She’s Bringing The Farm To The Runway

Posted on 4 August, 2015 by Team Wishberry

553e7851b3fbfMAIN PIC-1024x441 Nisha Natarajan is a self-taught fashion designer who debuted her label Zariya at Bangalore Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2015. However, she’s not just another new designer on the block. Through her label, she’s not only turning cotton fabrics into couture clothing through the innovative technology of Crafted Yarn, but also giving Vidarbhan farmers a lease of life. She successfully crowdfunded for this project in June 2015! View her campaign page HERE!

What have you been up to since the crowdfunding success?

I've been on the road shuttling between Maharashtra, where our Microspinning unit is located, to Bangalore for procuring the fabrics and getting my designs ready for the collection. Since the crowdfunding success, I've also been on my toes preparing for the big day at Bangalore Fashion Week, which was a huge success, by the way!

What drew you to a concept like Farm to Fashion? How did it all come along and fall in place?

Ever since my association with Microspin and learning about their new technology of producing what we call ‘Farm Fresh Fabrics’, I have been working on a separate line of clothing that I can launch through my brand Zariya. After my initial meetings with some biggies in the textile industry, like Allen Solly, Peter England, etc. who showed a lot of appreciation for our fabrics, I had an idea of introducing these fabrics in a whole different market altogether. That's when I thought of ethnic wear made from Crafted Yarn fabrics for women. For an upcoming brand like Zariya, launching a line of clothing at one of the top three fashion shows in India is a big deal.Not only in terms of business potential, but also financially, as it is an expensive affair. Luckily, I found crowdfunding as the solution, when I came across my friend's campaign on Wishberry. It all happened at the right time, I should say. And now I'm happy that the event was indeed a grand launch for Zariya. 553dc080a7c47image

As a self-taught designer and first-time crowdfunding campaigner, what challenges did you face along your journey?

As a designer I had challenges preparing my small team of tailors and karigars for an event as big as this. We were all first-timers in something of this sort. So the attention to detail in terms of design, embroideries and embellishments, to the final finishing touches for a garment to go up on the ramp had to be extremely meticulous. As for crowdfunding, the preparations for the campaign took their time. My challenges were getting the right video and the right people to help me get funded. Since I was running on a very tight budget and couldn’t afford professional help, I went to my friends who worked with various creative backgrounds of theatre, art and the likes. They helped me shoot, edit and act in the video. Once that was in place, I followed the marketing guide provided by Wishberry like a bible! And that made all the difference,it helped me make the video reach the right people at the right time.

What has been the highlight of the journey so far?

Apart from raising the money and Bangalore Fashion Week, the biggest highlight has been the amount of publicity, both the project and Zariya, received.People from all corners of the world recognized the purpose behind my project and encouraged me by showing immense support. It even got a blog feature on YourStory. For a newcomer to get noticed in such short time is huge! 11145144_999943383383562_6636889246415564279_n

How do you plan to spread the word about your work apart from fashion weeks and exhibitions?

The plan is to start retailing my collections online. The collection which I launched at the Bangalore Fashion Week is now available for sale on their website, and also on Snapdeal. 11751430_999942763383624_5091908288167547785_n

What's next on your plate?

Now I want to successfully scale up my production to meet the needs of the business. Apart from other fashion shows across India, I plan to take my label abroad to promote the fabric and my project.

A word of advice for aspiring designers making it out on their own?

Never doubt yourself simply because you don't hold a professional degree in a particular field.If you have the passion for it, you will make it. After all, the best type of learning is learning on the field.Never give up in what you believe, because eventually you will find a way to overcome all your challenges. All you need is the will to make things happen;money, manpower, resources will flow in and fall in place.

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