I remember the first time I wrote about Vitasta Design [read it here], it was a moment of happiness, uncertainty and excitement. I had just embarked on a new journey in life, a week and a half in to be exact! I love reflecting back about those scary but brave moments and how much has changed for the better! As they say, great things never come from comfort zones right? When is the last time you took a risk? It ain’t easy but so damn worth it!
One thing that has not changed is my taste in leather goods —Vitasta still reigns supreme in my list! Aditi Dhar, the founder and soul behind Vitasta likes to call it “Everyday luxury” and I couldn’t agree more. A beautiful equation of a brand I can stand behind — Consciously made products, high quality, an attainable price and most importantly beautiful & modern. Vitasta has all the elements, hence my love for this brand!
I am proud to call Aditi the next Head Babe in Charge and although she is not a blogger, she’s a self-made boss babe you need to know about. Head Babes in Charge is about featuring women in the fashion industry that have something we want — Knowledge! Aditi started her design career in Holland working with many top brands that helped inspire the birth of Vitasta in 2011. Some of her milestones include winning the Vogue India Fashion Fund for her leather accessories line and I’m so excited to see what’s in the future for Vitasta! Meet Aditi Dhar, Head Babe in Charge of Vitasta Design.
How can someone start a leather goods brand? How did you do it?
Any one with passion and a strong work ethic can start! But some key things are crucial in helping you along the way:
Knowing your market and if there is an opportunity out there. Identify strengths and weaknesses in your business and the unique value proposition you would bring to the task.
Have a vision and try and stick to it. However don’t be resistant to change. All ideas evolve even the best ones: with markets, trends, and economics. I started organically, designing for other people, and soon found, I could have my own voice and design for women who wanted beautiful minimal high quality products which would understand their everyday needs. The aesthetic vision became more clear and grew organically, but sometimes thats how it happens 😉
Best advice you ever received as an entrepreneur?
Who is your customer and can you offer something they might be looking for? Tell a story through your work. A good brand asks the important questions and then looks for the relevant answers. And it should grow with its market.
Is there anything you wish you would’ve done differently in the early beginnings of Vitasta?
I would’ve have focused more on creating a strong brand language early on. Do the research and the leg work to build your brand story. Secondly I wish I made a financial plan quickly to identify the obvious pitfalls and avoid them. Most businesses fail due to under capitalization, bad financial planning etc. If you’re in it for the long haul, its vital to understand how cash flow works for any creative entrepreneur.
Creative people tend to avoid financial planning, so joining up with a partner who brings that to the table and complements your creative passions and ambitions can be a very vital and powerful part of making the business profitable. Building a brand takes time, and so you need to remain solvent and growing for that period. Hire a very good accountant! (I agree with this one!)
What sets your brand apart from other leather good brands?
The story of every brand is unique, and it offers a context to what someone purchases and invests in.
Vitasta is accessory label based in India which focuses on minimal, functional design with an Indian soul. It’s not necessarily an Indian looking product but there is a distinctly local based approach to design, colour and craft; Yet the look is very global. What we are looking at today is fashion in a globalized, interconnected world. So products and brands try and speak a local language to an increasingly international audience.
We are in the process of transforming the website to reflect that story more and communicate that sensibility of the brand to my customers.
What is your most proud Head Babe in Charge moment?
When we won the Vogue India Fashion fund 2016- Accessories!
Here’s her Vogue feature!
Special thanks to Aditi Vitasta Dhar for sharing this priceless knowledge with me and all aspiring entrepreneurs!