Caroline Barretto, Founder, Flaunt

25th May 2009
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Designing to define . . . .

Everyone is gifted, but not many are comfortable letting it out in the open. But Caroline Barretto is among the few who believes that if you have it flaunt it. Established in 2007, Flaunt was called so because Barretto realised that everyone has certain element that makes them and defines who they are. A designer by profession, Barretto had no formal experience in the field, but she learnt everything, from manufacturing to finishing, with the aim to explore her true potential. She strongly believes that what we wear is so personal that it is very much an extension of who we are.

   


Flaunt was started to rebuild people’s conviction in themselves, and make them realise that all they need is the right design that suits them. “I design stuff that are exclusive in terms of design and fabric, but which people can pick off the rack for their regular outings or other special occasions,” said Barretto.


Flaunt, which boasts of over 200 clients and claims that the figure is increasing steadily, specialises in designing wearable clothes that people can easily relate to. “I have categorised my collection into two — ready-to-wear formals and evening and high end customised clothing — each having a uniqueness of its own. Most of my garments maintain an edge in terms of fabric, cut, and the overall look, and it is that which sets them apart and makes them feel special. Most importantly, almost every piece is priced so reasonably that a client can any day pick up more than one outfit,” she asserted.


Then, there is the evening wear too, which includes cocktail party dresses, linen suits for men and corporate wear. Today, people usually look for clothes that are not only exclusive and have an edge, but which can be worn for more than one occasion with just a few changes here and there. For instance, during summers, a slick linen slip dress for women with a blazer can be carried off at work, while in the evening all one needs to do is use a bolero with a change of make up and light jewellery and clutch. For men, a nice linen shirt with formal trousers and a blazer can be apt for work, and the same can be transformed into an exciting outfit for the evening by simply taking off the blazer. A sprinkle of your favourite perfume and viola! You’re good to go.


“I also design high end gowns and exclusive suits and club shirts for clients who like to ‘flaunt’ their stuff, and who are sure that no one on earth can provide them with what we can. Of course, this also means that it would pinch their pockets a little more,” she added. 


When asked how she plans to scale-up Flaunt and take it to a greater height, Barretto promptly replied, “At any point in time, regardless of recession, lean and mean will always be in. I have a small unit and work at my humble studio and this keeps me grounded. I also have channels for bigger orders. I am looking at retailing internationally, and I’m also in the process of setting up my company website. Model co-ordination and event launches for international market are also in the pipeline.”


Barretto takes her freedom with a vengeance. She loves her work and believes that sky is the only limit; this is also one of the reasons why she chose to become an entrepreneur instead of opting for a 9-5 job. “It’s only about two years since I set up Flaunt, but I have faced many challenges along the way. I know there would be many more, but I’m prepared to fight trying situation. In fact, such challenges keep me motivated and help think differently,” she said while talking about the hurdles that came her way.


Barretto started the company with an initial investment of Rs5 lakh, which she managed by taking a loan. When she set about giving wings to her dreams, she had no technical knowledge of the field. All she knew about were the ideas and how she wanted to execute them. She worked for long hours to gain grounds in the industry.


About her biggest achievement, Barretto says, “I’m still getting there. There’s a still a lot that I have to learn, but it’s fun. I don’t ever want to give up this venture. I look forward to every day with new optimism. I know how far I can go with this.”


Barretto has never liked having things planned. She believes that when things are not defined, it gives her more room to play around and find out how far she can take her venture. “All great things are built over time and good vision. Nothing can be more rewarding than the feeling that people appreciate and value your work. I am extremely passionate about my work, and will not give it up for anything in the world. 


Tips for budding entrepreneurs — If you have an idea that you eat, dream, sleep and live with, make it happen.

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