[100 Emerging Women Leaders] How this interior designer turned entrepreneur found her niche in furniture design
Taarini Jouhari found her true calling in the world of furniture design at an early age. Hailing from a family of furniture designers and manufacturers, she always had the desire to start something of her own that would reflect her true aesthetics.
“I had my own visual language and I wanted to create my own space. My childhood experiences had a great impact on shaping my career. I grew up seeing designs, karigars (artisans), and manufacturing, so it comes to me naturally,” says Taarini, who started out young at the age of 23.
After graduating from Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology, Bengaluru, Taarini began her career in furniture design for the Indian residential and hospitality industry. She picked up a few internships, worked for her family business, and eventually went on to start her own venture—5Ft. Apart, in 2018.
She charted her growth journey and went on to design offices, luxury homes, restaurants, and retail stores of some renowned companies and prominent personalities in Bengaluru.
But donning the hat of an entrepreneur was not easy for Taarini. From legal hustle to labour issues and administration to plagiarism, Taarini’s transition from a designer to an entrepreneur was a big learning curve.
“Starting out young, I didn’t have that kind of experience per se. I jumped into the space. It was challenging to have everything in place—starting from design to execution. As I went on, I learnt and created my own processes,” she adds.
Dealing with the stigma around young people in business, the designer-turned-entrepreneur initially adopted the “rebellion mode”, as compared to the much smarter and calmer approach she follows today when it comes to dealing with biases.
“I was 23 and often came across judgments like will she be able to handle projects of a particular scale, isn’t she too young, and many more. I just remained patient, listened to what people had to say, soaked all the learnings and kept moving on,” she says.
Advising women entrepreneurs, Taarini says, “There is no right or wrong way to do anything, just go for it. You need to be passionate about what you do, rest will happen at its own pace.”
Edited by Megha Reddy