Amrita & Sunnaeya, Designers, Amraya, Mumbai

Draping women with the finesse of Lucknow design

Amrita and Sunnaeya, the young designer duo behind the label Amraya bring the finesse of the traditional Lucknow craftsmanship in their range of lehngas, saris and kurtis. The duos, who are retailing their clothes through select outlets Mumbai, share their dream with YourStory of launching a boutique store by 2010.

How two of you came together and why choose fashion?

Amrita- Well, we both are from Lucknow and childhood friends. We graduated from Arts last year and deliberated upon few career choices before starting our own fashion brand called Amraya in Mumbai. We don't have any educational background in design but both of us have a decent taste in fashion and we trust our instincts while designing a garment.

What were the challenges and obstacles you faced in initial years?

Sunnaeya-In May 2007, we held our first exhibition of saris, salwar-kameez, and lehnga for our family friends and relatives at my flat in Mumbai. The response was good and we sold garments worth Rs25, 000- our first income from designing garments. Since then we had our shares of ups and downs. We did burn our heels, visiting different fashion stores to retail our products. Some agreed to do so, provided the clothes were sold under their store brand. We agreed to do so as it was good exposure for us. And there were some, who were not even willing to listen to us.

Turning points in business

A-In December 2007, we came in contact with a wedding planner who liked our products and agreed to keep it in her boutique store. The word of mouth publicity helped and today we are retailing Amraya label from four different stores.

How different is your garment from other designers?

S-Lucknow has always been famous for embroidery, zardozi and chikankari work. We bring that quality in our garments at an affordable price. Even our factory is there in Lucknow itself with traditional craftsmen working for us.

What drives you people?

A- I guess, the opportunity to work with each other. There have been phases, when one of us feels low and other acts as a pillar of strength. Besides, a compatible work place and desire to do something on our own also motivates us.

Future Plans

S- We are planning to have our own boutique store by 2010

Key requirements for scaling-up the business

A- More retailers, more shelf space to sell our products.