How Nagashree Gururaj engineered the career of her dreams in fashionDeepika Singhania
She might have her own studio now, but this fashion designer didn’t have it easy. Read her inspiring #PassionToPaycheck story below.
“Success ke peeche math bhaago, excellence ka peecha karo. Success jhak maarke tumhare peeche aayegi.” (Don’t run behind success. Go follow excellence instead, success will be compelled to come running to you)
This famous line from the Hindi hit 3 Idiots, is a simple truth that many Indian parents still refuse to accept. Today, as the world becomes a smaller place, and there are more opportunities knocking at the door, many creative minds are still pushed into studying engineering and medicine. Nagashree Gururaj, a Bangalorean, was also facing a similar predicament, till she got the chance to start the Pixie Yard Couture Studio (PCYS), her own fashion designing haven.
Hailing from an orthodox Brahmin family filled with engineers and doctors, Nagashree had always wanted to pursue fashion designing. She recalls, “I always wanted to start something of my own and clothes was something I was always interested in, right from my childhood. So fashion designing was an obvious choice for me.”
However, that was not to be because she was made to join an Electronics and Communications course. “My heart sailed in NIFT but I was forcefully placed in front of my Field Theory textbook. After my third semester though, I just gave up. I didn’t even write my fourth semester exams. When my parents found out, there was a third world war at home,” Nagashree says.
But after a lot of counselling sessions, the family finally came to an understanding and allowed her to study Arts. “Even after we came to a consensus, I had people pointing fingers at me. Basically, I has become the black sheep of the family! But nonetheless, all this did not deter me from following my dreams,” she says with a sense of pride.
A travel and trekking enthusiast, Nagashree decided to start PYCS started in December 2015. Ask her about it, and her face just lights up instantly. “ I just took the risk of starting a studio without doing a formal course (she did a short-term course later). Creating something out of a yard of cloth just gives me immense joy. In fact, I have become a notorious workaholic because I love this job!” she exclaimed with joy.
From the way her studio is arranged to the clothes that are being designed, the fruition of Nagashree’s dream is evident everywhere. But all this came only after an initial struggle. “I didn’t know where to start. Right from hiring tailors to pattern cutters to buying sewing machines - everything was so chaotic! It took me a while to get adjusted to the whole process,” she says.
But everything fell in place and Nagashree can’t stop beaming about it. PYCS is her happy place where she relentlessly works towards finding her customers ‘the perfect outfit’. “Pixie Yard Couture Studio was born from a need for creative expression on a larger scale. I am here only because of my insane love for clothes and fashion. This definitely has been the most challenging and fulfilling experience of my life,” Nagashree explains.
Sometimes just having one fantastic new outfit is all it takes, to turn a bad day into a good one, and Nagashree is an expert at that! “I am always looking to bring colour, confidence and happiness to a woman's closet. People are now coming out of the box and experimenting, so I feel a little lucky,” the happy designer says.
Business is doing well, so Nagashree isn’t looking for funding, for the time-being at least. “I invested my own savings into this venture, and I’m very satisfied with the way things are going. A few months down the line, I want to expand to more outlets and maybe even start international shipping,” she adds.
Though not the easiest, Nagashree’s journey has been an encouraging one. And she gives full credit to the belief she had in herself. “If your intuition says you can do it, just go ahead with it. Don’t listen to anybody but yourself. Positivity can take you a long way,” she signs off.