How Gracefully a Women Entrepreneur Brought Back Juttis in Vogue!


If anyone of you is planning to wear “Juttis” on your special day whether it is your marriage, birthday or any special function, believe me this women entrepreneur called Shirin Mann Sangha has a wonderful collection of Hand Crafted Fine Leather Juttis under the brand name “Needledust”.

I know only some of you may be knowing her, that is why I thought of writing on her entrepreneurial journey from being a Journalist to a successful Women Entrepreneur.

Her journey is really inspiring for all the girls and women out there who have some ideas in their mind and also have the courage to stand by their opinions and decisions.

Shirin is basically from Chandigarh and completed her Master’s in International Journalism from Cardiff University, Wales, UK and after returning to India, like any other girl, started working as a Crime Journalist in a Delhi NCR Based Investigative Paper.

But then her fate had different plans for her!  I am sure you are curious to know that if she was journalist then what made her start her own company.

 

What Made Her Become “An Incidental Entrepreneur”!

Like every other girl, she also decided to marry. When her marriage preparations were going on, it was the time to select perfect marriage footwear but she refused to pair her lehenga with stilettos because she wanted to wear matching Juttis with her outfit.

Since she belongs to Chandigarh she had a strong liking for traditional Punjabi Juttis. Also another reason was, since her childhood she admired her mother wearing Juttis and therefore she loved the craft. So, she explored various markets in search for her perfect pair of Juttis but she couldn’t find any.

She observed that the Juttis which were available in the market were either too plain, uncomfortable or not so appealing. But then, she wanted to wear only Juttis in her wedding.

So, here comes the time, when she decided to design her Jutti on her own and get a customized perfect pair made by craftsmen and artisans for her wedding.

As a result, she came out with a beautiful and elegant pair of Gold, Red and Fuchsia (Purplish Red) Colored Pair of Jutti which were very well crafted. Quite surprisingly, the Juttis she designed were liked by her family and friends.

Shirin shared in one of her interview that her friends and family members asked her from where she bought those Juttis but she couldn’t suggest any because there was no such place from where they could find similar Jutti Pair like hers.

Also, when she was designing her Jutti, she interacted with so many artisans and craftsmen; she realized that this amazing handicraft is on the verge of extinction.

This was the turning point of her career when actually her entrepreneurial mindset took a boom and she thought that there might be some girls who want to wear elegant, beautiful, handmade and colorful Juttis just like her but they also struggle to find their perfect pair of Juttis.

At this point in time, she thought of exploring this opportunity and she also decided to rescue this dying art & bring these traditional Punjabi Juttis back in fashion, not only in India but abroad also.

 

Her First Step!

Shirin disclosed in one of her interview that her biggest motivator is her husband.

When she was not so confident about will she be able to start her own business, her husband motivated her and then she manufactured 100 shoes in 6 designs and 5 sizes to be put up on an e-commerce portal.

You won’t believe that within 7 days of these Juttis going live on that e-commerce portal, the whole stock got sold out and she received an e-mail from the portal that when can they get new stock.

But she was blank because she did not have any stock to sell since she never thought that she would be able to sell those 100 shoes.

And this is how, with an immense love and adoration for reviving the art of handcrafted Jutti, Shirin got confidence and she opened a very small store in Shahpur Jat in New Delhi and also launched her exclusive online retail store Needledust.com.

Hence we can clearly say that her Company “NEEDLEDUST” is the outcome of her own wedding. Let me tell you that now in 2020, her small Shahpur Jat Store in New Delhi is 4 times its initial size.

 

World Wide Dominance of Hand Crafted Juttis

You will be surprised to know that merely in the span of 5 years; “Needledust” has become a leading Jutti Brand Internationally.

I know most of you follow Bollywood Fashion Influencers, So let me tell you that Big-Bang Celebrities like Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt and Priyanka Chopra have worn Juttis made by her company.

Not only this, Needledust has provided its designs to big bang Bollywood movies like Padmaavat and Veerey Di Wedding.

I think now you can understand the immense popularity which her handcrafted Juttis has gained within a very short period of time.

I am amazed to see her success, do you know what? Needledust now has 3 retail stores 2 in Delhi (Pacific Mall, Tagore Garden and Select City Walk, Saket) and 1 in Chandigarh and guess what, now they ship their products worldwide. She is really passionate about Needle dust.

Now within 5 years, this company has rolled out 300 designs which is a great achievement in itself.

As we all know that today’s generation is more inclined towards social media, so it is necessary to market a product as per new age marketing i.e. on social media. 

So to your surprise Needledust has a very interactive Instagram Page with about 3,72,000 followers, which is really great. Shirin believes that social media marketing has played a crucial role in Needledust’s success since it has allowed her to reach millions of people across the world at a very minimal cost.

She also revealed that now she receives orders from countries like Italy, China, Japan, Korea etc where not only NRIs are wearing Juttis but the natives of these countries also.

And that’s a huge achievement for her. Being an Indian Girl, She has made India proud by taking our traditional handcrafted Juttis to a global level.

One more interesting fact which I would like to tell you is that Needledust has partnered with Swarovski Crystals. So now, if you want a piece of jewelry on your shoe, they can give you that also. The company has also partnered with celebrated and famous designers Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla by manufacturing Juttis designed by them.

So now if your big day is coming, before going for any international brand, just have a look at Needledust store, I am sure you will find your perfect pair of Juttis.

 

What Is The Moral of The Story?

What I personally understood from her story is that be passionate about whatever you do and even if it takes time for you to get desired recognition for your work, keep on doing it sincerely and with dedication.

 

Written by – Anshika Gupta

Edited by – Adrija Saha


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