’NAUTANKI by Carina’ is an independent handbag label based out of Mumbai, India.
“The final piece of the fashion puzzle”
For any woman of taste and elegance a chic handbag is the final piece of the fashion sensibility puzzle. However contrary to popular belief finding a handbag that suits your personality and portrays your sense of the dramatic is not as easy as it sounds. Carina Advani is the founder/designer behind 'NAUTANKI by Carina' which promises to bring you fashion style and drama like never before.
Yourstory engaged Carina Advani in a fruitful conversation to learn more about her brand and her entrepreneurial dreams
What exactly is ‘NAUTANKI by Carina'?
'NAUTANKI by Carina' is an independent handbag label that aims at seducing today's woman with chic handbags that will make you crave for more. It's for anyone who appreciates good design and style. ‘Nautanki’ is slang for ‘Drama’ in Hindi, and life without a little drama is nothing short of dull and so is an outfit without a 'NAUTANKI' bag. That’s why I always say “What's life without a little NAUTANKI?".
Why did you choose to be self employed despite your qualifications?
I always knew that a 9-to-5 job wasn’t my cup of tea. The thought of a desk job made me feel restricted almost crippled even. And more than anything, I knew I wanted to do something that would allow me to explore my creative side and something that gave me the freedom to use my creativity in the best possible way. I’ve always had a keen interest in fashion ever since I can remember and exploring that just seemed natural. There is nothing worse than getting up every morning and getting ready for a job you hate doing and I’m more than grateful that it’s not the case with me.
What was the most difficult part of establishing 'NAUTANKI by Carina'?
There is a lot more to starting a business than financial backup. Everything from market research to marketing and PR, it’s never enough. But it is pivotal to get the word across and promote your brand; a little publicity never hurt anyone. The biggest challenge for me however was to narrow down on a team that would provide me with the kind of skilled workmanship I was looking for. It was a long process but I wasn’t willing to compromise on quality and eventually found the right people for the job.Are there any accolades or accomplishments you would like to mention?
My designs have been featured in dailies such as Bombay Times as well as various fashion magazines, blogs and websites like Fashion TV among others. Here is the link to the article <http://ftv.co.in/fspot/accesories.php?cid=538>. Recently I was also featured on Channel [V] which was great exposure for my brand. But I was more than pleasantly surprised when I was offered to design for an International Design House with a clientele that ranges from Halle Berry, Catherine Zeta Jones, Kate Winslet, Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie and Hilary Swank to the likes of First Lady Michelle Obama. It’s a great feeling creating something out of nothing and being appreciated for it.
Did you ever feel that entrepreneurship was not for you?
Never have I felt that starting ‘NAUTANKI’ was a mistake. It’s a decision I could never regret. There have been a few road bumps along the way and I’m sure there will be more, as is the case in any line of work but at the end of it all; I love what I do. And that makes it all worth it.
What is your favorite entrepreneurial emotion?
It’s the feeling of accomplishment when you design something and see it transform and take shape right in front of you. That’s what keeps me going.
What is the truth about starting up as an Indian entrepreneur in your niche?
Starting a business venture in a country like India makes it easier at least for any one in my line of work. You can’t deny the easy access to rich textiles and skilled labor that India provides which makes things easier for the most part. However, setting up a new business anywhere is hard. There are a lot of hurdles that come your way and a lot of challenges one faces, as did I. It is crucial however, to not lose heart and feel a sense a defeat if things don’t exactly go as planned.
What are your plans for ‘Nautanki’?
‘Nautanki’ as a brand is barely a year old, so there is a long road ahead of me. My vision for the brand is to retail at more outlets and cities within the country and in time make it accessible to a wider demographic by retailing abroad and exposing the label to an international clientele.What according to you are essential areas of focus for novice entrepreneurs?
For anyone who is on the brink of starting a new business venture, the things you need to focus on are thorough market research and you need to know who your target audience is. You need to zero in on the kind of clientele you want to cater to. Those are the building blocks that will help you get to where you need to be. The rest depends on your design ability, your style and the craftsmanship in each one of your designs.
Yourstory wishes the talented Carina and “Nautanki” many years of success and a long reign in the world of high fashion drama.