have to start small. Remember that no work is small and nothing can be earned easily. You need to put in effort and hard work. I have been through the underpaid phase and never hesitated to work hard for it. It’s just a small stone in your path. You have to face the situation and move on and give your best.
What is the meaning of your brand name S.S.Saaj?
Saaj is a marathi word which means dressing up for a special occasion or functions.
What is the USP of your brand?
Our USP has always been being open to small work, also working as per customers budget.
against domestic violence’ presented by KJM Dreams Entertainment, how was your experience?
It was a good show with a good message. A lot of women today are facing domestic violence but they are not able to raise their voice against it. We need to encourage them to raise their voice against this and also take a responsibility to help them
Many young designers are afraid to start their own label because of competition, financial instability, being unsure about the outcome, etc. What advice would you give them?
Very true! When I started my own label I was also very afraid whether it would work or not. My advice to everyone who are looking forward to start their own label is that first be sure what exactly you want to do as there are multiple options in fashion designing. Then seek some experience working with an established designer. While doing that start saving for your business, be financially independent for your business, do not take financial help from anyone.
Lastly, what is the most exciting part of the industry to you?
Meeting different people and learning new things everyday.
– Sheetal Jadhav